On Friday, a large continent of Black students walked out of North Star Academy, a high-scoring no-excuses charter school in Newark, New Jersey. The students were protesting the mistreatment of Black students and teachers.

Chalkbeat reports:

Hundreds of students walked out of a Newark charter school and rallied outside City Hall on Friday to call attention to what students said is the frequent mistreatment of Black students and faculty.

Around 9 a.m., students began streaming out of the Lincoln Park High School campus of North Star Academy, which is New Jersey’s largest charter school operator with more than 6,000 students in Newark and Camden. After marching from the Central Ward campus to nearby City Hall, student organizers and a former teacher gave speeches about a culture of anti-Blackness they said pervades the school, while scores of students cheered and waved signs.

“We’re tired and we’ve been fed up,” 12th grader Kwadjo Otoo called out from the steps of the historic building, adding that some Black teachers and students continue to feel disrespected despite efforts by the charter operator’s leadership to address complaintsabout the schools. “Now they’re trying to pretend like something changed, but we know it’s the same school we’ve been going to forever now.”

Several students said multiple Black teachers over the years have left the school, which the students said is because the teachers felt overworked and undervalued. When well-liked Black teachers depart, their absence can leave students feeling isolated, they said.

“It’s very upsetting for us to build bonds with our teachers, to build relationships and connect,” said L. Drummond, a senior at the Lincoln Park campus, “and then see them chased out by the school.”

The school went into lockdown during the protest, and students who left were not allowed back in after they returned from City Hall. Locked out of school, the students began to disperse around 10:30 a.m.; some said they planned to walk home while others set out for a different North Star campus downtown.