Students Stand Against Racism in FPS

Danielle Prohaska, Social Justice Editor

On May 24, students at both Fairfield Ludlowe High School and Fairfield Warde High School organized a walkout during the school day to protest against racism in Fairfield Public Schools. Prior to the walkout, an incident occurred on Snapchat involving racist behavior at Warde. Shortly after, a similar incident occurred involving students from both Ludlowe and Warde. These two occurrences were what sparked the demand for change.

Many different people spoke at the open-mic session during the walkout at Ludlowe, including individuals from different grade levels, points of view, and racial identities. They shared their experiences of racism or lack thereof, and they explained what people should do to combat racism here in Fairfield.

The Youth for Equity club at Ludlowe and the Voices for Equity club at Warde were the main organizers of this event. They are clubs that discuss social justice issues and their main focus is creating change and equity for all within our community.

Sophia Mughal, a senior in Youth for Equity, talked about why the organization decided to stage this walkout and what her thoughts were on it: “My fellow organizers [and I] were encouraged to see the turnout at the walkout and the number of individuals who decided to share their experiences in Fairfield and FPS….We also walked out to demand that the administration and town leaders use their power to make lasting structural change—through curriculum changes, implementing restorative justice practices, having ongoing anti-bias trainings for teachers, recruiting more BIPOC teachers, etc. Through the collective power of students standing together and raising their voices, we hope to see changes within FPS.”

Racism has been an issue in this town for many years, and to many students, the school system can do more to combat racism in the future and make sure that students are educated thoroughly on the matter. We should not only punish those who have racist behaviors, but we should also teach them the history behind racism and the impact of their actions. If they are punished, they are not learning anything and still have the same mindset as before.

Isabel Toma, a sophomore at FLHS, said, “The walkout was incredibly important and necessary, and it was amazing to see our school community come together to listen and learn, and I was blown away by the amount of people who spoke. I’m glad I said something, although [it was] nerve-wracking, I have a lot on my mind, and my message seemed to resonate with many.”

As we end the school year, we should continue to reflect on ourselves, our thoughts, and our actions when we interact with others. Students from the walkout made sure this message reached everyone in the school system, and will continue to spread it in the future.