Westminster, Md. (WJZ) — Sending a message in Carroll County, as dozens of students and parents held a rally in Westminster to show support for diversity. This comes after a series of pro-diversity posters were taken down inside of classrooms.
A couple of hundred people came out, holding signs and sending a strong message.
The week after some teachers at Westminster High School were forced to take “We the People” posters off their classroom walls, alumna, students, and parents held a Rally For Diversity at the Carroll County Board of Education building.
The posters depict Latina, Muslim and African-American women in the same red, white and blue style of the “Hope” election posters for Barack Obama.
They were put up by some teachers as part of an effort to promote diversity. But some complained, saying they were perceived as anti-Trump.
“It was pretty shocking because I think the posters stand for something that’s really positive,” says Jeff Wack, a student at Westminster High School.
Tensions were higher than ever, and minority students were left wondering ‘why?’
“It made me and others question whether or not we were accepted in this society, says Westminster High student Sheena Patel.
Students wore t-shirts with the image from one of the posters on them on Wednesday as part of a silent protest — a day that ended with a bomb threat.
Artist Michael D’Antuono, who was a familiar face at the Freddie Gray trials, drove all the way from New York to pass out diversity posters on Friday.
“This is what diversity is. It’s unbelievable what these kids have organized,” says D’Antuono.
From parents to students, “It’s not just students here, it’s people from all over Carroll County,” says Wack.
All showing support for minorities.
“This is unbelievable. Makes me feel so good,” says Patel.
It’s a movement, that’s not slowing down.
“This is a discussion that needs to continue. It started out as just a few hundred kids wearing t-shirts and now look at it,” says student organizer Sarah Wack.
Heavy police presence was here to make sure everything stayed peaceful. Students say they are working with school officials on trying to re-write policies for classrooms and what can be shown and what can’t in terms of ways to support diversity.
Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the ‘We The People’ poster series, told CNN in January that the groups represented in them could be “the most feeling that their needs would be neglected in a Trump administration.”
And the non-profit that helped create the posters widely, The Amplifier Foundation, calls the We the People campaign “a nonpartisan campaign dedicated to igniting a national dialogue about American identity and values through public art and story sharing.”