A 17-year-old student who wrote an anti-illegal immigration column in his school newspaper was targeted by a radical Hispanic group that sponsored a protest where students marched through campus behind a Mexican flag.
Trent Demarest of Corvallis High School in Corvallis, Ore., tells WND he decided to make his last column of the school year about what he considers one of the most important public-policy issues facing the U.S.: illegal immigration.
“It wasn’t the first time I’ve written a controversial opinion piece,” Demarest said, “because I’m the only conservative on the high-school newspaper staff in a very liberal town.”
Demarest said he was taken aside by his faculty adviser the day after the column was published in the High-O-Scope newspaper.
“She told me: ‘There are a lot of people really upset about your article. I’ve gotten outraged e-mails from teachers and there are kids who want to beat you up,’“ Demarest explained.
Demarest said the first on-campus protest was organized by students, the leader of whom claimed the column included “racial slurs.” Many of those who protested, up to two-thirds, had not read the piece, Demarest says.
Demarest says the school paper has received many letters about the column, some from people “almost proud to be illegals.” He says he personally received letters from teachers who demanded he retract everything he wrote.
The teen, who plans to continue writing and editing for the paper next year as a senior, says he has had some anonymous threats, but nothing he is too worried about.
“Some have threatened to beat me up to the vice principal,” he told WND. “I don’t really care; it’s not like I’m scared or anything.”