FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The Banner School in Frederick, Maryland wanted to honor the life and messages of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as they held their March for Unity where students marched around campus holding signs with slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” and “I have a dream.”
Jameson McClintock and Leo Arrellano are first graders at The Banner School. They believe that MLK Day should be about caring for each other as Dr. King did.
McClintock explained that Dr. King fought for equality and Arrellano echoed that by stating that Dr. King wanted peace.
“Because he made black and white people be able to be together,” McClintock stated. When asked why desegregation is important he replied, “Because if you don’t… If he didn’t, then black people wouldn’t be treated right.”
Dena Zook-Howell is the head of The Banner School and wanted to encourage her students to voice their messages while being COVID-safe and peaceful.
“This year it just seemed so much more poignant, you know his legacy, because you know we have had a lot of violence. There have been protests that have not been peaceful,” Zook-Howell stated. She went on to explain that she wants her students to learn how to be engaged citizens.
“We don’t want them to think that being peaceful means being on the sidelines or being bystanders, or God forbid, being apathetic,” Zook-Howell explained. “But we also want them to know that there’s a way to be involved and a way to be engaged and that way is always non-violence.”
Students from pre-school through 8th grade participated in the march. Each grade had different signs or projects that were made for the march. Pre-school students made paper-bag puppets of Dr. King while fourth-grade students made collages from pieces colored by their classmates. Seventh and eighth-grade students were able to make posters and signs with slogans and other messages of peace.
Amina Ramsoondar is a seventh-grader who wrote a quote from Mahatma Gandhi on her sign. She believes that Ghandi and MLK have similar viewpoints about peace.
“I believe that Ghandi, who wrote this quote was all about peace,” Ramsoondar explained. “He really was passionate that non-violence is the only way to solve social injustice and that is what we are trying to do today.”
Fourth-grader Tess Locke believes that peaceful actions at protests are the only way to resolve issues. She explained that violence is often met with violence and this could prevent resolutions.
Fourth grader Zach Pesin believes that MLK Day should be a day of peace.
“It means that everyone is peaceful and everyone has equal rights because he made people that are black and white all equal,” Pesin stated.
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