FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – The demands for justice for George Floyd echoed loudly on the streets of Fairborn Thursday. The crowd gathered Thursday afternoon outside the Fairborn library and made several laps around the downtown area as they marched peacefully for about two hours.
“My ancestors were slaves,” said Jaelynn Thomas, one of the protesters. “They marched on the street with Martin Luther King. And as this has unfolded, I felt it was my duty to stand up and speak out and not be quiet anymore.”
“We just really think that if you stay silent, you’re not doing your part, and you really need to be part of the change,” said Madison Ward, another protester.
Midway through the demonstration, a nine-minute moment of silence was held on the sidewalk.
“I started crying because me just sitting there for that nine minutes, that was deafening,” said Breawna Havens, a protester. “The silence was deafening.”
After the two-hour march, some of the protesters made their way to Fairborn High School for Thursday night’s school board meeting.
Earlier this week, school officials said they received complaints about comments a high school teacher made on social media.
“As a teacher, you should be advocating for all of your students, and you should be helping them,” Anya Tassy, a Fairborn High School alum and the organizer of Thursday’s protest, told the school board.
“We are asking our teachers, coaches and what not to live up to a higher standard,” said Chris Mustard, a parent.
School leaders say the teacher, who is also an assistant football coach, is on administrative leave pending an independent investigation.
“I do hear many, many students’ and community members’ frustration, and we will be addressing some things that we need to address on our end,” said Fairborn superintendent Gene Lolli.
The superintendent could not comment further on the investigation but says it will begin soon. He says it’s not clear how long it may take.
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