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Student petition gets more than 1500 signatures

A pair of Warren Area High School students are trying to memorialize two classmates during this year’s graduation ceremony.

Macy Winicki and Anna Courson were moved to act when they learned of the high school’s initial decision to omit a memorial inclusion of two classmates after the district’s Crisis Response Team said empty chairs or other reminders may promote suicide.

Macy and Anna initiated conversations with their peers, finding a shared sentiment of honoring their late classmates and preserving their memory. Macy began a written petition to the administration to reconsider the initial stance. In one day, she had 119 signatures from students.

After that support, Winicki and Courson took their petition to the internet and received more than 1,500 additional signatures very quickly from their change.org petition.

Anna, a junior, stated, “The way this turns out is going to set a precedent.”

The WAHS junior class also lost a classmate to suicide.

As a freshman, Anna was on the coordination committee for the Suicide Walks held in 2022 and 2023.

“Money raised during those walks will provide scholarships for students wishing to continue their education in the mental health field,” said Anna.

Students of WAHS had to learn to grow through and deal with the trauma endured by tragically losing classmates, and the petitions are evidence many class members want to remember those they lost.

“Our utmost priority is to respect the families’ wishes, and Mr. Weber is actively engaging to understand how and if they would like to be involved,” Macy said. .

While the initial decision was based on the Crisis Response Team’s initial opinion, district administrators say they are letting the students’ families make the decision.

Gary Weber, Warren County School District Superintendent, said in a statement “The administration is working with the families of the students to determine participation. It is up to the family of the students, and I have asked that everyone please honor the decision that the family makes.”

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