Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Raleigh, N.C. on Feb. 19 to protest the re-segregation of public schools in Wake County, N.C.

The rally, called the Historic Thousands on Jones Street or HKonJ, also marked the 102nd anniversary of the NAACP. NAACP president Ben Jealous said that the movement taking place in North Carolina is being watched nationwide.

“The movement that is HKonJ is the movement across this country,” Jealous told The Charlotte News and Observer. “We’re still fighting the old Jim Crow.”

Despite thousands indicated in the name of the march, the event drew about 800 people, according to the News and Observer.

Officials at the NAACP believe that the re-segregation model being used in Wake County will be duplicated around the state. That model calls for the end of mandated diversity levels in schools, and would instead assign students to schools closest to their homes. Jealous said he believes conservatives are trying to make this the standard in the state.

“The far right activists targeted a number of school boards in North Carolina, and there’s reason to be concerned that they’re using Wake County, and North Carolina in general, to send a regressive message to the rest of the country,” Jealous said.

Meanwhile, the Wake Education Partnership and Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce unveiled a school-choice plan aimed at ending the controversy over the issue. The plan would give parents a choice of where their children attend school while emphasizing proximity and eliminating mandatory reassignments.

“Describing the plan as a choice-based plan; it puts it right out there and it recognizes that need to feel like you have some say in where your child goes to school,” said Sharon A. Williams, senior vice president of the LORD Corporation and one of the board of directors for the Wake Education Partnership.

Organizers of the plan say families will have more than an 80 percent chance of getting into their first school of choice and a 93 percent chance of getting into their second school of choice.

Despite that plan, NAACP officials say they need to show the rest of the country that all citizens deserve equal rights and opportunities.

“Whether it is the superintendent of the Wake County School Board, the Governor of North Carolina or other elected officials that work to keep the schools of Wake County, NC integrated, the HKonJ coalition rallies to ensure that citizens are protected equally under the law and that a space is created for good, safe jobs and schools within the state of North Carolina,” Kirin Kennedy, NAACP field fellow, said in a statement.