Overland Park Protest

BV students attend Black Lives Matter Rally

Claire Powell, Editor-in-Chief

The Blue Valley Northwest Black Student Union held a Black Lives Matter protest at 135th and Metcalf on Friday, June 12. 

After seeing the promotion of the protest on Instagram BV students senior Rylee Bergmann and junior Sarah Hallock immediately wanted to attend.

“I recently started educating myself about the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery,” Hallock said. “With the murder of George Floyd pushing everyone over [the] edge, I knew I couldn’t stay silent bout innocent people of color being killed because they have more melanin in their skin.”

A week before the protest, the Blue Valley School District had posted a statement on social media, saying “racism or discrimination of any kind has no place in Blue Valley and will not be tolerated.” This message was answered by current and former BVSD students sharing their stories about bigotry and prejudice during high school. 

“I didn’t realize how badly my school district dealt with racial issues,” Bergmann said. “It made me more aware of my surroundings and the people I choose to be friends with.”

The protest had nothing but positive feedback with it remaining nonviolent and no police presence.

“I really enjoyed the protest because it was peaceful and effective,” Bergmann said. “It was nice to see how many people came out to support the cause.”

While this was Bergmann’s first BLM protest, Hallock went to one at the Kansas City Country Club Plaza — but neither want to stop the support yet.

“A journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step, [and] if you don’t take those steps, you’ll never get where you need to go,” Hallock said. “It’s my job to use my privilege to [help] people of color.”

Bergmann believes it’s important to protest because people need to use their freedom to fight for others. 

“It is one of [our] rights to protest, so might as well use that right for good,” Bergmann said.

Both students trust their generation, Generation Z, to make a difference in America. 

“I’m hopeful our generation will be the ones to change things,” Hallock said. “A majority of us are very active in the Black Lives Matter movement.”

With the increased use of social platforms and protests, the students have confidence it will educate people about racism in the U.S. 

“I hope the protests bring more enlightenment to people on the injustices going on in our own country,” Bergmann said. “It should encourage more people to look at their lives and see what they need to change.”