10 things to know about Friday’s demonstrations

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10 things to know about Friday’s demonstrations

1. After a Chick-fil-A truck showed up at the first home football game, the controversial business’s presence at a school event disturbed some students. 

2. Members of the Gender Sexuality Alliance club approached teachers, expressing their concern over a contract that was signed by a parent booster group, which then brought the conversation to administration.

3. On Oct. 30, the Gender Sexuality Alliance club posted a message on their Instagram alerting students that they were organizing a walkout for Friday, Nov. 8 between second and third periods. The club officially named it the “Gender and Sexuality Walk-Out,” citing “harassment at home sports games, harassment within classrooms, harassment in our halls, hate crimes enacted on our property, slurs thrown in our face,” as motivators for the walkout. The purpose, according to their post, is to “fight together to end the culture of discrimination.” 

4. As a part of the post, the club included an example of  Chick-fil-A catering at home football games as something that “enforces the unsafe culture perpetuated” at school. The club reasoned that due to the restaurant’s past donations to organizations that were deemed anti-LGBTQ+, the presence of the Chick-fil-A food truck at sporting events set an unsafe precedent for students of the LGBTQ+ community. 

5. After reading the post, many students began to weigh in. Some students demonstrated support for the GSA Walkout, while other students questioned the correlation between Chick-fil-A and LGBTQ+ discrimination. As of Nov. 7, the day before the walkout, the GSA post generated 519 comments. 

6. Principal Greg Neuman addressed the student body in the Wednesday, Nov. 6 Live ROAR broadcast, encouraging students to grapple with divisive issues using civil discourse. 

7. On Friday, Nov. 1, in response to the GSA post, an independent student-created Instagram account encouraged students to “bring Chic-fil-A” [sic] and “wear patriotic attire.” The same account on Nov. 7, posted an updated message saying “Why don’t we come together rather then divide eachother?” [sic].

8. On Nov. 7, GSA issued a press release explaining that the purpose of their demonstration is “to allow students to show solidarity with their LGBTQ+ peers and to peacefully address the culture of intolerance on the WLHS campus.” 

9. Another independent student-created Instagram account on Nov. 7 invited students to “Join us on November 8th during 2nd and 3rd passing period” for what they called, “a celebration of us.” 

10. On the day before the walkout, Principal Neuman said, “I really hope that the conversations that we’re having, have had, and continue to have, bring us all together to be able to really hear each other, respect each other, (and) find ways to be able to have productive conversations when we don’t agree with each other in a positive and productive manner.” He also added, “there are student groups that are talking and I’m excited about that possibility.”

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