Silver Spring Residents Rally to Protect Black Children

Silver Spring area residents marched from East Silver Spring Elementary School to the Silver Spring Civic Center March 21 to send a message to Montgomery County officials that they must protect Black children. Several councilmembers, state delegates and community leaders addressed the crowd.

The protesters zeroed in on a Jan. 14, 2020 incident in which an East Silver Spring kindergarten student, who had walked away from his school was found by Montgomery County police officers. Silver Spring Justice Coalition members say the officers verbally abused the child as he cried. Coalition members are asking that the police release body camera footage of the incident and the results of any investigation.

(Photos courtesy Karen Caplan)

Councilmember Will Jawando addressed the crowd, vowing, “I am here to say, next year there will not be police in our schools.” He also urged police to release information on the incident with the kindergartner, stating, “You can’t have justice without transparency.”

Councilmember Hans Riemer said the county must never give up on a child. Rather than police in schools, schools must “instead use counselors, coaches and all adults to treat children with respect, and believe in them, and never give up on them.”

He added, “I know we are not there. The school system does not yet understand that, and the county government and the police department do not yet understand.” However, he added, he and Jawando will continue to fight to end the student resource officer program.

Del. Gabriel Acevero (District 39) also spoke, urging the crowd to “stand in solidarity with each other.”

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