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'Demanding Equality In Each School': Pittsburgh Public Schools Leaders Hold Peaceful March And Protest

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Hundreds of Pittsburgh Public School employees and students joined the growing movement of calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism with a march through Pittsburgh Monday morning.

It kicked off the 10th day of protests in the Pittsburgh area after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody.

The march was two miles long. It started at Pittsburgh Sterrett 6-8 on Reynolds Street, going though Point Breeze and into Squirrel Hill, then ended at Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 on Beechwood Boulevard.

It began at 8:46 a.m. to represent the eight minutes and 46 seconds that Floyd was on the ground in police custody before he died.

"We're demanding to see equality in each school, in each student being treated the same," Colfax principal Dr. Tamara Sanders-Woods said.

Dr. Sanders-Woods and Sterrett 6-8 principal Dr. Michele Holly decided something had to be done after the recent deaths of Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. It started as just their schools, and then spread to the entire school system.

"We're not in it alone. It affects all of us," said Dr. Holly.

For Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet, this March hits close to home being a black man with a black son. He says today is a step to start change.

"Make sure that we begin to tolerate each other in a better way," he said.

Dr. Holly and Dr. Sanders-Woods say we need to live by 'see something, say something,' and hold each other accountable. They say it may not be easy, but these hard conversations are necessary to stop some of the issues plaguing society.

"It is pointing out racist people. Pointing out racist systems," Dr. Sanders-Woods said.

"Not being afraid to talk about the issues. Not being afraid to have those difficult conversations with your colleagues," Dr. Holly said.

Educators say Monday's march is just the beginning and they need to work these ideas and discussions into the classroom.

Dr. Hamlet says he wants to create spaces to address racism with students.

"Talking about how we can get along with each other and understanding other cultures. I think we can put a dent in this racism problem," he said.


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