Richfield High School students walk out in protest
An estimated 150 Richfield High School students participated in a walkout May 25 to protest the firing of a district staff member and to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The crowd, supplemented by students from neighboring districts, marched from Richfield High School to the neighboring Augsburg Park just before 1 p.m. Before gathering in an open area at the park, they lined Nicollet Avenue, shouting a variety of chants including one calling for the superintendent of Richfield Schools to lose his job over the firing.
“Hey hey, ho ho, Steve Unowsky has got to go,” they chanted.
Unrest over racial concerns in the district was sparked a week and a half prior to the walkout, when an outreach worker at Richfield STEM School, Jessi Martinez, was fired from the district. Her termination prompted a demonstration that shut down a May 15 school board meeting.
“We want to stand with our educators that are standing with us. And Jessi was one of the educators that was standing with us,” said Cierra Brown, one of the Richfield High School students who organized the walkout.
Unowsky, she added, “works for a system that’s being used to oppress us.”