Hundreds march in Durham seeking to remove resource officers from schools

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Young people took to the streets of Durham Saturday hoping to change the state of policing within their schools.

Hundreds of students and supporters marched peacefully from Durham Public School Headquarters to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office calling for school resource officers to be removed from Durham Public Schools.

Aissa Dearing helped organize the demonstration called March for Black Students. Hundreds of her peers took to the streets, asking for nurses, social workers and therapists to replace resource officers at schools.

“I’ve seen students that look like me handcuffed, thrown on police cars and taken downtown. That’s not only a traumatic experience for them, but that’s a traumatic experience to see,” said Dearing, JDC Early College High School Graduate.

Even teachers like Travis Jones marched alongside his students to promote a safer learning environment.

“We have to reimagine what it is to go to school. When you have 17-, 16-, 15-year-old students saying ‘I don’t feel safe when this man with a gun and a taser is walking by me while I’m at school,’ well that’s telling,” said Jones, a history teacher.

The large demonstration also attracted a Durham School Resource Officer hoping to continue the conversation.

“It’s really hard to come here as an officer and listen. So I’m coming as Joe Casta Durham resident and I’m listening to what people are saying,” said Joseph Costa, Durham County Sheriff’s Office deputy and school resource officer for Durham Public Schools.

Earlier this week, Durham Public Schools stood by their relationship with the sheriff’s office and their school resource officers.

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