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Teachers and Students March

NEA's Legacy at Selma


On the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, that occurred in March 1965, NEA staff reporter Howard Carroll interviewed a high school senior who was among the teachers, students, and clergy assaulted for participating in a voter registration rally in Selma a few weeks before.

"I went down to Selma because the teachers, our Black members, played such a big part in the civil rights movement," said Carroll, pictured left with a student marcher. "When I went into the schools and talked to the teachers, I saw the stark differences in their circumstances. It was a tragedy to think that people who were our members were denied the opportunities White educators had. A few weeks before the final march to Montgomery, many teachers had been assaulted when they tried to march across the Pettus Bridge. The march had to be halted because the marchers were overcome by tear gas.”

"Teachers and Students March" is just one chapter in NEA’s rich history—the impact it has had on the lives of public school educators and the children they serve. Explore out NEA's 4-part series, "Answering the Call: The History of NEA" for more.