Many supporting teen arrested at Wake board meeting

Seth Keel
August 11, 2010 9:24:10 PM PDT
A Middle Creek High School student who was arrested during a protest at a Wake County school board meeting Tuesday says he was just standing up for what he believes in.During his speech that bashed the Wake school board for ending its diversity policy, 16-year-old Seth Keel was joined by two friends and three women who linked arms.

Keel began to cry when he refused to sit as the board chair ordered and he was led away in handcuffs by Raleigh police.

Keel says he's not with the NAACP, but was inspired by them to take a similar stance at the Wake County school board meeting, doing whatever it takes to get the board to reinstate its diversity policy.

"Diversity is something that isn't just important to the minorities in Wake County, it's important to all of the students," he said. "There's a feeling that I have that the school board isn't listening to the students or the parents so I thought it was necessary to do what we did."

The half-a-dozen who were arrested will face a judge in the coming days on second-degree trespassing charges.

Keel and his mother - who learned of the arrest through friends who saw her son on TV - both say they thought about how a trespassing charge may impact his future.

"For this, I think the justification and basically the civil disobedience is something that I believe he has a right to do," Keel's mother Jill Hinton said. "I think if anything be an asset for him in the future as far as where he wants to go and what he wants to do since he's willing to stand up for what he believes in."

His mother isn't the only one by his side; friends have been congratulating him for standing up for what he feels is right.

Keel says he probably won't be at another board meeting since he's not allowed back in the building, but say don't be surprised to see some of his friends there even with only one public meeting a month.

"The goal is to get more students involved," he said. "More protests in the future more demonstrations are going to come."

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