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‘Kids are the future’: Carlton high schoolers stand up to racial inequality

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CARLTON, MN-- After the death of George Floyd and the recent officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright, students across Minnesota walked out of class Monday to stand for racial justice.

One of those schools was in the Northland.

31 students at Carlton High School walked out of class at 2:20 p.m. on Monday to stand up to racial inequality.

"My biggest fear in all of this is that it will be one of my friends next. That's something that scares me," said Haley Ableiter, a junior at Carlton High School.

Ableiter organized the event after seeing a post on social media by a non-profit called Minnesota Teen Activists. The organization said 110 schools across the state were participating in walkouts on Monday.

"I think people need to stand up, speak out, and know that if it doesn't affect you, it affects somebody else," said Ableiter.

But the walkout wasn't limited to just high schoolers. Jaylah Willis, a freshman at UMD, showed up to support the students in attendance.

"The kids are the future. They need to know that they can make a change. There were about 30 kids that came out. They probably feel like they can't make much of a change but, you really can," said Willis.

Change that Willis said starts with the little things.

"A lot of people like to try to make the biggest change. If they can't make the biggest change, they don't make a change at all. But change happens with the minor things, just taking a bite out of the apple. When you hear about racism or see it, you have to speak against it," said Willis.

In total, the walkout lasted 28 minutes. For the last nine and a half minutes, students knelt in silence to honor the life of George Floyd.

John Cardinale

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