At least 2,000 Seattle teachers sported Black Lives Matter shirts at schools across the city Wednesday as part of several rallies under the banner of “Black Lives Matter at School” in order to push for racial justice in education in the United States.
The purpose of the day was to affirm that “Black lives matter in the public schools,” according to organizers, who are members of Social Equality Educators, a group of educators within the Seattle teachers union, The Seattle Times reported.
Teacher Diana Romero told the newspaper she decided to wear a shirt “to support our Black brothers and sisters in support for justice.” She added that as a Latina she had herself witnessed unfair treatment and abuse against members of her community by the police.
In addition to saying “Black Lives Matter” the shirts also made reference to Sandra Bland, the Black activist who was killed in police custody in Texas last year, by saying “#sayhername” which people used on social media to protest her death.
Other teachers wore said “Black Lives Matter” and “We Stand Together” T-shirts with an image of a tree. Rallies in some schools saw students and teachers as well as other staff holding banners and signs against police brutality and calling for racial justice in the country.
The rallies were not organized by the official school district. However, the rally coincided with Seattle Public Schools’ “day of unity,” also aimed at bringing more attention to racial equity in education.
The district said in a statement that it had asked students, family, staff and community members to “engage and join the conversation in our united efforts to eliminate opportunity gaps.”
Black Student Union was also part of the organizers of the rallies and its president, Precious Manning, said the gatherings and shirts represented several schools coming together in solidarity, according to The Seattle Times. “Black Lives Matter means making sure everyone is included,” she was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The news comes amid a national debate in the country about racial injustice, racism and police brutality following several high-profile killings of Black people at the hands of white officers.
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