Cretin-Derham Hall Students Walk Out Of Class To ‘End The Cycle’ Of Racism

A group of Cretin-Derham Hall students walked out of class today to address the issues of social justice and racism, Reg Chapman reports (2:10). WCCO 4 News At 6 - April 29, 2021

Video Transcript

- A group of Cretin-Derham Hall students walked out of class today to address the issues of social justice and racism. More than 100 students dressed in black. And they walked in solidarity to express their feelings about what some students have had to endure because of the color of their skin. WCCO's Reg Chapman was there.

REG CHAPMAN: Students marched out of class to the applause of a group of Cretin-Derham Hall alumni. Many here are students of color surrounded by friends-- [AUDIO OUT] friends who support their efforts to be heard. This group says it's time to address the issue of racism inside the school.

LOUIS LYNCH: I didn't mean it like that. It was just a joke. I'm not racist. I have Black friends. It's OK that I say it.

KNOWLEDGE GRANT: It happens on a day to day basis. And that's why we're out here, to end the cycle, break that down, and start anew.

REG CHAPMAN: The speeches were filled with emotion.

LOUIS LYNCH: I chose to speak today not only because my friends have expressed the pain that they have been caused, but because I know that classes to come will have to endure that same pain.

REG CHAPMAN: Many in the group say this movement began out of protest for a group of students disciplined after they walked out of class on National Student Walkout Day. CDH officials say no one was disciplined for walking out. The handful of students that were reprimanded engaged in negative and profane speech and signage featuring anti-police vitriol. CDH says it does not condone racial injustice and respects law enforcement.

- I see a ton of diversity out here.

REG CHAPMAN: What this group wants more than anything is a seat at the table to address issues of racism they believe run deep inside this institution.

CAGE LINTON: I've seen videos being taken of words that I don't wanna say that have been sent to people of color that I don't think should have happened and other situations in the school that have happened.

LOUIS LYNCH: The white people that are out here hear the pain that people of color are facing. And I don't understand why they can't hear that either.

REG CHAPMAN: Reg Chapman, WCCO 4 News.

- Students say they plan more action to get the attention of the administration to discuss issues. The administration says it is our school's role to focus on supporting and guiding students to live in a world that demands justice.