Youth led rally held in Dallas to discuss police brutality with with local leaders

Students, from elementary school to high school, led a rally in Dallas Saturday in response to police brutality.

The kids gathered in South Dallas to fight for changes inside their schools.

Some people may not believe an 8-year old really understands what racism feels like, but Sofia Bryant said her awareness has amplified in recent weeks.

“I haven’t felt that great because it’s not really good to be racist,” Bryant said.

She explained her reaction to the video of George Floyd being killed.

“I thought it was just like fake, but when I saw it on the news I thought, ‘Oh, this is real. Racism is coming back to life.’”

Bryant and a group of Dallas ISD students — some who are much older than Bryant — participated in a rally at the MLK Community Center in South Dallas Saturday morning.

Bryant’s father, Randall Bryant, believes changes need to happen inside schools.

“Justice is going to be in our policies,” he said.

Students put together a list of demands for State Representative Lorraine Birabil, Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua, and Dallas ISD Trustee President Justin Henry. It included hiring qualified advisors of color dedicated to black students and defunding Dallas ISD police to finance other programs.

“I mean, we don’t want to be policing our schools. We don’t want them to feel like they’re being policed or they’re uncomfortable or they’re being oppressed within our school,” Henry said.

Henry said data suggests black children are undereducated and over-disciplined.

“If you look at the data, we’re performing at a lower level than other students,” he explained. “If you look at who’s getting put in in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension or getting diagnosed with disabilities A, B, and C, it’s black children at a disproportionate amount as opposed to other children.”

One former educator said the problem will be solved when all backgrounds come to the table.

“And that equity requires sacrifice and that we need to do the work to make that possible and that Black Lives Matter,” Courtney Fadley said.

Some said it’s scary times for our youth.

“Like, sugarcoating exactly what’s going on right now isn’t protecting them,” Zalorious Birks said.

A bit too scary for Birks, a recent high school graduate.

“It makes me not want to have a kid, honestly,” Birks said.

But Sofia Bryant said there’s still a fight to believe in.

“It makes me feel a little worried about myself and other black people,” she said. “I think it’s very important to teach everybody about racism.”