Harrison Elementary mothers team up to form education equity group – Marion Star


MAGIC consists of from left to right: Sarita Lawrence, Andrisha Woods, Emerald Siler, Shontaye Henderson, Jessica Coleman and Shada Reece.

Sarita Lawrence has dealt with multiple racially motivated incidents involving her 9-year-old, son Cordez. 

Cordez, who is Black, attends Benjamin Harrison Elementary School in Marion, where he has been the target of white classmates. Lawrence said her son is involved in an episode at least once every school year and was not seeing any progress with the school administration. 

Feeling frustrated, the Marion resident decided to team up with five other mothers of color who were experiencing similar situations at Harrison. The recently formed group is called MAGIC, or Moms Against Gaslighting in Classrooms. The group hopes to make the school more inclusive and provide equitable education opportunities specifically for Black and brown children. 

“I wanted parents of Black and brown children to feel like they had a platform to use their voice to express what the realities were for them and their children being in school,” Lawrence said. “And that other people can share those experiences with them and that something can be done.” 

From left to right: Micah, Sarita, Cordez and Bryceson Lawrence. Cordez will be going into fourth grade at Harrison Elementary this year, with Micah going into kindergarten.

Lawrence said recent incidents that have happened at the school include Cordez and a few other students being called the N-word and a child screaming at another child to shut
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