Lane students gather for Black lives, call for robust anti-racism


Aaron Cohen

Dozens of Lane students gathered Tuesday night to show support and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The students lined the sidewalk of Western Ave., holding signs and chanting slogans, eliciting some honks in support from the passing cars.

By Aaron Cohen, Managing Editor

Dozens of Lane students gathered Tuesday night on Lane’s lawn, between the building and Western Ave., to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and to protest what they saw as Lane’s lackluster response to recently circulated incidents of racist behavior by Lane students.

Organized and led primarily by freshmen Maddie Goss, Div. 455, and Emma Doucet, Div. 456, the protest began at 5:20 p.m. with a speech by Goss that chastised Lane’s administration for not doing enough to show authentic support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and students of color more generally.  The speech referenced a lesson plan that was introduced in advisory three weeks ago, in which, according to students, topics of racism and social injustice were tackled in an unserious, elementary way.

“When Lane asked us to use an emoji to describe the BLM movement, it was crystal clear that they were just doing the presentation to say that they did something,” Goss said in her speech. “Lane chose performance and optics over authentic allyship.” Principal Tennison apologized for missing the mark with the advisory lesson.

“The post-video conversation in advisory that included an activity asking for a single word or choice of emoji failed to cultivate an environment for a much needed conversation that unpacks our recognition and understanding of why Black lives matter and should be valued,” Tennison said in an apology email to the school.

Trinity Lefleur, Div. 475, also delivered a speech about her experience as a Black student who confronts the realities of racism at Lane. 

“Even before I entered Lane, I had heard stories of microaggressions and other racist acts being directed at Black students,” Lefleur said in her speech. “Though I have never directly experienced racism here, as a Black person I feel like I have to get up and advocate for those who have.”

Doucet explained that though she is white and not a person of color, she feels a duty to be an upstanding ally. 

“Coming from a place of privilege, it is not enough for me to simply stand to the side and not be racist; neutrality only helps the oppressor,” Doucet told The Warrior. “I have a duty to use my privilege to be anti-racist.”

After the speeches, organizers passed out markers and cardboard signs to members of the crowd for them to write their own messages on. The crowd then migrated to the corner of Western and Addison where they lined the edge of the sidewalk as rush hour traffic rolled by. Several cars honked in support as they drove past.

“We wanted to make our protest visible to the general public and to show that the voices of the youth will not be silenced,” Goss said.