The community of Steubenville united at Jim Woods Park to demonstrate that
they are standing behind their youth. The consensus at the rally: the healing process
has already begun.
"They want to make
this S on my hat stand for scandal," said Michael Jett of Community Ink. "But
we're going make this S on my hat stand for strength. We're going to make this
S on my hat stand for survival."
Community leaders including the sheriff, mayor and superintendent gathered with residents to send a message of community pride and support for their youth. Organizer Jackie Sacripanti said she had planned the event before Tuesday's threat that put Harding Middle School on lockdown.
happened we got a lot more people that were in support of it and wanted to come
out today show the children we're there for you and we're going to protect you,"
she said. "Adults can handle threats, 11-year-olds cant."
Even though the case
isn't set to go to trial until February, Pastor Vaughn Foster says residents of
Steubenville are standing up for
their youth as part of the healing process.
"I believe its already begun. Because we've already identified that this is a strong community, it already has good roots, and people are already connected," Foster said. "So even though some people may be more passionate on one side or the other of the issue; like I said earlier we don't know all of the information yet. So, I believe as that comes out, it will help us to unify and know exactly where we need to stand."
Senior member of the
football team, Jeno Atkins was there to thank his community for standing behind
his team and school through thick and thin.
"I just wanted to say thank you to the community for helping us through this rough time, you guys have been there when we were winning games to now, just wanted to say thank you and roll red," Atkins said.
Organizers have put together a 'Stand Up for Youth' rally Saturday in Steubenville, Ohio. The rally is scheduled to begin at noon and will take place at Jim Wood Park near Pugliese Elementary School.