Saturday, October 20th, 2011, students from Oxford High School attended the annual March Against Violence, which took place in Bridgeport, CT. The Oxford students met others from surrounding areas at Bassick High School before the whole group of about 75 walked the streets to spread awareness.
Jeff Giovacchino, a current OHS teacher and former Bassick teacher, started the walk 7 years ago after the death of student Tavon DeHurte. He started the march in memory of DeHurte and to bring attention to inner city violence that goes unnoticed; he wants to show people living in these neighborhoods that someone really does care. Giovacchino told the group of students that there have been twenty homicides in Connecticut urban areas this year alone that have gone overlooked.
During the march, the group stopped at the spot where DeHurte was killed in 2006.
Another former student of Giovacchino's and close friend of DeHurte, Titus Walelo, has supported the walk since the beginning. He spoke to the students about the hardships of inner city living and about how he overcame the obstacles he faced. He wants students to understand that they don't have to follow in the footsteps of everyone around them, that they can be a change.
This year's 7th annual march wasn't the first for a few Oxford students. Daniel Mott, who supported the march last year as well, believes that people need to become aware of the violence that happens everywhere, and not just in the town or city they live in. "If people are aware, they will want to help," he said. "If help is given, that betters the chances of living in a less violent society."