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More than 60 students from local high schools gave their perspectives on race relations during the annual
Race Relations Forum held at Reynolds High School on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Photo* by Tevin Stinsoo
East Forsyth Senior Jay Black makes a comment
during the High School Race Relations Forum held
at Reynolds High School on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Students shun violence,
understand anger in Charlotte
BY TEVIN STINSON
Days after hundreds of people took
over the streets of Charlotte last week to
protest the death of Keith Lamont Scott, a
black man who was shot and killed by a
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officer,
more than three dozen local high school
students gathered to give their own per
spectives on race relations.
When asked about the protest in
Charlotte, a number of students said
although they understand why people are
angry, they don't agree with the violent
riots that swept through the city after Scott
was shot and killed while waiting for his
son to get off the school bus on Tuesday,
According to reports, Scott was shot
and killed by Brentley Vinson in the park
ing lot of the Village at College Downs
apartment complex on Old Concord Road.
While preparing to serve a warrant on
another person, officers supposedly spot
ted Scott with a gun.
After asking Scott to drop the weapon.
Officer Vinson fired his service weapon.
Scott was taken to a local hospital, where
he died, police said.
Just hours after news surfaced that yet
another black man had been shot and
killed by a member of law enforcement,
peaceful protesters marched through the
streets of Charlotte. As day turned to
night, the peaceful protest turned into vio
lent displays of anger that led to damaged
businesses, buildings, and vehicles. At one
point, protesters blocked both lanes on
highway Interstate 85 with bonfires in the
middle of the busy roadway.
"My opinion is that the riots started too
soon," said one student. "The incident in
Charlotte, people only have little bits of
information and decided to go from there
and started to loot and riot.
"I think it takes away from the peace
A senior at Winston-Salem
Preparatory Academy (WSPA), Charlie
Garcia, said, "I don't think the riots are
helping change the situation that we're
Students also offered their opinions on
how to improve the relationship between
the community and police. A senior at East
Forsyth, Jaye Black, said one way to
improve the relationship is more trans
"There is a wall between the inner
workings of the police and the people,"
continued Black. "If we break down that
wall, we will be able to have a better rela
During the annual Race Relations
Forum hosted by the Winston
Salem/Forsyth County Schools and the
city's Human Relations Department, stu
dents also voiced their opinions on other
issues, including Colin Kapemick's deci
sion to boycott the national anthem, and
the race for the White House.
"Colin Kapemick is exercising his
right as an American. We need a lot more
respect for other people's views," a senior
at Reynolds, Noah Peebles, said.
Keith Watson, a student at WSPA, said
he was 100 percent behind Kapernick and
other athletes who have chosen to kneel
during the National Anthem during sport
When asked about the upcoming elec
tion and the comments made by
Republican presidential candidate Donald
Trump, Parkland senior Camille Graham
said Trump's views and comments on.race
is setting the country back 80 years.