The surge in youth activism along the South Shore spread Monday morning to Braintree, where hundreds of students at the local high school staged a walkout to support racial justice, officials said.
Braintree Interim Superintendent Jim Lee confirmed details of the walkout in a statement released at 12:18 p.m.
“Earlier today, approximately 300 Braintree High School students left the building to stage a peaceful protest in support of racial justice in our nation and in our community,” Lee said via email. “Students walked to the Five Corners, escorted by BHS administrators and Braintree Police Officers, where several students spoke and held signs. At the conclusion of that rally, many students returned to campus, while some continued on to Town Hall.”
NOW: Braintree High Schoolers have walked out of school and our rallying against 3 alleged incidents of racism. #WBZ pic.twitter.com/SpbpeK3zBY— Louisa Moller (@LouisaMoller) November 15, 2021
Throughout the morning, Lee continued, the main focus of school administrators remained the safety of all students, including those who participated in the demonstration and those who stayed inside. Lee said the school day’s continued without disruption or change to the schedule. He said instruction continued “in all classes.”
“As a school, we recognize that these conversations are critical, and welcome the opportunity to continue discussing the issues brought up by the students who raised their voices today,” Lee said.
NOW: Students at Braintree High School walk out and gather at town hall. They say issues of racism are not being addressed at their school. @NBC10Boston @necn pic.twitter.com/vB4gibacXd— Abbey Niezgoda NBC10 Boston (@AbbeyNBCBoston) November 15, 2021
Lee didn’t immediately respond to a Globe inquiry about specific alleged acts of racism involving Braintree High students.
Mona Ammar, a Braintree High 10th grader who participated in Monday’s demonstration, said protesters felt compelled to take action after what they viewed as the staff and administration’s inadequate response to several racist episodes involving students, including students using the n-word, students making fun of a Black teacher’s accent, as well as other derogatory terms and microaggressions directed at people of color.
“They aware of this, and they just don’t do anything about it,” Ammar said.
The Monday demonstration followed an earlier walkout Friday in Quincy, where hundreds of Quincy High students left classes, shortly before school administrators met virtually with parents in the wake of a racist video created by a student led to a fight with another student.
The Quincy students chanted “no justice, no peace” Friday as they walked from the school to the police station, City Hall, and then to the city’s other high school, North Quincy High School, where they circled the building for some time before the peaceful protest wound down.
The walkout came two days after many QHS students received a 25 second cellphone video where a white high school student uses a racial epithet while expressing hatred of Black people. The video appeared to have been circulated by someone who added the words, “don’t let me catch you out on the streets” along with a first name.
Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report. Pat Greenhouse of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. This is a breaking news story that’ll be updated when more information’s released.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.