SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of South Hadley High School students walked out of class Thursday, protesting a student’s racial social media post. The students message was clear, “hate will not be tolerated in South Hadley.”“We want to make it known that one student does not portray the whole town of South Hadley,” said South Hadley High School sophomore Jason Cooper.At noon Thursday, more than two dozen students walked out of class in protest.
“I feel this is the only way to get attention for what I feel we’re trying to represent,” said high school senior Amirah Sheehan-Miles. “And it was the most peaceful way to do it. We didn’t disrupt anything we just simply walked out.”They marched nearly a mile, from South Hadley High School to the South Hadley plaza.“Everyone here is super nice and to hear stuff as gross and horrific as those things they’re saying and all the comments we’re getting and the threats,” Cooper said to 22News.The group of 25 South Hadley High School students told 22News, they’re wearing red to represent the pain they endured after witnessing the racist video.
The student who posted the video is a minor, and Superintendent Nicholas Young was unable to tell 22News her punishment, but he did say, she was not in school Thursday.“The main reason we’re out here is because we feel her punishment was not good enough,” senior Calvin Bridges said. Superintendent Young told 22News, he’s unsure if the student will return back to South Hadley High School.Young did tell 22News the school has joined forces with the District Attorney’s office on a series of educational programs that promote racial equality. He also said, the school is talking with student groups about establishing a “Unity Day.”Students told 22News, they plan to wear orange and black on Friday, as a sign of unity.This isn’t the first time controversy has overshadowed education in South Hadley. In 2010, bullying victim, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince took her own life.Several classmates stood trial, as a result.