A Day After Protests, Students Share Why They Didn’t Go


Daevan Mangalmurti, Editor

According to one of the organizers of yesterday’s protest, 1,200 high school students, university students, and Pittsburghers marched through downtown on Monday protesting the verdict reached in the trial of Michael Rosfeld, a white police officer, for the killing of Antwon Rose II, a black 17-year old. If those numbers are accurate, that means approximately 6,000 high schoolers remained in school yesterday and decided not to join protests- almost 90% of Pittsburgh Public Schools’ high school enrollment. Here are three Obama students explaining why they fall into that group.

“I didn’t walk out and go to the protest because my mom didn’t feel it was safe.” – Brooklyn Bestic

“I feel as though protesting isn’t going to change what happened because what’s done is done. Protesting didn’t change anything during other important times so I don’t think protesting now is going to have much of an impact.” – David Woodson

“I was forced to stay back because my mom [wouldn’t] allow me because of safety reasons. Even if I was allowed I still would have stayed back because protesting now is not solving the problem. It’s not going to change the verdict. Many say that they are protesting so that their voices are heard but the people already know how protesters feel. The chants that were said during the protest [are] not going to change anything from before the protest. Things are just going to go back to the way they were. I 100% agree that that that police officer was in the wrong for shooting that boy because he was running away. But [he was acquitted] because of the laws that are in place. I also 100% believe that racism exists today and it is evident from the comment section on most Facebook posts about the situation, but if we want to make a change we need to be more effective. Also, us black people need to stop killing each other. The black on black crime needs to stop. We need to do better with ourselves to [sic]. We need to get more people off the streets and into sports and good careers. We need to change the way most predominantly black neighborhoods look. Most people that live in these areas know what I mean. We need to get more people to go [to] college or a trade school so that we can have more successful people out there too. Our race needs to do better with a lot of things, but if our big problem is trying to stop the killings of innocent black males then we need to find better solutions other than going downtown in the middle of a school day to protest something that we can’t change through standing, marching, and shouting chants through the downtown streets.” – Anonymous