On Monday, December 8, junior Nick Schuermann ’16 and several other Upper School students organized a “Die-In” rally — similar to the protests around the nation in recent weeks — on Leggett Field. The “Die-In” was held to remember the recent deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and included a moment of silence and extemporaneous perspectives from students, faculty, and staff members.
Nick described the initiative as follows: “I wanted to give people a chance to speak and share their thoughts on the issue. Many people came forward to speak their mind and I was very pleased with the turnout despite the cold weather.”
To kick-off the “Die-In,” Nick quoted from an editorial by Eric L. Andrews, a former police captain and state senator who is currently the Borough President of Brooklyn:
“[Andrews] perfectly sums up my beliefs, which are that the problem lies within the judicial system… the DA’s office and the police force work closely with each other. So it is hard for a prosecutor to indict someone with whom he/she works hand and glove. However, when the defendant is not a police officer, a vast majority of grand jury proceedings result in an indictment.”
Nick then urged participants to ask themselves, “How can I make a difference? [For example], if you believe that we need to have total reform to our grand jury system, then protest and write to your congressmen expressing that… in New York, the Attorney General Schneiderman has called upon the state to transfer police killing cases directly to the Attorney General instead of local prosecutors. These are all things we can push for. Lastly, I want you to question authority. I believe that many people don’t take the initiative to educate themselves on topics like these. Just because you are told something by an [authority], for example, a news outlet, etc., that doesn’t mean it’s true. If the education that I have been so lucky to receive has taught me anything, it is to question and question again, until you have enough proof that what was stated is either correct or incorrect.”
Nick then reminded all via email: “Please protest, but do so peacefully. Stay safe, and fight for what’s right.”
To learn more, please email Nick at: firstname.lastname@example.org.