200 Kids Walk Out Of Everett High To Rally For Each Other

December 16, 2021

Everett, Everett Schools

“Everyone deserves to be heard”
“People are entitled to their own story”
“My teacher sexualized me for wearing a crop top”
“My clothes don’t give consent”

Students march past the historic YMCA on their way back from the Snohomish County Courthouse.

The students gathered in Clark Park.

Sexual harassment and assault and how that is addressed by adults were major themes in the rally.

Multiple students spoke of their personal experiences.

Those were some of the statements overheard today as about 200 students from Everett High School walked out of their classes just before 10:00 AM in a planned protest to raise awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault concerns among students of Everett High.
 
Here’s what one student told MyEverettNews.com when describing plans for the rally.
 
“Many students are very disillusioned with the abundant inaction and administration’s goal of seemingly sweeping anything negative under the rug rather than ever punishing anyone involved or addressing rather than minimizing the issue.

I’m contacting you because I believe that media coverage may be one of the only ways to actually convince staff to address the problems and stop with the slap-on-the-wrist punishments for blatant harassment. The story needs to get out somehow.”

Students left campus and marched in a group south on Wetmore to the Snohomish County Courthouse and then back north on Rockefeller to Clark Park where they rallied together.

Everett School District administrators and staff walked with and monitored the group. Everett School District Spokesperson Kathy Reeves told MyEverettNews.com that they were walking with the kids to make sure they were safe and to make sure the students were able to express their first amendment rights.

While at the park the students gathered together and took turns sharing examples of how they had been treated by others and what reaction they received from parents, peers and school officials. The themes of the rally appeared to be of respect, a desire to be heard and change. Respect for themselves, respect each other and respect of the stories they were telling and the experiences they outlined. To be heard by their peers, families and those in a position to affect change and to have actual positive change as a result of these very difficult conversations.

The School District was aware of the protest and on Monday Everett School District Superintendent Dr. Ian B. Saltzman sent the following letter to parents.

Dear Everett Public Schools’ families:
Recently I sent you an important communication about current issues that the district and nation are facing on social media. Today I am writing with another issue that demands our attention and action as well. Recently, some Everett Public Schools high school students have demonstrated their support for victims of sexual abuse both locally and in our region through a walkout and a petition to draw awareness to the experiences of those impacted by sexual assault and harassment.

The demonstrations included the sharing of personal experiences as well as friends’ experiences, advocacy for the district to hold alleged perpetrators accountable for their actions, and the enhancement of preventative and responsive actions by staff.

We recognize that it takes courage to publicly share painful and personal experiences of this nature. We want our students and our community to know that Everett Public Schools takes issues of sexual abuse and harassment extremely seriously. School and district staff have met with several student leaders to hear their concerns, share what policies and procedures are in place currently and discuss a call for enhancements to our staff training and practices. We intend to continue this conversation with students to better understand their concerns and respond accordingly.

We actively investigate all reports of sexual assault and harassment received. We want to ensure that every student knows how to report instances of sexual abuse or harassment. There are several ways to report concerns, including:
• Tell a mandatory reporter: school counselor, teacher, or administrator
• Report it on our website: everettsd.org/report
• Call or text the safety hotline: 855-637-2095
• Email 1350@alert1.us
• Call 911 and report to law enforcement
• Utilize one of the methods listed in 3204P, 3205P, or 3210P.

We are committed to maintaining a safe, respectful, and secure learning environment for all students. We will continue to abide by district policy and procedure and ensure that every report will be investigated, and offenders are held accountable. Thank you for your support in helping our students navigate coming forward to report these issues.
Stay safe and be well,
Dr. Ian B. Saltzman

The march and rally lasted over three hours and there were no incidents reported. The students were well organized and well behaved as they shared and delivered their message.



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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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