On Friday, September 30th, around 40 MVHS students gathered at the pep stand to protest against sexual misconduct. Word of this protest was spread through social media, starting with Layla Martir (‘23) and Ebaney Arambula (‘23). Students reposted the news of the protest, some of them adding comments of support.
The day of the protest, a small group of people, including Martir and Arambula, began to gather at the pep stand, carrying posters saying things such as “Justice For All Victims.” While initially being a group of about 5, more people gathered in support. Once there were around 25 people, the group began to chant, “What do we want? Justice!”
At 12:31 PM, the students marched away from the pep stand and began to march through the tent next to the quad. More people followed them and joined the protest. By the time they got back to the pep stand, there were around 40 people showing their support.
To wrap things up, the students chanted “No means no!” as a crowd gathered in support. Before the bell rang, they marched through the tent one more time, then made their way back to their classrooms.
Both Martir and Arambula said that the purpose of the protest was for people’s voices to be heard, and that this was fulfilled.
Martir said that on the days leading up to the protest, the organizers were afraid there would be mishaps, but she said is glad that the protest was not shut down.
Arambula noted that the protest being planned out throughout that week made it safe for everyone involved.
Principal Jose Bañas stated that students have the right of freedom of speech to express their beliefs.
Martir had a message for anyone who has experienced sexual assault: “It’s okay to talk about it and bring it up, it’s okay to cry about it and mourn it, and to allow yourself to heal from it.”