Dena Hopkins, FUMC youth director, said the above theme came from talking to her students.
“They were wanting somehow to send a message that they are taking back Massac from the darkness and loss of hope that has followed the deaths of recent students,” explained Hopkins. “They want to rid the community of the many dark, suicidal thoughts, attempts and threats that have surfaced in the last few months.
“The teens are wishing to convey that they are praying for all the families who have loss a loved one — regardless of how they died. They are pledging to think about their actions and how they affect others. They are promising to love one another in spite of differences, and to love on those affected by the lost of loved ones. And lastly, they are choosing life,” added Hopkins. “Suicide is not an option. Cutting is not a solution. Our students — who are mostly junior high and high school age kids — are choosing a life that is addiction-free, bully-free and drama-free, so that they may truly have the best opportunity to live a long, healthy, blessed life.”
One way to show their solidarity is by signing a pledge and wearing a Take Back Massac T-shirt. Hopkins, along with other volunteers, set up a table at local MCHS and MJHS basketball games, asking students to sign a pledge to live free of all the negatives listed above. As of last week, 260 students had signed the pledge. The pledge also includes not riding with anyone who is under the influence and to stick up for those being bullied.
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