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Detroit high school students rally in support of affirmative action

Virginia Gordan

More than 100 Detroit high school students rallied in support of affirmative action at the University of Michigan today.

The protest was organized by the group, By Any Means Necessary, whose case challenging Proposal Two was combined with another and argued at the U.S. Supreme Court on October 15.  The voter-approved amendment banned affirmative action in public university admissions in Michigan.

Nakia Wallace goes to Cass Technical High School in Detroit. She says affirmative action in university admissions is crucial to students like herself. 

"To me, it means that the students who I see working hard every day -- breaking their backs -- that they actually get an opportunity and a chance to be at universities like the University of Michigan. That we're not doing all this hard work and we don't even have a shot," she said.

She and other protesters say that Detroit students are disadvantaged by lack of resources.

"I myself am a minority from Detroit," said Dechey Kearse, a student at Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern High School. "I know how differently we are treated. How schools in predominantly white neighborhoods have better teachers than us, better technology."

She said in some of her classes there are not even enough books for students to take them home to do their work. 

What she and others want is a fair shot at a good college education.

- Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom