TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Florence County School District Four in Timmonsville held a ‘Stop the Gun Violence’ week to bring the dangers of gun violence to the forefront and to honor families of those they’ve lost to guns this year.
One of the victims was the late Investigator Farrah Turner who died as a result of the October third shooting of Florence County law enforcement. Turner was the school district’s former resource officer.
Friday afternoon, students, staff and family members released white balloons in memory of the victims to wrap up the week.
It started Monday with students expressing their feelings on the subject through writing and posters displayed around the school. Later on in the week was a gun violence forum and a rose garden dedication to the victims.
“Too often times we see more and more often of not only young people, but adults as well resulting to weapons to resolve issues and so our panel helped our students to understand and our message this week would be to our students to find other ways to resolve issues,” Principal Tonya Addison said.
"I think it's just awesome for the school to get together along with the community for our families that we lost," Grandmother and mother of victims, Priscilla LaViscount, said.
Addison said students grew concerned after three of their fellow classmates were killed by guns this year. At the end of last semester, in May, the school lost two of its students, NyKerria and Breyanna Jackson and their mother Chereese to a shooting.
Two months later in August 12-year-old Fantasia Jackson was shot at her grandmother’s house near downtown Timmonsville.
The late Investigator Farrah Turner’s death in October was the last straw.
"It's still kind of a numb feeling,” said a cousin of Turner and student Isaiah Belin. “Like Officer Farrah mom said yesterday... it feels like she on vacation somewhere and will probably come back, but we know that's not going to happen."
It's a reality for many in the community that's hard to face, but are hopeful with events like these others won't have too.
"Once you hear from the youth then people of older age they take it seriously and they see it's impacting the community more because it's coming from the kids," senior Deisia Woods said.
“Life is short enough as it is and if we can just live out our days without killing someone then the world would be a better place,” LaViscount said.