March shows desire for student voice in school merger - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

March shows desire for student voice in school merger

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - As tensions flair in the Memphis and Shelby County school merger fight, students are now letting their voices be heard. More than 1,000 marchers joined Saturday's Student Responsibility March.

Many students were seen wearing "I Am the Future" T-shirts and boldly displayed their schools' banners as they showed their desire to be an active part of their education.

"We each have our own place in history, but it's our job to make our own and pave the way for others," said Westwood High School student Martavius Donton.

In the march, the National Civil Rights Museum organized a 1.5 mile stretch from Memphis City Hall to the museum courtyard.

"I came out here to support that we are the future," said Westwood High School student Dontavius Reed.

The Student Responsibility March mirrored the Birmingham March of 1963 to stop segregation.

"Usually, we just hear the parents and teachers and adults standing up for themselves, but I feel the community wants to hear the students," said Northside Alternative School student Jasmine Smith.

Students said the platform allowed their own message to be heard.

"This march was a demonstration to the community and a commitment by young people to ensure a great education," said NCRM Director of Education Barbara Andrews.

Some students created the website MemphisYouthManifesto.com to continue the dialogue.

"One thing I would just say is to be strong and to make your own change, not wait on people to make a change for you and with your school system," said Soulsville Charter School student Jhrui Robinson.

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