When the events of last Thursday come to mind, most recall the massive protest march held in Jena. However, kindergarten and first grade students at Alma J. Brown Elementary will always remember the day they marched for equality.The children marched in protest of the imprisonment of Mychal Bell, and the seemingly racial bias shown toward Blacks in the small Louisiana town. Though they didn’t travel far (they only circled their playground), their statement was felt with great emotion.
Before marching, the students were taught about racism. They also learned about the events surrounding the “Jena 6” and their arrest. After the lesson, the school children made signs and prepared to march in support of the six young men who were charged with attempted murder after a schoolyard fight.
When asked about the purpose of the march, Rhonda Jones, Jr., a teacher at Alma J. Brown Elementary, said, “It is our goal as educators not to teach academics, but the whole individual. History will always be a part of us all and we must help our children become more knowledgeable of the world around us by being involved and the students will remember it.”
While the children were marching for equality, Teachers took time to tell the kids about the reasons for their march once again. They even had a replica noose and explained why it is such a symbol of racism.
They also allowed the children to carry chains and shackles. The point of the entire exercise was to educate the youngest people on Grambling’s campus about the pains of racism, and the dangers of ignoring it.