Sign the online petition to Cleveland Mayor Jackson, Cleveland Police Chief McGrath, Cleveland Schools CEO Sanders, Collinwood H.S. Principal Deborah Moore, Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Board of Education, Ohio Governor Strickland, the Ohio Legislature, the Ohio Congressional Delegation, Education Secretary Duncan, President Obama and members of the Ohio and National media saying you want ALL CHARGES DROPPED and ALL PUNISHMENT RESCINDED NOW! – go to:
On May 13, at 10:30 AM, a small group of Collinwood High School students walked out to protest the layoffs of 800 teachers and other school workers. They were joined by two activists with Fight Imperialism-Stand Together (FIST) who also work with Bail Out the People Movement and were carrying the BOPM banner. By 10:45 Cleveland police had arrived on the scene, most likely after being called by the prinicipal. Cleveland FIST leader Caleb Maupin videotaped the police assault
The video shows an African-American male being shoved against a police car and a vicious attack on a 19-year old African-American female and her 16-year old sister. The two young women were arrested; the 19-year old has been charged with obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and aggravated disorderly conduct. The 16-year old has been charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, aggravated disorderly conduct and violating daytime curfew. Other students were also given citations for violating daytime curfew and were suspended from school for five days. Walkout organizer Seth Barlekamp and another student were brutally interrogated inside the school by police, who threatened to have Seth institutionalized. Seth’s mother was threatened with arrest if the protests continued. All of the students who participated in the walkout, with the exception of Seth, are African-American, as are the majority of students at Collinwood High and in the Cleveland Public School District.
The impending layoffs and closure of 16 schools will result in class sizes as high as 45 students in a room. The walkout was a courageous effort to build solidarity between students and members of the Cleveland Teachers Union and other school unions. The brutal assault was a deliberate attempt to intimidate students and crush the potential for labor-student-community solidarity and was a racist attack on the African-American community of Cleveland. We cannot stand for this!
HELP THE STUDENTS!
Call the Fifth District Police station, 216-623-5618 & 216-623-6500 to demand all charges against the students be dropped and to protest the brutal treatment of the students. Call the Cleveland Board of Education, 216-574-8000 and Collinwood High School, 216-451-8782 to demand the suspensions be rescinded and that Seth Barlekamp not be threatened with expulsion.