The movement against sexual assault within SFUSD high schools skyrocketed after a protest that took place at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts on November 2nd, 2021. 

From that day forward, over 15 high schools across San Francisco and the Bay Area in general walked out against the rape culture within their school communities. My name is Daniela Oropeza and I was the main organizer for the first protests that took place at Ruth Asawa SOTA. 

On Nov. 1, I put up posters around our campus saying “Get the abusers off campus!!!” I did this because my friends had been telling me for years how they have felt unsafe on campus. I don’t have to go to school with my abusers so I hold a lot of privilege within not having to see them on a day to day basis. 

Courtesy: Daniela Oropeza

Many students and I have had countless conversations with our administrators and teachers regarding this issue as well as other issues pertaining to privilege, lack of support for POC & BIPOC students, entitlement, etc. It had gotten to a point where everyone had enough. I decided to do something with the privilege and power I have. So I put up those posters after years of built up frustration. 

I organized a protest the next day to create an opportunity for more survivors of color to see that their experiences matter and so do their voices. My friend and I drafted the demands the night before. My friend was at the protests stating our list of demands. The superintendent of the SFUSD also was scheduled to visit our campus on Nov. 2 so a group of students decided to approach them and hold them accountable. 

I have dedicated my time and my energy along with many others, to uplift our community’s voices and other minority voices. It wasn’t too long after the first two weeks of November full of walkouts throughout the Bay Area that the movement started by POC, BIPOC, and queer people had been overpowered by cis-gender white women. It’s one of the only issues that impacts them so naturally, they colonize the conversation. 

Daniela Oropeza

There was an SFUSD wide walkout that was “led” by students throughout SFUSD high schools, but it was truly led by one of the many white saviors at SOTA. This walkout took place on December 10th, 2021. The person who took over the movement entirely was covered in an incredibly inaccurate and problematic article about the SFUSD wide walkout. 

This article was published on March 10, 2022. 

This was a prime example of how white women profit off of the efforts of people of color and then are highlighted and praised for it. This is also a prime example of how writers can profit off of POC & BIPOC efforts. Even to the point where they take a photo of a black woman, edit it, take out the color of her skin, and make the photo of her black and white. 

This movement has been so effective because of myself and thousands of other students of color throughout the SFUSD who have continued to resist against rape culture within our schools. We cannot talk about rape culture without looking at this issue through an intersectional lens and addressing our own personal privileges. 

Students have resisted in schools whose foundations were not built to protect us or keep us safe (POC & BIPOC survivors). We are changing that. But now, that the white women have gotten involved and taken over it’s getting attention. POC & BIPOC have been fighting. We’ve been resisting. 

And as I stated on November 1st, 2021, this is not over, there’s more coming.