SPALDING COUNTY, Ga - Nearly 50 students marched out of Griffin High School Thursday after school officials reportedly pushed back on a student-led plan to hold an on-campus vigil for a classmate killed in an auto accident.
On the morning of September 28, student Lanaiza Mizell was struck by a car while trying to run across a busy highway to catch up to her school bus. Since then, some students and school administrators have been at odds on the best way to gather and mourn Mizell.
School officials say they offered several 'moments of silence' at school functions, including a Thursday pep-rally.
The moments of silence were not enough for students like Matthew Watkins, 18. "Everybody needs to hear our voice, everybody needs to understand that we have a voice and that we are going to remember her and we are not going to let any of our classmates go forgotten" Watkins to FOX 5.
Watkins was one of the organizers behind the walkout and prayer Thursday. He, along with Mizell's mother and Aunt, marched outside, gathered at the flagpole, then spoke to FOX 5 off campus.
"She deserves to be honored and she deserves support from everybody," Watkins told FOX 5.
School officials released a statement to FOX 5:
"All students at Griffin High School were given the opportunity to participate in the "moment of silence" for Lanazia Mizell during the school's pep rally in the gym this [Thursday] afternoon" - Spokesperson for Griffin-Spalding County School System.
Mizell's family says they are proud of the students' effort and support and stand behind their actions "110 percent".