The reaction was widespread, divided, and intense last week after the entire Garfield High football team voted to kneel during the national anthem for the rest of its season as a silent protest against racial injustice.
While many were supportive, backlash against players, coaches, and the school was in some instances extreme and threatening as news of the demonstration spread nationwide. Seattle Public Schools does not publicly address safety issues concerning specific students or staff, but a spokesperson said the school and Seattle Police are taking precautionary measures during Friday night’s game.
“There will be increased SPS safety and security presence at the game,” said SPS spokesperson Luke Deucy. “SPD will also increase police presence at the game.”Garfield is playing Chief Sealth tonight. I would hope no one would want to harm students playing a football game.
One interesting item is the team's list of "concerns:"
I had thought that there was a way to help pay for AP testing fees for low-income students; I'll have to ask the district.
- Equality for all regardless of race, gender, class, social standing and/or sexual orientation – both in and out of the classroom as well as the community.
- Increase of unity within the community. Changing the way the media portrays crime. White people are typically given justification while other minorities are seen as thugs, etc.
- Academic equality for students. Certain schools offer programs/tracks that are not available at all schools or to all students within that school. Better opportunities for students who don’t have parental or financial support is needed. For example, not everyone can afford Advanced Placement (AP) testing fees and those who are unable to pay those fees, are often not encouraged to enroll into those programs. Additionally, the academic investment doesn’t always stay within the community.
- Lack of adequate training for teachers to interact effectively with all students. Example, “Why is my passion mistaken for aggression?” “Why when I get an A on a test, does the teacher tell me, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could pull that off.’”
- Segregation through classism.
- Getting others to see that institutional racism does exist in our community, city, state, etc.
And, I'm not sure what "the academic investment doesn't always stay within the community" means. I'll try to find out.