PALMDALE – The weather was bad, forcing the ceremony indoors and the crowd was sparse because many students thought they were too cool to take part; still the show went on for those students who chose to take a stand Wednesday evening.
Each student in the small group bravely took the microphone and recited a personal call to action to end violence and abuse in the community.
“Whether abuse is intentional or an act of the subconscious, it is wrong and should not be justified,” junior Wafiqah Shar told the audience.
“This is taking place everywhere we turn and our time is right now to make it all stop,” said senior Justin Spencer.
“We hope to raise awareness in both the community and schools, and call for people to act against abuse and contribute to a more peaceful environment,” said junior Amber Polson.
“I believe that if we come together as a school and community, we can make a difference in this world,” said freshman Stephen Morales. “So make a promise to yourself today, right now, and save the drama!”
Titled “A Moment to Remember,” the ceremony was organized by the ‘Save the Drama’ Violence Prevention Club, an organization formed by Pete Knight High School students to help prevent bullying and violence on campus and in the community.
“We really just want to get the word out about violence and abuse and why there is no need for it,” said club president Larren McGee. “If there is a fight going on, we split up the fight and say ‘save the drama!’ there is no need for it. Everybody should get along.”
McGee said the club was formed in February of 2011 and has faced some challenges along the way, mainly lack of membership.
“As of right now people think they are too cool to be in the club, so we just deal with it,” she said.
Students in the club received some tall words of encouragement Wednesday. Several members of Antelope Valley’s professional basketball team, the Los Angeles Slam, attended the ceremony and shared with the students personal stories of how they rose above gangs, violence and crime in their communities growing up.
Coach Don Sanchez talked of being bullied so bad he stopped going to school for several months and was forced to repeat the seventh grade.
“That’s something that holds dear to me, I never told anyone that story before,” Sanchez said. “I hate to see other people go through that.”
Local rap group, West Republic, and Gail Knight, widow of the school’s namesake, William J. “Pete” Knight, also attended the ceremony. Knight commended the students for their courage in taking a stand against violence.
“I think it’s incredible, it’s wonderful, it’s all positive,” Knight said.
Students ended their ceremony by releasing red and white balloons into the air to remember victims and survivors of abuse and violence.