Today’s prompt is to write a story where a riot is started. I mulled this one over all day, trying to figure out exactly what and how I wanted to tell it. So, I decided to go with a classic.
Published on the front page of Sun Valley High School’s website, May 29, 2014 12:35 AM CDT, following the May 28th lunch riots.
The unanimous declaration of the women of Sun Valley High School and their true allies.
When in the course of school events, it becomes necessary for the student population to dissolve an administration and to assume responsibility in equal station with the other schools, a decent respect to the opinions of the wider district requires that they should declare the causes which compel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that women are equal to men, that they are entitled by the fact of their citizenship in this country with certain inalienable rights, that among these are respect, education, and security of person. That to secure these rights in schools, administrations are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that when any form of administration becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the students to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new administration, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and education. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that administrations long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that students are more disposed to suffer until graduation, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such administration, and to provide new guards for their future education. Such has been the patient sufferance of these students; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former administration. The history of the present Principal of Sun Valley High School is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these students. To prove this, let a non-exhaustive list of facts be submitted to a candid district.
- He has refused to punish the captain of the sports team for the rape of another student.
- He has failed to reprimand male students who daily harass female students, even when such conduct occurs in front of his very eyes.
- He has moved male students into higher level classes and refused to do the same for female students with the same GPA, stating that such classes are full.
- He has verbally admonished female students for their dress while saying and doing nothing about offensive t-shirts worn by male students.
- He has blamed female students for male student grades, stating that females are distracting.
- He has instituted conservative dress for female students only rather than addressing the real causes of sub-par male performance.
- He has made derogatory remarks to gender non-conforming students.
- He has suspended and expelled those same students for wearing appropriate, but gender non-conforming clothing.
- He has allowed teachers to exclude any students from instruction they deem distracting for any reason, without oversight to ensure students continue to receive their education.
- He has defunded sports primarily played by women under the guise of equality.
- He refuses to allow female students the opportunity to try out for male-only sports.
- He has refused to punish inappropriate remarks from adult, male teachers to teenage, female students.
In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Principal whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a sexist, is unfit to be the ruler of a free student body.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to others in San Marcos School District. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their Principal to extend an unwarrantable policies over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our attendance here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common values to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of sisterhood. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the students of Sun Valley High School, in general congress, assembled, appealing to the district for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good people of this school, solemnly publish and declare, that this high school is, and of right ought to be a free and independent school; that they are absolved from all allegiance to San Marcos School District, and that all educational connection between them and the school district, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent school, they have full power to educate, administer tests, develop athletics, establish extra-curricular activities, and to do all other acts and things which independent schools may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection justice, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.