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Riots, Rallies, and Protests in Baltimore

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Students all over Baltimore City have been deeply affected by the riots, rallies, and protests occurring this past month. High schools around the city, including those affiliated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, have been closed down for days because of the violence. Of course, not all of the protests have been insanely destructive. Many believe that people trying to make a change aren’t actually putting others in harm – some just want attention from the news and media. Multiple Black Lives Matter protests have been peaceful; even police officers have taken part. “I went to the rally outside of city hall on May 3rd,” Katrina Schmidt continued. “It was organized by various religious leaders and it was really peaceful and uplifting. People were singing and dancing and we all prayed together – plus, the speakers were awesome!”

Nearly everyone knows that the anger is understandable – considering the violence both last year and this year, people all over have felt targeted and violated, especially by the police. “While perhaps some of the things that transpired weren’t in good conscience, I understand the frustration that built up to it and some of the motivation,” Mercy High School student Katrina Schmidt said. “The anger and frustration were in good conscience, the ways in which some of the riots occurred were not.”

However, schools around the city have been affected in multiple ways. Besides being closed down for a few days because of the violence, the Baltimore School for the Arts has been taking part in educating their students on racism. “Our school has set up different discussion groups for us now. Basically, a teacher or two will volunteer to supervise. After school, they’ll set up chairs and we’ll just talk about our experiences and opinions on racism,” student Andi Burke said. “My school has always been very racially aware because it’s an arts school, so the teachers are a bit more close to us.”

Another student from Mercy High School, Oluyinka Akinola said, “I think it’s honestly changed the dialogue about race that we have in our school. This year the school has made a very concerted and good effort to make sure that we are having more discussion about diversity, racial and otherwise. Many religion classes here have been having discussions, but now that something so close to home has happened, it’s kind of broken the taboo that some people feel towards talking about race.”

Many schools have even had assemblies on the subject, and multiple diverse clubs have been started since the violence in Baltimore started. “We all had a real opportunity to learn from one another and I think it really changed the way people talk about race and the justice system in school.”

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Riots, Rallies, and Protests in Baltimore