Students protest violence, bullying at Occupy Cross Creek

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
Cross Creek

Friday was the final day of a week-long campaign to end violence at Cross Creek High School. (WRDW-TV / Jan. 20, 2012)

News 12 First at Five / Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Occupy Movement came to Cross Creek High School this week. The students spent the week protesting violence and bullying.

Each day had a different theme, but the message was the same -- stop the violence.

Student William Knight helped to organize the event and says he hopes the idea of this week will spread.

"There's no need for fighting, there's no need for gang violence, there is always an alternative route. That's what we are trying to spread not only at Cross Creek but around Richmond County. And not only in Richmond County, but around the nation," Knight said.

Friday was the final day of that week-long campaign and the students filled the halls wearing camouflage. The theme, Camouflage Against Street Violence, is a big step for the high school. A year ago, a supposed ban on camouflage led to a student protest. The protest came after two Cross Creek students were shot in a drive-by shooting while walking home from the bus.

Administrators were concerned that some gang members were using camouflage to identify themselves. Principal Jason Moore suggested that students be aware of what they were wearing and if it had any possible ties to violence.

Students took that as a camo ban, which led to the controversy and the protests.

Moore said that this year they wanted to send a different message.

"We realized that this week fell on the year anniversary, so they said well this year, we wanna make it really mandatory or we want to be a part of the theme that everybody wears camouflage this year protesting not camouflage or a ban, but protesting violence," Moore said.

The week's themes included "Be a Star, not a Bully" on Tuesday, "Violence is Tacky" on Wednesday and "Violence is So Retro" on Thursday.

Many students participated in the dress-up days. Students say they're sharing an important message that they hope can make a difference in the community.

Knight described the lesson they are hoping people learn this week.

"Stop the violence," he said. "There is always an alternative route, there's always something other than violence. There's go to school and get your education. Once you get your education, the sky is the limit."

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