NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Dozens of people gathered in New Rochelle for a peace rally Saturday, following a string of violence this past month.
Residents and high school students are hoping to stop the violence.
Just steps from New Rochelle High School, it was a symbol of peace and unity as neighbors, parents and students came together, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
“The reason why we’re here is because we’re concerned,” senior class president Ever Mac told Roy.
Speakers went up one by one, voicing those concerns after two New Rochelle High School students were stabbed and another slashed last month.
Sarah Langlois organized the rally in hopes of change.
“I don’t feel safe walking this strip anymore. I won’t bring my children here anymore,” she said. “So we need to figure out what the problem is and address it as a community.”
The family of junior Valaree Schwab was also there in her honor. She was stabbed to death at a Dunkin’ Donuts in a dispute with fellow students.
“I want to make sure that no one forgets her,” aunt Monica Furrelle said. “We’re trying to come out and just make sure that there are changes made so it doesn’t happen to other families.”
Now, school security is tighter than ever and new student programs have been introduced to promote positivity. Meetings and school assemblies have also been held since the last incident on January 18.
“This is a reminder that we all can do something,” Mac said. “I’m proud to say I’m from New Rochelle.”
People placed stones into jars to indicate which issues they think might be contributing to the violence, such as school security or gangs, among others.
There will be another meeting next month to further address what can be done.