Garland ISD

Teachers Line Garland Highway in Support of Black Students

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Elaine Blacker and Robert Navarro love inspiring their students through art and physical education at Weaver Elementary School in Garland.   

As they’ve watched the nation struggle with race relations  Blacker and Navarro said they knew it was a problem for their students as well.

"Our older students are starting to realize what racism is, and they’re starting to know what it’s like outside of our school," Navarro said. "It’s important to let them know where we stand."

More people are sitting down to talk about race relations in America, and now teachers are getting into the mix. Educators from various schools and districts gathered in Garland to show support for black students and encourage other educators to do the same.

Educators braved the hot summer sun and COVID-19 concerns to stand on State Highway 78 and say, "We love and support our students of color."

"I’ve told my students they need to be proud no matter what language they speak, no matter what color their skin is. They need to stand up proud, no longer hide, but be proud," teacher Andrea Lozano said.

Racism is an uncomfortable conversation for many adults. Could teachers really expect to talk about it with students?

"I don’t think I’ve experienced it, but other people have. My friends and all, I don’t think it was right and someone has to fix this," 10 year-old Fallon Whitmore said.

Mother Kay Warner drove by, saw the teachers standing on the highway and pulled over to ask how she could support them.

"I wish my kids were with me, so they could see what’s going on and how their teachers are coming together. It's very important," Warner said.

The physical signs they held were creative and had the marks of educators with science and math terms mixed in. They hoped all this was another sign, not just that their classrooms would be a safe space to talk about injustice to black people, but to let other schools know it’s OK to do the same.

"As a white teacher, I feel a responsibility to let other white teachers, and community know it’s OK to stand up, and show your support.It does not mean you are anti-police," Blacker said. "It may start with teachers on a sidewalk, but hopefully it can make a difference. "

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