Raising Their Voices

ImACheerleaderHeresWhyITakeAKnee

Youth Radio by Sasha Armbrester
Online audio, December 1, 2017

Last year Colin Kaepernick garnered the praise of some and the ire of others, including then-candidate Donald Trump. By kneeling during the National Anthem, he launched a protest of racial inequity, police brutality, and systemic injustice in the United States. Kaepernick’s actions set off a wave of similar protests within the NFL. While a great deal of attention has been given to professional athletes’ non-violent, peaceful protests, reports have also come out since 2016 about American high-school students kneeling during the Anthem. Youth Radio recently highlighted the stories of students protesting at high-school sporting events. In a short audio essay, “I’m A Cheerleader, Here’s Why I Take A Knee,” student and Youth Radio contributor Sasha Armbrester thoughtfully describes the considerations she and her teammates make when choosing to kneel before football games. Armbrester’s evocative words detail the racism she faces and her desire “to be a role model at [her] school” as both a cheerleader and a person of color. Ultimately, for educators, stories like Armbrester’s put in sharp relief the current social and political landscape and its impact on our schools, our students, and ourselves.


Submitted By: Sarah Katherine Peeden, Pacific Ridge School, Carlsbad, CA

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