May 11, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Students from Several Jeffco High Schools Plan Mass Walkout in Response to the Leaked Draft from the Supreme Court of the United States and its Intention to Overturn Roe vs. Wade
In only 24 hours, plans for a student-led walkout in response to the leaked draft of the SCOTUS decision to repeal Roe vs. Wade authored by Justice Alito have spread across social media. While activists and organizations have put together several local rallies and marches, this will be the first response seen from the group of people in the Denver metro area who will arguably be most impacted by this decision, our youth who are facing the reality of being the first to have to navigate a world without Roe vs. Wade since 1973.
This effort started with Leah P. (She/Her), a senior at Green Mountain High School who felt compelled to do something to bring attention to those whose voices are unheard. When asked about her motivation to organize her fellow students, Leah had this to say:
“I wanted to do this because my rights as an American have been threatened. Our world needs to be safe for everyone and we need reproductive health care for all people, no matter their race, sexuality, gender identity, or zip code. I see this as a time to band together and show our support. The youth of this country are strong and only in unison can we show our strength and resistance.”
Due to the vitriol and hate around the conversation of reproductive justice and abortion rights, Leah was hesitant to take this on despite the importance and enlisted the help of her friend and local activist August Caudill (They/Them), who is a freshman at Green Mountain and has some experience in organizing efforts. The two friends came together and sorted out details, made plans, and are now watching their idea spread to other schools. August said:
“I’m doing this because we have to, sadly. Unfortunately, we will be the first generation in decades to have to have face a country without Roe vs. Wade and the protection it provided to those needing access to reproductive health care, including abortions. I am so proud of my friend Leah for leading this effort, but I’m sad and disappointed that it’s come to this.”
As news of the walkout gained traction with their peers through social media and the handing out of flyers, Golden High School and Lakewood High School are joining efforts and organizing walkouts and possibly more. Rachel Volek (She/They) is a sophomore at Golden and once the digital flier was shared with her she jumped at the opportunity to organize her friends and fellow students. While there is some excitement for the civic engagement, Rachel too expressed disappointment at those in power and said:
“This is not just about women’s rights, it is human rights. We have a responsibility to fight back and I would do the same for any human having their rights revoked.”
The students have taken care to ensure they have identified meeting places (at Green Mountain it will be at the flag pole), marching routes, and will have specific asks for action to continue to fight back against this attack on reproductive health care, like contacting Colorado’s senators and registering to vote.