SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) – As students returned to class for hybrid learning for the first time in the town of Swampscott, families came together in what they call a “line of love.”
The “line of love” is aimed at keeping students from seeing and hearing the political demonstrations that have gone on for weeks near the Hadley Elementary School.
Supporters of President Donald Trump have been facing off against members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“They’re shouting profanities, they’ve used racist and anti-Semitic language that can be heard in these classrooms,” said parent Keiko Zoll.
On Thursday, parents held onto a line of sheets as students were dismissed from the school so they couldn’t see the boisterous protest which some say has been disruptive.
“The teacher had to close the window because they could hear the protest and saying things they shouldn’t hear,” said parent Chris Morin.
His fourth grade daughter Camilla said “someone heard a bad word and there was so much loudness as we were trying to do math.”
Swampscott has seen dozens of protests and demonstrations, some in front of Gov. Charlie Baker’s house, over the last several weeks.
“I try to keep them out of stuff like this, they’re not ready for it, this is adult stuff,” said parent Phillip Shire.
But some of the demonstrators disagreed, saying the children shouldn’t be hidden from what they believe is a life lesson.
“Have your voice heard,” said protester Kim Worth. “Believe in what you think and think is right.”
Another protester, Christina Etter, said children need strength.
“They need to understand if they hear bad words, you can’t always protect them,” she said.
The town has been grappling with how to balance the free speech rights of the groups. The parents today decided instead of words their actions will speak louder.
“To show kids we care and understand and surround them with love on their first day back,” said Keiko Zoll.