LAVACA, Ark. – The Lavaca School District is partnering with the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission to host a school-wide anti-bullying program after a girl says she was targeted by students in a bullying incident at the middle school in late February.
The event is scheduled for Monday, May 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the Lavaca High School gymnasium, and is free and open to the public.
Students will be giving a presentation on nonviolence; Fox 16 news anchor Kevin Kelly will speak on bullying and students’ responsibility to be accountable in standing up when they see incidents. Social media influencer and comedian Famous Amos is also set to make a guest appearance.
The outreach program is set to promote education and an appreciation for history in encouraging youth toward positive development and roles within their communities.
“We’re here to help this great community move towards healing and provide them with a clean slate,” MLK Commission Executive Director DuShun Scarbrough said.
In March, a video went viral on social media of a biracial 7th-grade girl at Lavaca Middle School getting onto a bus with children chanting “Rosa Parks,” the name of the civil rights icon who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955.
The girl claims the students shouted, “Rosa Parks, Black Lives Matter, come to the back of the bus, you have no rights” during the February incident.
She claims that other such incidents had been ramping up since October of 2021.
“What happened to the student on the bus is not representative of the entire community of Lavaca. This is a teaching moment on the impact of words and actions and how we must hold each other accountable.” Scarbrough said.
The 2022 Nonviolence Youth Summit is also in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Victory Over Violence, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, Power 92 Jams, KOKY and The Praise Network.