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Seaman High School students on Friday protested the school board's decision to keep the school name but remove references to its namesake, Fred Seaman, who was a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. Media wasn't allowed inside the school.

Seaman High School students on Friday protested the school board’s decision to keep the school name but remove references to its namesake, Fred Seaman, who was a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. Media wasn’t allowed inside the school.

Seaman High School students rallied Friday afternoon in the school’s common area during a passing period wearing red shirts reading, “same history, stronger future.”

The students were protesting the Seaman Unified School District 345 school board decision to pass a resolution to keep the name but remove all references to the namesake himself.

More: Seaman school board members tried to compromise. That’s why they fell short of doing the right thing.

The hashtag #redagainstfred was used to organize other students, schools and community members to garner support for the movement.

Students in support of renaming the school district gather in the freshman commons. They stood peacefully, interlocking arms, and wearing red.

Students in support of renaming the school district gather in the freshman commons. They stood peacefully, interlocking arms, and wearing red.

Two students interlock their hands and wear red shirts. Sophomore Kate Eckert, featured on the left, stated, “I think it was a show of solidarity between the students that still think this is an issue that matters.”

Two students interlock their hands and wear red shirts. Sophomore Kate Eckert, featured on the left, stated, “I think it was a show of solidarity between the students that still think this is an issue that matters.”

The organizing group, Rename USD 345 Schools, released this statement: “The Rename USD 345 Schools Organization appreciates the Seaman Board of Education’s recent resolution to disassociate with our district’s namesake and applaud its pledge to create a more inclusive environment in our schools. Just as it’s impossible to erase history, however, we believe it’s impossible to separate the Seaman name from that of the Ku Klux Klan leader who founded our district. So today, we join together peacefully to again urge the board to rename USD 345 in keeping with the districts’ mission to foster student success in a caring and responsive culture.

“We stand strong together and will continue our efforts until BIPOC and other minority students in USD 345 are valued and must never again display the name Seaman. Efforts to intimidate students, educators and community members who support our cause — similar to tactics used by Fred A. Seaman and his fellow klansmen in the 1920s to silence those who did not follow their ideologies — will not deter us. Targeted bullying is not tolerated among USD 345 students, nor will it be accepted from adults in the community. If you try to silence us, we will only get louder. #vikingstrong.”

More: Educator, community icon and KKK leader: Who was Fred Seaman?

Media wasn’t allowed in the school to see the protest.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Seaman students protest KKK namesake using hashtag #redagainstfred

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