More than 150 students wore black to school today in a show of support for a student who recently left Harker.
In response to this student’s Facebook post on Friday about her struggle with mental illness and experiences with Harker administration, several seniors, along with the student herself, organized an online event inviting students from all grades to wear black clothing to school on Monday.
“A lot of students felt strongly about the recent events that have happened, so people asked [her] how to show our support, and we asked her what color she wanted: she chose black,” Kevin Huang (12), one of the organizers of the event, said. “Then, we just invited the other grades to wear black as well to show support.”
Students’ black attire symbolized their individual ways of supporting her, whether it was for raising awareness for mental illnesses or empathizing with the student’s personal situation.
“When reading [her Facebook] posts, the first thing that I thought was ‘Wow, this was a terrible thing she went through,’ but also the fact that we don’t know the whole story,” senior class president Alex Youn (12) said. “I wore black stuff today in support of [her] and the things she’s going through, but not in support of criticizing administration or Harker’s counseling department.”
In light of students’ decisions to wear black clothing, administration emphasized the importance of student safety and freedom of expression.
“Harker’s Administration understands and respects our students’ expression of support today,” head of school Christopher Nikoloff wrote in an email statement to Aquila. “We emphasize that at all times we will continue to place the health, safety and well-being of all of our students above all else and welcome suggestions and an ongoing dialogue to continue deepening our support for student and families.”