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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Columbus City Schools teachers join in protests at Ohio Statehouse

The teachers say educators have a duty to stand up for their students.

For the eighth day, protesters returned to the lawn of the Ohio Statehouse, demanding change.

"We're not going to do it with violence," said a woman leading the crowd. "We're going to do it with peace. and kindness."

The bullhorn was then turned over to the youngest in the crowd.

Small school children each took a turn leading the chant, "Black Lives Matter."

Cheering on the children whose futures depend on the history unfolding there, were dozens of Columbus City Schools teachers.

"They need to know that we support them, they need to know that white teachers support them, they need to know that we understand their story. And I think it's important that we all come out to do this- in peace," said teacher Linda Key.

She said teachers have a special duty to stand up for justice.

"Every teacher, every educator, needs to understand that this is something important to all education, that you can't teach urban kids unless you have some sympathy and understanding. And I think it's important some people come out for, if nothing else, to listen and participate and learn. Because not everybody understands."

Teacher Cheyenne Harman says she has seen and heard this pain in her classroom.

"It is heartbreaking. But I am fully aware and tuned in and ready for the change. It is part of the reason I am a teacher and I serve the communities that I do. Because that's what's right."

They see themselves as first responders for our children.

And as such, say this is a fight they must be part of.

"I really have a lot of hope in this next generation, but I think it's up to us to expose and be honest about what's happened if we really want to see some changes," said Key.

"We hear them," said Harman. "We hear you, and we love you, and we are listening. And we are ready. We are ready to make that change."