Statement from Siskiyou Abolition Project in support of youth who were recently arrested during student walk out in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Siskiyou Abolition Project stands in solidarity with the hundreds of Grants Pass High School students who walked out during fifth period on Tuesday to protest the school district’s reinstatement of two transphobic educators.
Since the inception of the teachers’ transphobic “I Resolve” movement, students have stood in strong opposition, created the “I Affirm” Coalition, and continue to work hard to make their school and district safer for trans students.
During the walk-out, students were greeted by a large and supportive group of parents, community members, current and retired educators, and student advocates. The mood was joyful and proud as they marched in front of the school, dressed in purple and rainbow carrying signs and trans flags.
Two members of the “Salt Shakers,” a local Christian extremist group, were there, carrying large transphobic, homophobic, and anti-abortion signs. Students repeatedly told them to leave, saying that their message of hate was not welcome, but the Salt Shakers refused to leave.
Police made several arrests, after #GrantsPass students organized a large walkout in protest of an anti-trans assist principal + former science teacher being re-hired. Both were fired last year for “using district resources to espouse their views.” https://t.co/uXQPkG3Xya pic.twitter.com/ckJet2x00h
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) November 19, 2021
The Grants Pass Police Department stood by as students were harassed and provoked and when things became heated, the GPPD proceeded to arrest two students and one 19 year old community member who called for the student’s release. Students surrounded the police vehicles, calling for their peers to be let go.
The two students were released, one with pending charges and the other with a disorderly conduct charge. The community member was booked at the local jail with multiple charges and $2500 bail. Bail was posted and they were released later that evening. Two of the charges were dropped and interfering with an officer still stands.
To offset the $2500 bail and support trans youth organizing, please venmo @siskiyoumutualaid with the note “GPHS Solidarity.” Any money raised beyond the original bail amount will be given to the I Affirm Coalition.
We hope all of you in Josephine and Jackson counties join us in supporting and following the lead of these brave young people in this fight for trans youth.
photo: screenshot from Mail Tribune