PMSA Student Crosses Borders To Help Lead March Against Racism

Monday, November 12, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Camilo Medina during a Nov. 11 rally against hate speech in Oak Park. | Alexa Rogals 

Racist graffiti scrawled onto school property. Swastikas AirDropped to students’ iPhones during a school assembly. Teachers alleged to have called students the n– word.

None of this happened at Proviso Math and Science Academy, where sophomore Camilo Medina attends, but that didn’t stop him from venturing east to nearby Oak Park to help lead a rally at Oak Park and River Forest High School on Sunday.

Medina — a Forest Park resident and son of District 209 board member Claudia Medina — was among at least 300 hundred people from across the Chicago area who converged at OPRF’s main entrance before marching on sidewalks west down Lake Street in protest of a string of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have happened at the school within the last two weeks.

Earlier this month, OPRF officials discovered racist and anti-Semitic graffiti found in bathroom stalls and on a shed near the high school’s tennis courts. Days before that incident, students said that they heard a white teacher say the n– word three times during class.

Out and About_Medina at march

Anthony Clark rallies marchers in front of Lake Theater in Oak Park on Nov. 11 during a Unite Against Hate March down Lake Street. Camilo Medina, immediately left of Clark, looks on.| Alexa Rogals 

And on Friday, a student used Apple’s AirDrop feature to send the image of a swastika from somewhere in the high school’s auditorium to students’ cell phones during an assembly.

“I’m here in solidarity to support students who, like me, are Latino, black, Jewish and minorities, and who feel intimidated by symbols of racism,” Medina said, speaking to the large throng at OPRF’s main entrance.

“I don’t know how to describe the individual or individuals who sent these images of hatred,” Medina said. “There are simply no words for what they have done. These individuals who sent these images of hatred and white supremacy reflect a flaw in our community — that’s what that I am here to address.”

Anthony Clark, an OPRF teacher, community activist and former Congressional candidate, helped organize the march. Clark said that the students were leading the rally because “adults have failed them.”

“We’re here today because as adults we have failed our young people,” Clark said. “While they’re expending their emotional energy, which they should not have to do in 2018, think about what you are willing to risk as an adult to make change.” VFP 

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3 thoughts on “PMSA Student Crosses Borders To Help Lead March Against Racism”

  1. I really applaud Camillo Medina for joining forces with other youths in Oak Park & River Forest to stand together to combat racism and hatred that took place at the OPRF high school campus. This movement shows the power of the commUNITY to stand against ignorance, and coming together to build bridges and not walls. He has a fantastic future. I applaud his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Medina for raising a wonderful young man. Keep going!

  2. Were there any other district 209 students involved with this march that weren’t Board Members children? In addition, our district is experiencing racism in other forms and could use a march to bring light to the issues!

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