The recent death of Michael Porter was a shock and lay heavy on the hearts of Moss Point High School students. The incident that led to Mr. Porter’s death happened as he was asking for directions at a gas station in Moss Point.
“It’s just senseless,” said Senior Tirranny Nettles. “It’s horrible, and we want people know that we care about our community.”
That’s why members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council are spearheading a campaign against violence. The council is made up of high school students who meet with Superintendent Kim Staley on a monthly basis to discuss ways to continue to make the district the best it can be.
The council’s first initiative is a fundraiser called “Change for Change” drive. The council is asking each school to raise as much money as possible in this effort. All monies raised will be given to Linda Porter, the wife of Michael Porter, who will donate the money to a worthy cause in her husband’s name.
“We know that no amount of money will bring back the loss of a loved one,” said Junior Daniel Roberts. “We just wanted to do something to show we care.”
Roberts says this will be an annual event in which the funds will be donated to some organization that focuses on nonviolence every year. The drive is the first of several initiatives the group is spearheading this school year. The students are also organizing a march against violence to end with a rally. This event is slated to take place later in the school year. The purpose of the event is to bring awareness to the effects of violence and encourage students to make better choices. Special guest speakers are also being scheduled to visit the schools to talk about this issue.
“We want to help reach students while they are young,” said Senior Benjamin Burgess.
“I am proud of this group of students for being leaders in the school district and the entire community,” said Superintendent Kim Staley. “Unfortunately, this tragedy serves as an example that our children need us now more than ever. We must all continue to work together as a community to do our part in making a difference in the lives of children. We must strengthen our partnerships and make new ones to address the pressing needs of our students.”
Staley says the district will continue to use its character education programs as a resource to promote nonviolence as well as look at strengthening its partnerships with the Jackson County Youth Court and other local agencies and nonprofits such as Project Save A Child, a program that helps students deal with anger management.
The “Change for Change” drive will run through December 12, 2008. Anyone interested in making a donation may do so at any school site or at the central office.