M-A students walkout for justice

Amid growing concerns over a recent police incident, students from Menlo-Atherton High School organized two walkouts to condemn police violence targeting people of color.

According to the police report summarizing the incident, the school alerted the Atherton Police Department of a “violent reaction from a student towards an administrator” on April 28. The officers located the student at a nearby bus stop, where the he “refused to comply.” After they wrestled to the ground, the officers “rolled the student onto his stomach and placed him into handcuffs.”

In the aftermath of the incident, video footage depicting the white officers employing force against the Black student circulated within the community. This racial dynamic fueled the perception that the incident was part of a broader pattern of authorities using violence specifically toward people of color.

In response, M-A students rose in protest. Their first walkout began on May 11 at 11:00 a.m., when students gathered in the M-A Performing Arts Center. From there, the protestors marched throughout the campus, holding signs and chanting “Black lives matter” and “Hands up; don’t shoot!” 

As the walkout continued, the protesters made their way off campus toward Burgess Park, where they planned to reconvene. At Burgess, they listened to speeches by the leaders of the walkout, who expressed their resolve to no longer be passive in the face of injustice.

The May 11 walkout concluded with a stop at 7/11 and J&J’s Hawaiian Barbecue, but this did not mark the end of the students’ demonstration. On May 12, students continued their protest with another walkout.