Students walk out of class, say next year's student body president made racist video
Students walked out of class Friday at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville to protest a student leader's campaign video that depicted terrorists torturing students. Many students considered the video racially offensive and anti-Muslim.
Chanting, "No justice, no peace!" many students took a stand during the walkout and were angry at the 17-year-old boy who made the controversial campaign video and the fact that he will still be student body president next year.
"This is just something that we don't want our student body to be represented by one person who's done something wrong," said Grace Johnson, a student.
"We're here today because at SRVHS we don't stand for racism, sexism, homophobia, inequality and we're here to show that we are a campus of love not hate," said another student Amelia Zehnder.
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District says the video shows a terrorist torturing a student, students using fake guns and what appears to be a real firearm.
"I am Muslim, my family is Muslim, I've been racially profiled at restaurants. This happens a lot to me and the fact that this will turn into a joke this is not okay," said Wajiha Syed, another San Ramon student who participated in the walkout.
"There's a lot of racist things that are going on and I feel like the school just needs to come together like as a whole and really support what they're doing," said Christine Herman, a student who supported those who walked out.
The 17-year-old student was forced to withdraw from leadership because of it, but the teen went to court claiming his free speech rights were violated.
Court documents show the student said, "The video was a parody of action movies and contained no obscene, libelous, or slanderous conduct."
Some students agree with him.
"I feel like this entire thing has been blown out of proportion. I've had friends who spoke out against this, but our First Amendment rights [are being] abridged," said Senna Perdue, a student who sided with the leadership student.
"I just want to say, have you ever noticed how when people say, 'Oh it's my First Amendment right,' they're usually doing something wrong? This person made very, very offensive comments," said student Abby Hasselbrink.
The attorney for the incoming student body president tells me his client now recognizes his video was offensive, but that never was his intent.