JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —
Sandalwood High School students held a Black Lives Matter protest Wednesday that they say was quickly shut down by police and school administrators.
The rally comes after a DCPS initiative “You Matter Month” giving students and employees access to mental health resources.
Action News Jax spoke exclusively with the teen who says she organized the rally.
Jara Enoch shared screen shots with Action News Jax showing her comment that said, “kind of weird how it’s Black history month, and now it’s made to be an everyone month..”
Enoch say she wanted to share the importance of Black History Month when students in a Microsoft Teams group chat began mocking the effort.
Enoch says she feels the DCPS initiative takes away from Black History month.
She claims the school also doesn’t allow for apparel supporting Black lives, while other students have been allowed to wear clothing in support of former president Donald Trump and Blue Lives Matter.
Enoch tells Action News Jax the group chat was deleted, and students were told not to talk about it.
In response to being silenced, Enoch says she organized the rally -- by word of mouth and through social media.
The teen says school administrators threatened the students before shutting the rally down.
“They said they were going to have police come in, and if we don’t stop, police are going to tase us, pepper spray us,” Enoch said.
“We just felt very oppressed as a Black community and other students of other races who wanted to get their voice out.”
Enoch tells Action News Jax she doesn’t plan on being silenced any time soon, and has a message for school leaders:
“The time has come for changes to be made. They need to hear us.”
Action News Jax reached out to DCPS for comment, and were told the person we needed to talk to was “in a meeting.” Action News Jax is still waiting for a response from the school district.