RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Students protested downtown on Friday in favor of the removal of student resource officers in schools.

It’s the first protest held by the Wake County Black Student Coalition. The group recently formed to support black students in Wake County.

“It really is up to us because we are the future leaders coming up. Most of the kids in my grade for this upcoming election, they’ll be eligible to vote, you know, that’s a huge part of it as well,” said organizer Victoria Smith, who’s a student at Enloe High School.

Smith and student Yakob Lenna are the founders.

“I was like I’m with it 100%,” said Lenna, who’s also a student at Enloe High.

They protested with the message Black Students Matter.

They want to see student resource officers replaced with social workers or therapists.

Organizers think that would provide more support and comfort in the school system.

“As young people, we need that love. We need to go to school feeling loved. We need this in order to develop into strong people,” said Lenna.

Raleigh police blocked off parts of Hillsborough and Salisbury Streets for the group. Organizers told CBS 17 they didn’t coordinate that with them.

They say this is just the first of many events they’ll do.

“I’m not scared to use my voice, but I can’t imagine the thousands of other Black or LatinX students that are scared,” said Smith. 

They said they’re going to keep fighting for positive change.

“We’re the future leaders of America. Someone’s got to do it,” said Lenna.



Students also created a petition online to remove SROs in Wake County schools.

So far, it has more than 5,000 signatures.

We reached out to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the School District to get their response on this. We’ll let you know when we hear back.