Educators lead demonstrations for equality in metro-Detroit

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Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 18:10:51-04

(WXYZ) — Many educators say they have seen inequality in opportunity in our schools in Michigan and all too often the disparities fall along racial lines. As a result they say they feel obligated to take a stand right now calling for changes to ensure there is racial justice.

In Novi, on Friday afternoon more than one hundred teachers stood with signs in front of Novi High School.

“I teach first grade and we are constantly telling our students to stand up, help out their friends, be kind. It is really important we lead by example,” said Rebecca Hofbauer, the Novi teacher who organized the “Educators for Equality” demonstration.

She said as she and other teachers talked about content to share with students as they incorporated current events into the curriculum, they wanted to send the message to students that they care about each and every one of them and will fight racism.

“We believe we should educate love not hate,” said Erikka Jenkins, a Novi teacher.

Students from the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences also led a march down Jefferson Avenue in Detroit on Friday. Some carried signs with the words “One Nation Under a Groove” in honor of the Funkadelic song their choir sang in a viral video.

They named the march the “One Nation March “in its honor, with the goal of uniting.

“Hopefully get the word out and inspire people to be greater and have a peaceful day and a peaceful march,” said King of Kings Bethem, a student now in the ninth grade.

The CEO of the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences says it is important for schools to be a part of the movement against systemic racism. Disparities in opportunity all too often are seen along racial lines in schools.

“That’s where it starts. With the school. Everyone talks about the school to prison pipeline. It is so important our children are educated. And there is a lot of inequalities that exist in education. And so no doubt, when we talk about equality and social justice education is at the top of the list,” said Maurice Morton, CEO of DAAS.