By the time you read this, students at Miami Edison Senior High may already be gathered in protest. As you might recall, last week's news was dominated by a melee at the school, which was touched off by the arrest of one Wadson Sagaille, 17. Apparently Sagaille and Vice Principal Javier Perez had gotten into a skirmish. Some students witnessed the fight and felt that Wadson wasn't treated fairly. The resulting protest ended in 18 student arrests, some injured officers and a really tense atmosphere at one of the poorest schools in the district. (Student YouTube video here).
On Sunday, students, parents, community leaders and school officials tried to talk during a community meeting, but little was accomplished. The meeting wasn't open to reporters, so a phalanx of TV news crews camped out at one of the school's main doors. Around 3:15 p.m. a skinny kid wearing a black polo, plaid shorts and Air Jordans came out to address the media. His name is Tommy, he said, he's 16 and was arrested during last week's protest and charged with resisting arrest with violence and disturbing the peace.
Tommy looked in the cameras and urged his fellow students to boycott school. "Until our demands are met," he added. That's when some of the reporters stopped taking him seriously -- if they ever did in the first place -- and became downright sarcastic, if not scolding, to the kid.
"Demands," snorted a Channel 7 reporter wearing Valentino sunglasses. "What demands?"
Until all charges are dropped against the students and that Mr. Perez is fired, Tommy explained. He reiterated his call to boycott classes.
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"You're going to fail," another reporter said.
Tommy tried to explain that how the kids were treated by police and staff was wrong. "Do you have a record?" asked the Channel 7 reporter.
Anyway, there will surely be more coverage of this story this morning, and we'll see if this city's reporters are as tough on the school and police officials as they are on the Edison High kids. -- Tamara Lush