#EndThePain: Black Students Stand Arm In Arm With Police Officers At Brunswick High School

A group of mostly black students at Brunswick High School in Ohio set out to show that stereotypes are not always accurate. The students joined arms with local law enforcement officers to stand united against negative images of both black youth and police officers in the media. The group says “don’t believe the hype” as “not all cops are bad” and “not all minorities are thugs.”

ABC 5 reports that the group of teens got the idea from freshman Isaiah Catania and school resource officer Derek Zelenka. Catania says that the gesture was meant to show that there isn’t always a feud between black youth and police officers.

“This is to show that officers like him and people like me aren’t always going to be in a feud.”

Catania went on to tell Fox 8 that he just wanted to show people that there is more going on with police officers and minorities than what they see happening in Boston.

“With everything going on and everybody going crazy with all the shootings and stuff with officers we are just saying ‘don’t believe in it, like don’t believe this is the only thing going on in the world.”

Meanwhile, police officer Zelenka says that he and Catania became “best buddies” throughout the school year and often discussed what was happening in social media. The pair decided it would be nice to show the other side of the story. That is when the #endthepain idea was born.

In total, nearly two dozen teens locked arms with local law enforcement officers and snapped photos. The group plans to flood social media with the images in a bid to open up positive dialogue about minority youth and law enforcement. The images are being uploaded to social media accounts using hashtag #endthepain. After the initial series of photos were uploaded, the teens began getting praise from across the web. Check out some of the comments from Twitter users regarding the #endthepain campaign.

What do you think of the teens’ message that we shouldn’t “believe the hype” in the media? Do you think that the media goes overboard in portraying all cops as “bad” and all minorities as “thugs”?

[Image Credit: Twitter]