Woman organizes children’s march to get ‘kids involved safely’ in protests

ATLANTA — After days of protests, Ruthie Norton decided she wanted her children to get involved.

Norton, mom to Owen and Hadley, lives in Atlanta and is one of many people who wanted their children to take part in protests but didn’t feel it was safe for them.

So she planned a march for children in her Brookhaven neighborhood.

“This is a good opportunity for me as an adult, as a parent and as a community member to do what I feel is right, but also to get our kids involved safely,” Norton told WSB-TV.

The week of protests over the death of George Floyd began May 29 in metropolitan Atlanta, with protesters calling for an end to systemic racism and inequality.

For the Nortons, it got real on a ride through the city, with questions from the back seat.

“'Mommy, why are there tanks at the mall? Mommy why are all the windows boarded up? What’s going on?' So, he’s seeing some damage and seeing some collateral from what’s happening and it’s impossible to ignore,” Norton told WSB-TV.

She said she had to have a conversation with her children. She said even before the protests and riots, she talked with her children about fairness and equality. Now with their own involvement, Norton hopes children will learn one more thing.

“I also want to teach them that they have a voice and that if they see something wrong, they can stand up and speak too,” Norton said.

Brookhaven police provided traffic control for the children’s march.

Owen and Hadley held signs they helped make, which read “Justice” and “Fair 4 All.”

Norton said that now more than ever she feels a real sense of ownership over Atlanta and wants to be part of the solution. She believes it involves bringing children into the conversation.

A colleague of Norton’s has taken her idea to his neighborhood in Florida, WSB-TV reported.