Booker T. Seniors Send Message By Going Silent At Pep-Rally
TULSA, Oklahoma - High schools all over hosted pep-rallies for Friday Night Football; but one at Booker T. Washington was a little more unique.
Students attended the rally and used it as a way to join the national conversation about race and police relations.
It was a normally scheduled pep-rally, but some seniors thought it was the perfect time for their classmates to share their feelings, and, hopefully, send the country a message.
The students at Booker T. Washington are full of pride; so Thursday night, when a racially-charged disagreement between students on Facebook got seniors’ attention, they knew something needed to be done.
Senior Khole Downie said, "It kind of just like sparked a feeling in me that I knew we had to come together and make a statement."
Without help, and last minute, the seniors decided they were putting their stamp on the rally.
"We are just very inclusive, direct in the sense that we can come together and work together, and talk together," senior Denise Ssettimba said.
Their message to adults is that black people are tired of being scared of a system meant to protect people.
Senior Tatyanna Coleman said, "You have to show them your point of view, and maybe hope that they'll open up their eyes and they'll see where you're coming from."
So, when the classes were supposed to out-cheer each other to win the "spirit stick," the seniors made their point, with silence.
"It was powerful. Like, I almost broke down,” senior Darien Green said. “And it was just like everyone wanted to do it. You could feel that everyone was into the movement."
Greene said when Terence Crutcher was killed she got scared for her loved ones.
"I was like 'what if that's my dad? What if that's my best friend's dad? Like, that could have been anybody," she said.
In the midst of national social unrest, the students remain hopeful that adults will hear their voice and take note.
Ssettimba said, "We can see what's going on and we understand. And that adults, even themselves might not be able to do that."
The students said it was an emotional moment, showing opposing sides can find common ground.