EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

West High School students walkout in protest of unanswered sexual assault claims

Jan 25, 2023, 12:59 PM

Dozens of students participated in a walk out to draw attention to sexual assault claims they feel ...

Dozens of students participated in a walk out to draw attention to sexual assault claims they feel have been ignored by the school. (KSL-TV's Karah Brackin)

(KSL-TV's Karah Brackin)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday morning, dozens of West High School students participated in a walkout to draw attention to sexual assault claims they feel have been ignored by the school.

Students attending the walkout said sexual assault should not be a part of the high school experience.

Students that KSL spoke with said they do not want to blame the administration for these acts. Instead, they want the administration to change its behavior of not stepping in and responding to their sexual assault stories

The students that walkout supported those claiming they had been sexually harassed or taken advantage of by their peers or others. They said the bottom line is students want to be heard, believed, and see justice taken by the administration.

Brianne Martin, one of the organizers, said the walkout started as a way to call on administrators to do something about these situations. It then moved into an opportunity for more victims to tell their stories positively.

Still, she said walking the same halls as those who have wronged you is not getting easier.

“Seeing people talk to the person who completely wronged them and done horrific things to them. It’s horrifying. Especially when that person has had little to no justice or punishment for what they’ve done,” Martin expressed.

Yándary Chatwin, Salt Lake City School District Spokesperson, said they want their students to feel safe.

“We want to just encourage people to speak up and use their voices. We can’t do anything about it if we don’t know about it,” Chatwin said.

What started as three speakers taking the stand turned into more as others came forward to share their stories hoping to be heard.

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West High School students walkout in protest of unanswered sexual assault claims