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Pleasantville to Absecon march against school segregation held on Selma anniversary
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Pleasantville to Absecon march against school segregation held on Selma anniversary

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About 100 people marched Sunday afternoon from Pleasantville High School to Veterans Park in Absecon, where speakers talked about the harm done by educational and other types of racial segregation.

The event was organized by Building One New Jersey, which called it a “march against secession and racial segregation regarding the current petition to terminate the relationship between Absecon and Pleasantville’s schools.”

Organizers, including Willie Dwayne Francois III, the march leader and Mount Zion Baptist Church pastor, said that terminating the send-receive relationship in which Absecon sends it students to Pleasantville High School will increase racial segregation in the two school systems.

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Sunday was the 56th anniversary of voting rights marches and “Bloody Sunday,” when more than 500 demonstrators gathered to demand the right to vote and cross Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. They were met by dozens of state troopers and many were severely beaten.

The Absecon school district filed a request in September 2019 to end its send-receive relationship with Pleasantville and instead send its high school students to Absegami in Galloway Township.

Pleasantville initially opposed the move, but in January, Pleasantville’s school board approved a resolution withdrawing its opposition. Board President Julio Sanchez said at the time, “I just don’t feel like it’s our fight.”

In a statement, Absecon Superintendent Daniel Dooley has said the Pleasantville school system is not run efficiently and effectively, and Absecon has tried for years to help improve the situation but has been rebuffed.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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