Digital Original: Father of three girls explains why one-day protest was important for teachers and all LRSD children

Digital Originals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Teachers, staff, and supporters came out Thursday to protest about recent decisions made by the Arkansas State Board of Education voting to remove the elected school board and take control of the Little Rock School District.

Among those supporters were several parents. Ryan Davis was one of the many parents who came out to show his support and says he felt he needed to come out.

“I owe it to the community to come out here and support the teachers, the likes of who made me who I am,” he says.

Ryan Davis as a child posing for his class picture at Gibbs Magnet Elementary School.

Davis is a product of the Little Rock School District and now has three daughters, who all attend Gibbs Magnet Elementary School in Little Rock. The same school that Davis attended as a child.

For Davis, it was important to show his daughters he cares about their future. He says by coming out to the one-day strike he has the potential to leave a lasting impression.

“I owe it to the teachers because when I support them I also am supporting my children and when I am supporting my children and other children I am supporting the future of our city and the future of our state,” he says.

Davis is the director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Children International, where he directs an anti-poverty initiative that in the last two decades has helped more than 20,000 children.

“This is a show of community support for some of the most important people of our community, those being our teachers,” says Davis.

Davis is also a pastor at Bullock Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

“My daughters and these children out here future depend on our show of support,” he says.

This is the first teacher’s strike in Little Rock since 1987.

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