By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
On Wednesday, students, parents and community members stood on the steps of the Bend La Pine Schools administration building and shared stories of racism they’ve experienced in the school system.
The group Bend for BLM organized the rally to demand the district change its history curriculum and increase cultural sensitivity training for staff.
“We also want to make sure all staff go through anti-racism training as well as cultural sensitivity training so they can understand the warning signs and what to look for in the classroom, understand how to appropriately address racism or any sort of homophobia in the classroom,”
The rally is one of several held in Central Oregon in the past month drawing attention to inequality.
Organizers said changing education is crucial for progressing the movement as a whole.
“I think it’s important that we’re doing this movement so our small community of people of color feel safe, because we do feel isolated and we do feel different and we do feel looked at and we do get followed around and questioned and profiled,” BLANK said.
A complete list of demands from the group will go to the superintendent.
Organizer Maya Gardner said she is working on a petition with demands for the school district, which she plans to post on the Bend for BLM Instagram account.
Rally participant Riccardo Waites said the passion from the young people was an encouraging sight.
“I had no faith in our youth of today, and then I went to my first Bend for BLM event,” Waites said. “I saw these guys speak and the passion with which these guys were speaking, and it restored and rejuvenated my faith in the youth today. These guys — I can’t say enough about them. They’re so young but passionate, and that’s what we need.”