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Letter of the Day: Andy Lopez demonstration

  • Lawrence Cook Middle School students Kimberly Macias, 14, and Mariah Barragan, 14, participated a demonstration marking six months since 13-year-old Andy Lopez was shot by a sheriff's deputy. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat)

Lopez demonstration

EDITOR: Regarding the Cook Middle School student demonstration about Andy Lopez, as an educator who taught many years at a middle school, I feel pride in these young people participating in our democratic system in such a focused and organized manner (“Cook students march at Elsie Allen,” Wednesday). They feel an injustice occurred and want the courts to make a final decision.

Though I am unfamiliar with the school policies, I imagine that in staging their memorial and carrying picket signs, they probably violated some of them. Even so, their actions should serve as a foundation for schoolwide discussions of the various methods available in a democracy for having one's voice heard. If their methods are not appropriate in a school, what methods might be?

Regardless of your beliefs in regard to what happened and who is at fault in the shooting of Andy Lopez, history shows us that trying to quiet voices speaking out against perceived injustice builds anger and resentment. These young people who still grieve the death of their school friend, and are asking only for justice, deserve to be celebrated for acting on their beliefs and putting in the hard work that is required to build an equitable society.

JUDY HELFAND

Kenwood

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