COS Community Standing Up for Black Lives Matter


Ashley Abbott, Social Media Editor

The Visalia and  COS community have taken part in protests and poster hanging to show support for all of the people of color that have had their lives unlawfully taken by law enforcement. This is just one small part of the well known movement reaching all corners of the U.S called Black lives Matter (BLM.)

Protests in support of the movement hit their peak in early June after the murder of George Floyd by (now ex)police officer, Derek Chauvin. Since then, BLM has become such an important issue here in Visalia in more ways than just protesting. 

At El Diamante High School, BLM posters have gone up and been ripped down countless times, letters have been written, and meetings held. In July COS partnered with Visalia Unified School District Administrator, Brandon Gridiron, to designate a free speech area for posters to freely hang right outside our campus. 

Not only has COS as a school started to show where they stand, but COS students have taken to the streets and to social media to take a stand for what they believe is right.

“I think that the movement has opened the eyes of the younger generations here at COS” says Junior Susi Tonga, who has participated in a protest and petition awareness as well as being vocal on her social media. “It’s pushing them to push the boundaries in this city and bring change along the way.”

Due to the fact that the Valley is one of the more conservative areas in California, supporters of BLM, including Susi, have faced their fair share of backlash. 

According to BLM, their message is one of inclusivity and resilience in the face of any and all discrimination. COS, under lead  of President Brent Calvin, has chosen to stand with BLM in support of inclusivity, equality, and of love and fairness for all no matter their color, size, sexuality, gender, race, or religion.