CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds of young protesters marched through Catonsville on Wednesday, calling for education reform.

Students marched from Catonsville Elementary School to Catonsville High School, calling for more diversity in classrooms nationwide.

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“It’s been a struggle for me to have people in my class who are minorities,” Deborah Tadesse, of Catonsville, said. “Ever since I’ve been going to school.”

Current and former students of Catonsville High School gathered at the elementary school and marched through the streets, demanding more representation in schools and nationwide.

“[To] see different backgrounds, and see different sides from people, and learn from each other,” Dallas Evans, of Catonsville, said.

At the peaceful protest, students shared personal stories and speeches. They said they want to make their school more inclusive and welcoming, starting with a diverse staff.

“I think we need more diversity, not only as teachers and professors, but also in the classrooms,” Amber Weedon, of Catonsville, said.

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Students are also calling for more courses on Black history, as well as more diversity on summer reading lists.

“I thought it was important my children saw someone who looked like them,” Marvin Briscob, a Catonsville Middle School teacher, said.

In a statement to WJZ, Baltimore County Public Schools said they’re having an upcoming virtual discussion about race and racism.

It will be held from 4-6 p.m. July 8 and students are encouraged to be part of the conversation.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams added, “We want to take advantage of heightened local and national attention on racial issues to explore the various ways that race and racism affect our school system and the education we offer our students.”

Students said it’s important they see themselves represented at school.

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“Just by bringing people in from different backgrounds, it shows that the school cares about its students, it cares about expanding the diversity outside the school,” Tadesse said.

Kelsey Kushner