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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Muslim students face harassment at Chico High: Walkout for cease-fire

Grace Stark
Students attend the walkout and stand together. One holds a sign that reads, “32 days 10,000 deaths this is genocide not war.”

Muslim Chico High school students were subject to bullying and harassment before the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7. Now, they fear it will be worse.

On Nov. 9, students from Chico high schools, Butte College and Chico State walked out of class to meet in front of Kendall Hall to show support for Palestine and demand a cease-fire in Gaza.

Two weeks after the walkout, Israel and Hamas have temporarily agreed to a four day cease-fire.

At the walkout, Muslim high school students expressed frustrations and concerns with how the school and fellow students were treating them.

Palestinian-American high school student Mohammad Saeidah said the principal of Chico High School told all teachers to mark students absent if they participated in the walkout. 

Saeidah said he felt “alone,” without the support of the school.

Saeidah said he came to the walkout to “educate” people. He said that teachers questioned him when he wore the Palestinian flag to school. 

“They assumed that I was wearing it for Hamas,” Saeidah said. “I was like ‘No, that’s for my country, I’m from there.’” 

Muslim Chico High School students Shandana and Ramzia, who requested The Orion only use their first names, shared they had been called “bombers,” by other students at school. Shandana relayed the experience saying, “It was humiliating.” 

Associated Students President Autumn Alaniz-Wiggins said it is important for student leaders to show up to events like this, but it is also something she personally cares about. 

Alaniz-Wiggins recently reverted to Islam and spent this past Ramadan with a Palestinian family. 

“They opened their arms to me, they fed me and they have taught me so much about love and compassion,” Alaniz-Wiggins said. 

Alaniz-Wiggins said she missed her global issues class to attend the walkout. Due to the global issue surrounding the walkout, she said she is “totally confident” her professor would understand. 

Butte College student, Jack Abdulaziz, shared a story about how his family had to evacuate their home in Syria due to Israeli missiles. 

“But it’s nothing compared to what every Palestinian has had to face in the last 75 years,” Abdulaziz said. 

The event was put on by SWANASA Advocates. The flyer for the event described the purpose of the event: “Demand a ceasefire and show solidarity for the 10,000 lives lost.” 

The current cease-fire will last for four days. Part of the deal involves Israel releasing 150 Palestinian prisoners for 50 Israeli hostages. Israel plans to resume fighting once the four days are over. 

Students read pages about Palestinian people who have died in the current war. (Grace Stark

Molly Myers and Grace Stark can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Molly Myers
Molly Myers, Managing Editor/Features Editor
Molly Myers is a transfer student from Palmdale, California. She is a journalism major also minoring in religious studies. Molly is Managing Editor at The Orion and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief. Her work is also published in Watershed Review. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories is her favorite part of being a journalist. Outside of The Orion she instructs yoga at the WREC and volunteers with the Torres Community Shelter.
Grace Stark
Grace Stark, News Editor
Grace Stark is a second-year majoring in journalism, news. She is from Loomis, a small town outside of Sacramento. This is her second semester on The Orion and she is excited to pursue her interests in writing and reporting as the news editor. Outside of school, Grace enjoys thrifting, reading, drawing and spending time with friends. She also has a small business online called Rings by Grace where she sells handmade spoon rings.

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    Antonio L. Garcia // Nov 26, 2023 at 9:09 pm

    Okay, and what about all of the Israelis that got butchered? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Palestinians ELECT Hamas into power?