March on St. Helena Island seeks to inspire Lowcountry youth

March on St. Helena Island seeks to inspire Lowcountry youth

ST. HELENA’S ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) -Calls for change and youth involvement were just some of the messages residents shared at a peaceful March For Change on St. Helena’s Island.

“We want to set a great example and you really want to capture this momentous moment,” said Willie Turral. Turral marched in the rally. “It’s an opportunity for change and growth here in the Lowcountry.”

Turral was one of more than 100 people who marched for change on St. Helena’s Island. He says he’s the only black teacher at St. Helena Elementary and wants to bring hope and stability to his students for the upcoming school year.

“That’s something as a black male educator you always try to bring,” Turral said. “You see the kids that notice you’re at the door everyday, you see the kids that notice when you don’t take days off of work. And you start to be the most stable black figure in their lives, and so if i can bring them anything this year, I’m going to bring stability and hope and let them know that Mr. Turral is still here. We’re still here, the community is here and we’re going to get through it together.”

Residents marched from St. Helena Elementary School to the Penn Center calling for unity and change. The organizer says this march is different from others that have been held because it’s about the community’s youth.

“What we’re trying to do, is bring the community closer,” said march organizer Raymond Wilson. “If you can get them closer and communicate more, we can help figure these things out. And that’s basically my real reason, it’s about the kids.”

Beaufort County Councilman York Glover says having this march in his community shows people are ready for change.

“They’re just expressing the same sentiment that their needs to be a change and they want to be apart of that,” said Beaufort County Councilman York Glover. “The most important thing though is that they get involved and this is a start to that involvement.”

In order to bring change, Turral believes educators must address and educate students about this time.

“School’s are supposed to prepare people for life and I think the most critical thing we have going on right now with the pandemic and social equality, so if that’s not incorporated into a curriculum, and if time is not allowed for that, then we’re doing a disservice to these kids,” he said.

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