YouTube video

Some Berkeley High School students are spending the week protesting U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and showing their support for the women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

Last Thursday, when accuser Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh both testified in front of the Senate, “a lot of classes watched some of the hearing, and that brought up a lot of feelings,” said senior Madison Lease.

Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of putting his hand over her mouth and attempting to rape her when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the accusations.

Lease is co-president of the BHS Women’s Student Union, which held its own screening at lunch. Students couldn’t tear themselves away, so they moved to the library where they got approval from the administration to continue showing the hearing during class periods, she said.

This week, the club is collaborating with BHS Stop Harassing and other student groups to amplify the emotions and thoughts that arose during the hearing — in the form of a somber video, a phone-banking session and a group discussion moderated by a teacher.

“We wanted to do something before the [confirmation] vote, if we could make a difference,” Lease said.

Many students wore black Monday in solidarity with the accusers and all victims of sexual assault. In the video, shot and edited that day, the phrases “Stop Kavanaugh,” “I’m terrified,” and “We believe her” are written in thick black letters on their arms and hands.

“Survivors’ stories need to be believed,” says a girl in the video. Others share statistics about rape.

A male student says, “High school boys can be better than that.”

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...