Student Protesters Cancel a Ted Cruz Appearance at a Bronx Charter School
‘Ted Cruz goes against everything this school stands for’
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz isn’t popular in The Bronx, the New York City borough with a 54.6 percent Hispanic population. Although Cruz’s father is from Cuba, his harsh stances on illegal immigration have made him unpopular with many in the Hispanic community. Throughout his candidacy, Cruz has pledged to “build a wall” at the Mexican border, deport 12 million illegal immigrants, and patrol Muslim neighborhoods. He has also continuously made negative remarks about about “New York values.” So when the students at a Bronx charter high school stood up against a Ted Cruz event scheduled at their school, New York City residents applauded their actions.
Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy (BLCPA) was scheduled to host a Cruz campaign speech Wednesday, but at a school where a majority of the students are immigrants, the thought of the idea was insulting. So the students scheduled a walkout. “We told [Principal Duggins] if he came here, we would schedule a walkout,” said Destiny Domeneck, 16. “Most of us are immigrants or from immigrant backgrounds. Ted Cruz goes against everything this school stands for.” So a few of the students got together and crafted a letter to their principal, Alix Duggins, which was released to the New York Daily News.
“Hello Ms. Duggins,
A group of students will be leaving during 4th period, as act of civil disobedience in regards to the arrival of Ted Cruz to BLCPA. We have all considered the consequences of our actions and are willing to accept them. We respect you and all the staff at BLCPA as well as the expected guests. But we want you to understand that as passionate students, we have ideas and principles that should be heard and respected. This walk out isn’t a reflection of our discontent with BLCPA but our opportunity to stand up for our community and future. This walk out is taking place because we as students all share a common idea.
The presence of Ted Cruz and the ideas he stands for are offensive. His views are against ours and are actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love. He is misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. He has used vulgar language, gestures, and profanity directed at a scholar and staff members, along with harassing and posing threats to staff and scholars according to the Disciplinary Referral slip. This is not to be taken kiddingly or as a joke. We are students who feel the need and right to not be passive to such disrespect.”
The students’ points were so salient, the school decided to cancel the event. “Your points are eloquently argued — in fact, so eloquently argued that upon reading your email, Khori Whittaker, the CEO of Lighthouse Academies has agreed to cancel the visit,” Duggins said to the students. BLCPA’s snub of Cruz wasn’t the only tension he felt in the Bronx that day. He was heckled mercilessly at a campaign stop in Parkchester where only 100 people bothered to show up.