Students to march on crime

Published 10:25 pm Friday, April 24, 2015

Students in Nansemond River High School’s Crime Stoppers Club hope a march they’re organizing will strengthen the bonds between local law enforcement, schools, businesses and citizens.

“My students brought it to my attention that they were tired of the crime around them,” said career and technical education teacher Renee Parker, advisor with the 15-member club.

Folks are asked to gather for the march at Constant’s Wharf Park on May 2 at 8 a.m.

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Parker said the mile-long route would loop past the Suffolk Seaboard Railroad Station before ending back at the wharf, where the event is scheduled to conclude at noon.

“We plan to try to make this march an annual event,” she said.

The theme of the march is “building bridges to close gaps between schools, communities, businesses and Suffolk law enforcement,” according to a flier.

Parker said a mock bridge would symbolize the bridge-building.

She added the march is also a response to the recent police shootings that have been dominating headlines.

Her students “don’t like the negativity that law enforcement is receiving,” she said. “Attitudes might change,” Parker added. “They are hoping we bring awareness to the citizens on the point of view of police officers, and vice-versa.”

Parker said the planned march is not linked to the pro-police rally outside City Hall two weekends ago, which was also in response to the recent headlines.

The march will also include free blood-pressure screenings by the Suffolk Health Department, the opportunity to donate blood at the American Red Cross and outreach by Suffolk Police Department and Suffolk Fire and Rescue, Parker said.

“We have a couple of vendors, and the Nansemond River High School band is supposed to play,” she said. “There will be some activities out there for all age groups.”

The Crime Stoppers students at Nansemond River are creating a flier and posters to advertise the march. They also plan to make placards to hold up, Parker added.

“We are opening it up to whoever is available to walk,” she said.