In Limestone County, a group of high school students hosted a blackout against school violence ceremony Wednesday.
The assembly was an alternative to National Walkout Day, where students remembered the 17 people killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting on Valentine's Day. But the message for change in schools was loud and clear.
The assembly started with a moment of silence and 17 chimes, one for each life lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. Students then read all 17 names out loud.
The assembly was hosted by Cool 2 Be Kind, an anti-bullying club at Elkmont High School. Instead of the walkout, student organizers wanted to host an event where classmates would be together.
"Getting them all together in a group, you can really get the message across a little bit better," said Elkmont student Clay Hunt.
And the message was one of hope for all students.
"Communication is key to getting these problems solved and getting them brought to light," Hunt said.
"We let other kids know they aren't the only ones going through things, and they have other people to talk to," said student Madison Pepper. "Whether it's a student or a teacher."
Cool 2 Be Kind club sponsor Cassandra McKinney said her students took the lead on planning the assembly and learning about the 17 people they paid tribute to.
"To see some of my high schoolers who are very well liked at the school take the initative to be part of the solution, and be kind to each other and see other kids follow suit, it makes me hopeful for days to come for our future because there is still hope," McKinney said.
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