TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa students walked out of class Thursday a few hours ahead of the scheduled execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones.
Booker T. Washington High School and East Central High School students, along with other schools, were among those who walked out in support of Jones, about an hour after Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted his death sentence.
Jones had been scheduled to be killed in McAlester at 4 p.m. before Gov. Kevin Stitt chose to commute his sentence to life in prison without parole.
MORE >>> EXECUTION STOPPED: Julius Jones death sentence commuted, will serve life in prison
They held signs and chanted as they called for justice for Julius Jones.
“Julius Jones is from Oklahoma. He’s a black man just like me,” said Christian Davis, a junior at Booker T Washington. “So it kind of just struck something in my heart. Because if this were me, I would want someone to do the same. I would want someone to raise awareness for me. I would want someone to fight on my behalf when I cannot.”
After gathering on the football field, students walked around to the front of the school. Nearly the entire student body giving their support.
“Almost every student came out,” Davis said. “And I don’t know, it just fills my heart to know we might not have to deal with some of these same issues when we all grow up and become in positions of power and things like that. It just gives me hope.”
It wasn’t just Booker T students walking out. Others, including students at East Central High School also walked around their football fields. These walkouts were organized by a group of Booker T students, who contacted other students all across the metro.
“We messaged everybody else from other schools and their student bodies,” said Alexis Gomez, a senior at Booker T Washington. “And we just wanted to make sure that everybody in Tulsa was on board with this because it was not ever going to be okay with any of us to take away somebody’s life.”
Not only showing support for Julius Jones, but also protesting the death penalty.
“It shouldn’t ever be considered to take someone’s life away,” Gomez said. “No matter if they’re guilty or not. And we want to make sure that in the future, this isn’t something we’re going to have to do in 30 years from now.”
Students at Oklahoma City-area schools walked out Wednesday in support of Jones.
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