Ohio high school students stage walkout to protest cancellation of Diversity Day – New York Daily News

Students marched out of an Ohio high school on Thursday to protest the cancellation of its long-running Diversity Day after the school board decreed the event would no longer occur during class hours, no would use more school resources or would not be paid for by taxpayers.

Students at Turpin High School, about 10 miles southeast of Cincinnati, were joined by those at nearby Anderson High School, whose counterparts also staged a strike, at 10:25 a.m. on the football field.

About 350 students from Turpin came out at 9:52 a.m. and proceeded next to the Heritage Unitarian Universalist Church, holding signs calling for the promotion and recognition of diversity in the Forest Hills School District, which is in 90% white.

The day is designed to highlight cultural and racial issues for juniors and seniors. It was originally postponed from March so parents could view agendas and speakers and sign permission slips, then was canceled entirely after the council voted no support. Participation is voluntary, and students have spent months preparing, planning activities, and lining up speakers.

“At this time, FHSD staff have determined that they will not be able to organize an event that meets the expectations of the newly instituted board before the end of the school year, so it will not be rescheduled for this year,” said the Forest Hills School District’s communications coordinator. Josh Bazan said in a statement obtained by WCPO-TV.

The only board member who abstained said the fundamentals of the 4-0 vote were flawed.

“They gave their reasons,” Leslie Rasmussen told WCPO. “They said it was full of critical race theory and social justice. And that’s all. They made it political.

The district said it was aware of the students’ planned actions.

“The district recognizes and respects the rights of its students to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights to peacefully assemble and express ideas and opinions,” Forest Hills School District said in a statement. “FHSD’s first priority, at all times, is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for every student and we will continue our commitment to maintaining a high level of student safety on campus.”

Returning to class 10 minutes later, students from both schools held their own diversity day that afternoon after school had finished.

“For me, Diversity Day was one of the best things I’ve experienced at Turpin so far,” senior Casey Lupariello told WLWT-TV. “We just talk about diversity of all kinds, and try to understand the people around us better and understand ourselves better, and try to have a better view of the world.”

She told the station that 160 students had signed up to attend the volunteer event.

“I’m sad to have to miss it for my senior year,” Lupariello said. “But what worries me the most is that children in the future will not be able to experience this event, because it is extremely important.”

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