MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - "It just goes to show just because we go to school with him it does not mean we're the same," Moss Point High Senior India Tate told Michael Porter's daughter Wednesday.
Tate said it was important for Brittany Porter to know one student's violent act is not a reflection of all Moss Point students. It's a message Porter seemed to hear during her tearful visit with the students.
"I just wanted to say thank-you and that I really appreciate it," Porter said.
Porter met with students for about 20 minutes. The students are part of the Superintendent's Advisory Committee. As Brittany listened, the students shared their commitment to stopping violence in Moss Point in honor of her father, Michael Porter. The meeting didn't last long, but a bond was already forming between Brittany and students.
"I love these kids, not even knowing who they are. My dad has always taught me not to judge a book by its cover, and this book is Moss Point, and I'm not going to judge the pages in the book," Porter said.
Brittany's pain was visibly felt by the students, some on a very personal level.
"I lost my father some time ago and, you know, just dealing with that is painful. But actually coming out and speaking to others about it is shows that she has some strength," one student said.
The students will once again hold a non-violence march early next year. And just like the last one, Brittany said her family plans to be there.
"When all of us unite, we can make a change," Daniel Roberts said.
"They are just amazing... and they have just touched me. I like for them to know that and that they can continue to touch other people's lives as well," Porter said.
In addition to the march, the students also plan to hold seminars on non-violence for area young people. The students would also like to start a foundation for non-violence in Michael Porter's memory.