Butler students challenged to shun violence

Friday, March 5, 2010 8:37 AM
Last updated 2:26 PM
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A teary-eyed Robin Furrer  challenged a crowd of Butler High School students this morning to make the most of their lives – something she said her son could no longer do.

A Butler High audience listens Thursday to speakers telling youngsters to avoid gangs. More speakers were on hand today.  Zach Boyden-Holmes
Zach Boyden-Holmes
A Butler High audience listens Thursday to speakers telling youngsters to avoid gangs. More speakers were on hand today.

“You are our future,” she told the assembly, which was gathered in part to remember  two Butler students who were fatally shot – Furrer’s son, Brandon Taylor, and Tykiah Palmer.

“...You all will have the opportunity to graduate. Brandon and Tykiah won’t,” she said.

The gathering in Butler’s gym was the second in as many days -- part of the school’s “Get Up” campaign to encourage students to stay away from gang and gun violence.
Furrer told students that certain things they might think are serious enough to fight over really aren’t.
“What I really want you to take and learn today is things are not that serious where you have to beat someone, and God forbid, kill someone,” she said. “There’s no coming back from murder.”
She also spoke about so-called turf wars, noting that “none of you own a neighborhood. Your parents own the home you live in.”
In the case of Furrer’s son, police say the 16-year-old was shot and killed on Monte Carlo Drive in a January incident believed to be gang-related. Just last month, Tykiah, a 16-year-old Butler student 28 weeks pregnant, was fatally shot in the chest by a 15-year-old after she reportedly tried to defend her younger brother when a “play fight” between the two boys escalated, according to police.

And a third Butler student was severely beaten on Circular Drive earlier this week while walking his girlfriend home from school. Police arrested two teens at Butler in the case who reportedly said they were members of the “Apple Valley Posse” gang and said they had been prowling the area looking for someone to attack

.
Mae Palmer, the grandmother of Tykiah, also spoke to students today.
“The person who took her life could not find anything within himself to draw on,” she said. “Instead, he drew a gun.”
She read from a letter Tykiah had written in October, 2009 that detailed how Tykiah had improved her grades and had future goals of graduating high school and attending college.
“I have plenty of goals I have set for myself,” the letter read. “...I will not let anything bring me down.”
Also at today’s assembly, students heard musical performances by both the school’s choir and a Butler graduate. They also watched a candle lighting ceremony and participated in a moment of silence to honor the two students who died.
Butler Principal Gregory Thompson then told students that their yearbook would include two pages memorializing Brandon and Tykiah.
“These two pages are going to be special,” he said. “This is a way of keeping their memory alive.”

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com

Comments (11) Add comment
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slwbbear
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slwbbear 03/05/10 - 12:39 pm
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Let's hope and pray that this

Let's hope and pray that this will make a difference.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 03/05/10 - 02:21 pm
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Only increased accountability

Only increased accountability and consequences will make a difference.

corgimom
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corgimom 03/05/10 - 02:52 pm
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What they really need to do

What they really need to do is hold that assembly in middle schools. High school is too late.

knobnoter.1
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knobnoter.1 03/05/10 - 03:10 pm
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My son Jarvis LyDell Carson

My son Jarvis LyDell Carson was also gunned down in these streets of Augusta back in 1991. Although he graduated from Butler-his death had nothing to do with his attendance there; He was gunned down for the same reason these youngesters are beat down and killed by souless animals. Because some people in our society are lacking in compassion. The grown man, who shot my 21 year old, preceded to take his drunken self home and say to his wife that the world should give him a medal for killing a black man. As a member of the Augusta Boxing Club, my son had visions of going to the Olymphis, of raising his daughter, of being the best human he could be. I left Augusta before my son was murdered then began to work for the Kentucky Corrections Department. There I came in close contact with lots of inmates who killed and mangled innocent people and had no sorrow for what they had done, those I labored the "godless souls" they had no compassion for their fellow human beings. I retired and moved back to Augusta and it hurts my heart to see that the killings of our young people have not stopped. It also hurt learn that Augusta does not have a Compassionate Friends Chapter. When I lived in Kentucky they helped me tremendensly.

onlynaugusta
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onlynaugusta 03/05/10 - 03:49 pm
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This will not help. The

This will not help. The students who are causing the violence most of them are not in school. They seem to target the students who are trying to better themselves by getting an education. Black on Black crime will never stop until we become a race of one. We can't talk about any other race being prejudice towards us beacuse we are prejudice towards ourselves. We are the only race that kill each other like animals.

soldout
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soldout 03/05/10 - 03:57 pm
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Get prayer and Bible reading

Get prayer and Bible reading back in the schools. Make having babies without marriage shameful and a sin instead of celebrating it. Jesus is the answer. satan has filled the void that kicking God out of school had left. No other answer has ever worked. In reading classes use the book of Proverbs. This country was founded by Christian people with Christian ideals. It can not survive as a Godless society no matter how smart we think we are. And, yes you can legislate morals, it is done everyday. If a young person is looking for power than can have it through the Holy Spirit living inside them. The Word says with the Holy Spirit you will know all things and have authority over satan and his demons; how do you get more power than that!

reb007
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reb007 03/05/10 - 04:15 pm
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Soldout, You are right. When

Soldout, You are right. When they took God out of schools, our country started to nose dive toward Hell. When people march on Washington by the millions, they maybe our country will have hope.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 03/05/10 - 04:30 pm
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lol. People interested in God

lol. People interested in God and prayer need to give it that oh so special attention in their home, in their church, and with other like-minded individuals. One particular organized religion not being taught in public schools is irrelevant on so many levels. If you want your chosen religion as part of a school's cirriculum then send your children to a private school which does just that. In case ya'll forgot, the US and individual state governments aren't going to endorse a specific religion. Buddhists and Muslims can't be expected, as taxpayers, to pay for structures, literature, and teachers to teach Chrisitianity just like Christians aren't made to pay for the teaching of Islam or Buddhism in public schools.

ustabe
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ustabe 03/05/10 - 04:44 pm
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We had prayer, Bible reading,

We had prayer, Bible reading, the full Pledge of Allegiance, etc. when I was in school I zoned out during the Bible reading, mouthed the prayer and the Pledge. I was, however, raised in a home where Christian values were taught and lived. I didn't really need the public schools to teach me right from wrong. I learned it from my family and my friends' families. Just a thought....

crackertroy
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crackertroy 03/05/10 - 05:35 pm
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I'm glad they're doing
Unpublished

I'm glad they're doing something.

Cadence
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Cadence 03/05/10 - 09:19 pm
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Knobnoter.1, I am so sorry

Knobnoter.1, I am so sorry about your son. It sounds like he was a great young man with a lot of promise.

soldout
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soldout 03/05/10 - 10:54 pm
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We can worry about what

We can worry about what others think and be PC or we can save out country and our schools. God is standing by ready and willing to help; everyone else's God is dead and in their grave and ours in alive and well and will run over that million rejecting Him to get to that one ready to receive. He is the solution no matter what the problem.

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