Portland High School Students Rally Against Hate Today


Students in Front of Portland High School This Afternoon.

Students Circling Portland High School Today Chanting and Carrying Signs

Sheila Jepson, Principal at PHS,  With Student Leaders Kasper Wieder and Alex Frank Before the Rally This Afternoon. .

“All we see is peace, all we got is freedom,” were several of the chants shouted by students at Portland High School at a rally on the front steps of the Cumberland Avenue School this afternoon.

Students were released from school today at 2:15 pm.  If they wished, they could participate in a “wrap around the building” rally in support of black students who were subjected to a hate crime  last month at Casco Bay High School.

At 2:15, students left the high school through four separate doors; including the front door, two side doors and the back door. They  walked around the building several times before meeting on the front steps on a cold day.   That’s when the chanting began.

“We are supporting friends at Casco Bay High School.  It’s a joint effort at the District level, building level and with student leaders,” said Sheila Jepson, principal of Portland High School just prior to the rally.   “I think it’s good for students to get involved in social  events and start to develop opinions for when they are older,” said Alex Frank, who is a senior and on the student council.  (See Below Photo.)

“It’s just so heartening to have a community like Portland that embraces all people.  I’m just glad I get to work here,” said Sharon Pray, Chief Academic Officer for the District.

Meanwhile, the police department announced that Jamie Hoffman, 21, was arrested today for a threatening incident on Friday, January 27, 2017.  A group of black students from Casco Bay High School were threatened while waiting for a bus after school.  The case has been forwarded to the Maine Attorney General for possible action under the Maine Civil Rights Act.

According to the press release, citizen witnesses came forward with invaluable information that helped detectives identify Hoffman.