Students march to end violence in the Pleasant Grove community

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Chants of “no more gun violence” and signs promoting peace filled the sidewalk as students from Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Fred F. Florence Middle School commemorated Malik Tyler, a classmate who was shot and killed over the summer.

The students, school, and male district and community leaders gathered at YMLA Florence on Friday morning to join the Million Fathers March, a nationwide event encouraging fathers and father figures to get involved in their students’ lives. The march also honored Tyler’s life.

“This is our call to action to end gun violence and crime in the Pleasant Grove community,” YMLA at Florence Principal Chris Barksdale said. “We want to memorialize Malik and not wait for another student to be killed. We are really encouraging dads to get involved and be active in young men’s lives.”

Dallas ISD Board of Trustees President Justin Henry, State Senator Royce West and Dallas City Councilman Jaime Resendez spoke with students in the school auditorium following the march, which also saw Trustees Dan Micciche and Maxie Johnson walk along the students.

“We are in this room because we love you,” Henry told the students. “When you struggle, we all struggle. We believe in you and are here for you.”

The ceremony closed with an emotional resolution from the school in memory of Tyler’s life and in support of his family.

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