About 75 students at La Follette High School walked out of class this morning, just after 9 AM. They’d spend more than two hours speaking about how they’ve been impacted by the shooting of Quadren Wilson.
Jayla Hogans is a member of the La Follette High Black Student Union. She says that one of the goals with the walkout is to demand more information.
“The man was shot five times and they won’t even tell us anything and that man is in jail. So really, we’re out here because we’re tired of people giving us the information they please instead of the full story. And that man does not deserve to be in jail while he is suffering in pain, so we’re out here so they can hear us,” Hogans says.
Law enforcement officials have not released many details about the February 3 arrest of Quadren Wilson, when police shot Wilson five times.
The operation involved at least 21 federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, including officers from the state Department of Criminal Investigations, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Madison Police Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol, and one warden from the Department of Natural Resources.
Wilson is now incarcerated in the Dane County Jail on a probation violation. Channel 27 reports that Wilson appeared in court this morning on a separate charge.
State law requires a third-party agency to investigate police shootings. Typically, that third party would be DCI; in this case, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. That’s because the Dane County Sheriff’s Office announced last Friday that two DCI Agents are the ones who shot Wilson.
Teyara, a junior at La Follette, organized today’s walkout. She says that the school has not talked about Wilson with the students.
“I’m here to fight for Quadren Wilson, who was shot five times in the back. I thought that it was very wrong and it needed to be brought up. Nobody has brought it up, barely anybody (here) knew about it, nobody’s talking about it in the schools, and that’s why I decided to put this on. I think that it’s very important for people to talk about it,” Teyara says.
Another issue at today’s walkout was the lack of staff and administration present. Students claim that the school’s one Black Assistant Principal Pf’anique Hill was asked to join the walkout, but opted not to due to the cold weather. La Follette High School could not be reached to verify this statement by airtime.
Hogans says that one thing they need to succeed is proper representation.
“I’ve been taught about Black people in one class this year. And it wasn’t even my history class! It was my AP Seminar class. What?” Hogans says.
The walkout was not just for students. Madison deacon John Brown was at the walkout today to show his support. He says that he is proud of the students for standing up for what they think is right.
“I think that we will go a long way with this one, because these youth right here are so solid on their history. I think this is a great moment right here towards change. I know a lot of them, too. I know a lot of their parents and I know a few who are participating to make a difference in our community. It’s amazing to see our kids rally up, and go further in education and their community, ” Brown says.
Brown says that he came out after hearing about the walkout from members of the Original Milwaukee Black Panthers, who were also in attendance to help organize the event. King Rick, member of the Black Panthers, says that the students have the full support of the Black Panthers.
“I bless you, I’ve got your back, the Original Black Panthers got your back. It’s your world,” King Rick says.
After a short march across school grounds, the rally ended just before noon today.
Additional reporting by Greg Geboski.
Photo courtesy: Nate Wegehaupt / WORT News Team