Friday, May 14, 2010
EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION TO PROTEST ATTACK ON STUDENT WALKOUT AGAINST TEACHER LAYOFFS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 13, 2010
On Friday, May 14, at 2:30 PM, outside the Fifth District police station at 881 E. 152nd, the Cleveland chapter of Bail Out the People Movement will join Collinwood High School students in protesting the attack on them by Cleveland police on May 13. Twelve students were attacked after they walked out of school to protest plans by the Cleveland Board of Education to lay off 546 teachers.
“This was a vicious attack on students who were peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights,” said BOPM spokesperson Caleb Maupin, who witnessed and videotaped the incident. “They were only defending their right to a decent education and their teachers’ right to a job.
“The walkout began at 10:30 AM, but by 10:45 the police were arresting all twelve students after being called by the principal. I saw one African-American male thrown against the squad car, but the worst brutality was directed against a 19-year old African-American female and her 16-year old sister. As they embraced one another the police forcibly separated the two, threw them to the ground, handcuffed them, put their knees to the students’ heads, and took them downtown. They have been wrongly charged with resisting arrest and face other charges as well. The other ten students were given citations and ordered back to school.
“I later learned that walkout organizer Seth Barlekamp and another student were detained and brutally interrogated by police inside the school, and that Seth was threatened with expulsion.
“Bail Out the People Movement condemns the racist, sexist and anti-youth conduct of the police and the school. This was an attempt to intimidate students and break up their solidarity with the 800 members of the Cleveland Teachers Union and other school unions who stand to lose their jobs, and to force students to accept over a dozen school closings and classes of up to 45 students in an overcrowded room.
“It’s time to bail out public education, not the banks!
“Bail Out the People Movement urges anyone concerned about this incident to call the police station immediately, 216-623-5618 & 216-623-6500 and demand all charges against the students be dropped! Call the Cleveland Board of Education, 216-574-8000, and Collinwood High School, 216-451-8782, and demand the suspensions of the students be rescinded and that the threats to expel and otherwise punish Seth Barlekamp cease.”