San Francisco high school students walkout protesting Israel-Hamas war | #schoolsaftey

San Francisco — Students at Balboa High School in San Francisco took a bold stance on Wednesday, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the cycle of violence. 

Led by 16-year-old junior Ixhel, the demonstration echoed a nationwide movement of young activists seeking awareness and action in response to the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

“We refuse to stay silent. This cycle of violence must end,” said Ixhel. 

Ixhel, a student of mixed heritage with Farsi and Latina roots, felt a profound connection to the situation in Gaza and decided to mobilize her fellow classmates. 

“My first plan of action was that we made an Instagram account for Balboa, and I did six hours of research and gathered as much information from unbiased sources as I could and put it together in slideshows. Basically given all the context of what’s happening right now,” Ixhel explained. 

At 10:30 am, Ixhel and her classmates walked out of their classrooms, joining the growing chorus of young activists across the country. They were part of a movement that gathered at City Hall, where a press conference was held in response to the recent tragic events in Gaza, particularly the devastating blast at a hospital in Gaza City that claimed the lives of hundreds of patients and civilians.

“I wanna first recognize the fundamental dignity of all human beings. That we have a right to peace, to justice, to harmony and to self determination not for one group of people but for all people,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen from the Board of Supervisors, District 9.

These sentiments were echoed by the students, who passionately called for an end to violence and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

San Francisco Unified School District officials said they recognize the fear and concern students and their families feel at this moment. The district also confirmed there have been acts of antisemitism in recent days and Islamophobia is on the rise. 

In a statement regarding the walkout today they said, “Please note that while the district supports the right of our students to express their views in a peaceful manner, including their constitutional right to peacefully protest, the walkout is not an SFUSD sponsored activity. Safety remains our top priority, and we are taking steps to ensure that that we are creating an inclusive and respectful learning environment for all of our students.” 

Ixhel remains steadfast in her commitment to raising awareness about the crisis. She believes in the power of their collective voice and hopes that their advocacy will make a difference.

“This is the power I have at this school. The district is funded for me to be there, and if I’m not there for Palestine, then what. I’m hoping it’ll make a difference,” said Ixhel.

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