School districts come together to remember lives lost

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wednesday morning, students from schools in Picayune, Pearl River County and Poplarville came together at their respective campus to remember the 17 innocent lives lost during a school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

I had the chance to cover the event at Pearl River Central High School’s football stadium that morning. Initially a quiet field quickly filled as students took advantage of a 23 minute event to advocate for safer schools across the country.

Some students were visibly emotional as staff and students announced the names of all 17 victims before releasing a balloon in recognition of their senseless murders.

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Junior high student, Hayley Thibodeaux was among the few students who couldn’t seem to control her tears.

She said incidents like the event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are devastating, not just for that community, but the nation and the issues behind these tragic acts need to be resolved.

And even though she has never, and probably never will meet them, Thibodeux, like so many of her classmates, feel for the affected families.

“I want them to know that you’re not alone, you have the strength, it’ll take a long time, but God is there and he will help you get through,” she said.

It was pleasing to see students and teachers work together to take this opportunity to remember those who became victims that day.

According USA Today, since 1990, 22 shootings have occurred at various schools in this nation.

Each of those claimed lives of multiple people.

This has to stop; innocent lives don’t deserve to be lost in acts of brutality. Educational institutions are meant to be the instruments where we instill values and morals in our youth.

The demonstrations held Wednesday will hopefully act as a catalyst for a much needed change.