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Justice Page Middle schoolers get BLM protest advice

(The Center Square) – Justice Page Middle School in Minneapolis gave protest advice in a school newsletter on Feb. 15 after police killed 22-year-old Amir Locke in a no-knock raid.

The Rhino Report is a publication of Minneapolis Public Schools Community Education, made by and for middle schoolers through afterschool education programs, not Justice Page Middle School.

“After the murder of Amir Locke at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday February 2nd, many of us are – and have been – taking to the streets to protest this injustice,” an editorial in the paper reads. “This (nowhere near complete) guide on protest etiquette and tips is a combination of personal experience, advice from online circles of local activists, and just general common sense.”

Advice includes:

  • When it comes to Black Lives Matter protests, if you’re not Black, remember that you’re there to show your support and amplify Black voices. ESPECIALLY if you’re White, if they’re offering the megaphone for anyone to speak, it’s not for you. You are here to listen and to show support.
  • Avoid posting video that captures people’s faces and people damaging property.
  • Wear nondescript clothing. Even if you aren’t breaking the law, law enforcement may still try to come after you, in these situations it’s better to be paranoid than careless.

Erika Sanzi, director of Outreach for Parents Defending Education, said the advice was biased.

“It is inappropriate for a school system to be providing protesting advice to 12-year-olds, especially when it is for particular causes and varies based on students’ race,” Sanzi said in a statement.

Minneapolis Public Schools spokeswoman Crystina Lugo-Beach defended the newsletter.

At Minneapolis Public Schools, we value and encourage student voice,” Lugo-Beach said in a statement. “The Rhino Report newsletter is a student publication that was written by students in an after-school community education program. The publication represents the viewpoints of students, very similar to an editorial written for a newspaper.”

Other student columns included “The Worst Video Game Ever Made: ET for Atari 26000” and a review of the new Star Wars show “Book of Boba Fett.”

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