Decatur High School students visiting State Capitol to address Confederate Monuments
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This story has been updated.
On March 7, student organizers from Decatur High School will go from downtown Decatur to the Georgia Capitol in support of legislation that would allow communities to remove Confederate monuments.
According to a press release from the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, a local group supporting the students, the students will meet with legislators beforeobserving the General Assembly. The students are going in support of House Bill 175 and Senate Bill 51 but in opposition to Senate Bill 77.
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The first two bills would enable the removal of Confederate monuments. The first bill would remove the protected status of the monuments, and the second would allow local governments to take them down.
On the other hand, Senate Bill 77 would protect Confederate monuments by increasing penalties against people who damage monuments.
In the Georgia Legislature, Crossover Day is March 7, the last day for bills to “pass over” from one chamber to another. The students will go to the state Legislature to discuss the pending bills.
At 6 p.m., the students will meet at the Confederate monument in downtown Decatur in front of the city courthouse at 101 E. Court Square. From there, students and adult chaperones from Beacon Hill and Hate Free Decatur, another local organization, will travel by MARTA to go to the Capitol.
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“By taking the initiative to go to the State Capitol as young leaders, it sends the message of resilience and persistence that is necessary in any call to action,” Kenya Oliver, a senior at Decatur High School attending the event, said. “Our commitment to visiting the capitol not only emphasizes the impact our community has on us, but our desire to change our own communities.”
Paul McLennan, one of the adult organizers and co-chair of Beacon Hill’s Confederate Monument Removal Committee, wants community members to support the students and their message.
“Youth and students have historically played a leading role in building movements to overcome oppression and charting new directions forward,” McLennan said. “Please come out and support these young people as we work to rid our communities of these symbols of hate and white supremacy.”
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