A high school student in Buckeye, Ariz., complained on social media after she was asked to change out of a Black Lives Matter t-shirt she had planned to wear for her school’s picture day.
Mariah Havard, a 15-year-old sophomore, showed up to Buckeye High School on Tuesday Aug. 23, intent on making a statement before her peers, as well as the school’s faculty and staff, by wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt.
In a viral Facebook post, Havard, who is black, described her reasoning for wearing the provocative shirt, and how she was asked to change by the school’s vice principal.
Advertisement – story continues below
“I woke up this very morning knowing that it’s picture day for my school we all know as Buckeye Union High School – BUHSD #201. I get dressed and put on my BLM shirt and I walk out the door and join the other students on the bus,” the teen wrote in a post that has been shared around 2,000 times.
She continued: “A security guard then asks me to follow him into the office and as I do so he then tells me to sit down in front of the principals office. I sit and wait for the principal and when he finally walks up and tells me to go see Ms.Whitman our vice principal. I walk into her office and I sit and listen on how she tells me that my shirt is creating a disruption in the learning of education, she then tells me that I am not allowed to wear the shirt that means a great deal to me and my African American friends.”
Havard, who also claimed the school previously permitted “racism” by allowing a white student to wear a shirt with a Confederate battle flag emblem, wrote that the school’s vice principal asked her to change into a “white shirt that’s meaningless and non political and has nothing to do for what I’m standing for.”
Advertisement – story continues below
Havard wrote that she will continue to wear the shirt, and also claimed she has been the victim of bullying: “[for wearing the shirt] I have been verbally attacked MANY times, I never meant to imply because black lives matter others don’t!”
“People are so quick to say all lives matter when I say ‘black lives matter,’ your [all lives matter] alm movement is just derailing blm trying to imply that police brutality in poc communities are an illusion!
“At this point I’m starting to believe theirs a problem with the word black?” she wrote. “It must be since they don’t teach us about black people in school or tell me that me standing for my people against police brutality is ‘disruptive in a learning environment.’”
Havard’s mother, Roxane Havard, alleged her daughter has received “death threats” over wearing the shirt; however, a police investigation yield no evidence and credible threats were ever made.
On Monday, Havard and ten other students walked out of the school and staged a protest outside
Buckeye High School stood by asking Havard and another student to change out of their Black Lives Matter shirts in a statement on its website: “In regards to the specific situation, the district strives to remain politically neutral while still allowing student expression.”
Advertisement - story continues below
The statement added: “However, when these expressions interfere with the learning process and become a potential danger to students, they have to be addressed … We appreciate the community’s support and will make every effort to offer the best educational programs and opportunities for all students.”
Facebook has greatly reduced the distribution of our stories in our readers' newsfeeds and is instead promoting mainstream media sources. When you share to your friends, however, you greatly help distribute our content. Please take a moment and consider sharing this article with your friends and family. Thank you.