Police officers, elementary students take special trip in honor - KMOV.com

Police officers, elementary students take special trip in honor of Jamyla Bolden

Posted: Updated:
Koch Elementary students visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. (Credit: KMOV) Koch Elementary students visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. (Credit: KMOV)

MEMPHIS (KMOV) - It was a dream come true type of day for the fourth and fifth graders of Koch Elementary in Riverview Gardens as they hopped on a bus bright and early to take them to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

It wasn’t your ordinary field trip. With police officers as their chaperones, it was a chance to build a bond with a group of St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers after a year of tragedy.

Last August, their classmate, Jamyla Bolden, 9, was murdered in the bedroom of her Ferguson home.

“We think about her a lot,” said classmate Mayuana Hayes. “She was a great impression on everybody. Everybody loved her.”

The child’s death struck a chord with Officer Solomon Thurman. So he and his fellow officers in the Downtown Bike Unit raised money through an art show at the 10th Street Gallery downtown.

“The community does start or stop at the city limits, it goes beyond,” said Officer Thurman. “We wanted to show them that we care.”

The officers held hands with the students, gave high-fives and helped explain some of the exhibits throughout the museum. It was a chance for the children to see another side of the officers.

“The students see them as a person, they don’t see them as just a uniform,” said Teressa Kindle, a fourth grade teacher at Koch Elementary.

Inside the museum were moments that many of them had only read about in their history books. But there were also familiar images to those that unfolded in the streets of Ferguson, just a stones throw from their elementary school.

“They were able to make those connections because they have seen in their own backyards a lot of the unrest and protesting and its very comparable to the civil rights movement,” said Kindle.

It’s a new understanding of those themes and images that the children and the officers can take back with them to St. Louis and work to imagine a better community for all.

“As they say the children will lead us, it was an opportunity to see how they can lead us into a better future,” said Thurman. “A lot of times we see tragedy on an everyday basis, often with young people, this gives us a spark of hope as well, we can help make St. Louis as a region a better place."

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Watch News 4 Now

Mouse over player for controls · LAUNCH FULL PLAYER

Powered by Frankly