Students walk out of class to protest


Student led walk out with 200 participants. Photo courtesy of Chloe Carnes

Tracy Dentu, Reporter

 Westerville South students protested against the injustice they see in their community by participating in a walkout which was held on April, 29, 2021 during 9th period. 

This demonstration was in honor of Makhia Bryant, the 16-year-old shot and killed by officer Nicholas Reardon on April 20th. 

According to the body camera, Makhia appeared to be wielding a knife in the middle of an altercation with another young lady, but some presume she was defending herself, especially with the knowledge that she called the Columbus police department for help.

The protest was also against the removal of the Kendrick Lamar unit from the IB English SL curriculum as a result of its use of profanity which had upset many students. “It wasn’t IB’s decision to remove the course from the syllabus. I personally think that Kendrick is such a great storyteller and hip hop/rap culture is yet still not understood,” Emily Kavanaugh-Swank, an IB English teacher said. 

The walkout was organized by senior Sophia Shai, juniors Sammi Robinson and Michael Donkor, and senior Ini Oyewusi.  Shai said a few other students also assisted in the organization..

What was expected to be a small protest grew surprisingly larger with approximately 200 students who gathered in support.

As the immensely diverse crowd of students stood at the front loop of the school, some held hands with their friends as they took a moment of silence in memory of Bryant. 

“Most of us are her age or close to her age, we organized this walkout because we cannot sit back and look on, we have a voice and we’ll use it,” Donkor said.

 Students from all backgrounds attended the walkout in unity in support of their fellow teen’s unjustified death.

They hope to make “everyone at South feel a sense of unity and that they’re safe here,”  Shai said.