Peace march in Groveport

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
About 30 people held a peace march down Groveport’s Main Street from Kroger to the Groveport Recreation Center on May 22 to draw attention to racial issues concerning civil rights, police, and school concerns.

The third protest march in less than a year was held in Groveport on May 22.

About 30 people participated in a peace march down Groveport’s Main Street from Kroger to the Groveport Recreation Center to draw attention to racial issues concerning civil rights, police, and school concerns. In June 2020, a Black Lives Matter protest march in Groveport drew around 200 participants and another one held in August 2020 attracted about 20 participants. In addition to these marches, there was a pro-police Back the Blue march along Main Street in October 2020 with about 80 participants.

When asked why the May 22 march was held in Groveport, organizer Pastor Kelsey Crenshaw said, “I always start where God leads me and he leads me here. Groveport is a good town and a good community. But even if there is just one instance of racism it needs addressed. I don’t like divisions and here it is 2021 and we are still dealing with race issues.”

Crenshaw said the May 22 march sought to bring attention to the schools.

“It’s about the children and the minority community,” said Crenshaw. “We need to help our own community. We want kids to have a voice and we want to make changes for their benefit. Change starts right here, right now. Let’s move forward.”

Groveport Madison High School teacher Anna Marie DeVault, who participated in the march, said efforts are underway to start a program called, “Let’s Talk About It,” to help bring minority adult counselors in to the schools to speak with minority students about problems the kids are facing.

“It gives students an opportunity to speak with counselors who look like them,” said DeVault, who added 175 students have already signed up for such counseling during their lunch breaks and the hope is to meet with the students at least once a month.

She noted that, while minority students make up the largest portion of the student body in Groveport Madison Schools, the teaching and counseling staff is primarily Caucasian.

According to Groveport Madison Schools’ 2020 annual report, 44 percent of the students in its schools are African-American, 37 percent are Caucasian, 9 percent are Hispanic, 8 percent are multi-racial, and 2 percent are Asian. In comparison, 95 percent of the district’s staff is Caucasian and 4 percent is African-American.

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