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10th grader Destiny Owen organizes ‘Walk in Students’ Shoes’ to advocate for Safety Week

Staff report

Destiny Owen, a 10th grade Girl Scout at Lloyd Memorial High School, has long advocated for a designated Safe Schools Week. While she hasn’t yet gotten the support she hopes for, she organized a ‘Walk in Students’ Shoes’ event this week to call attention to her idea.

10th grader Destiny Owen (Photos provided)

She has asked adult leaders to “Please sign my petition urging our School Board, Cities, County, and State to Proclaim the 3rd week of October every year to be Safe Schools Week to help to keep students safe by allowing all students to ride school buses instead of having to walk miles to school in unsafe weather and with a risk of being hurt, bullied, in fights, or hit by vehicles going to school or home from school. I think if adult leaders walk in our shoes they will see the dangers students face each day.”

Destiny reported at a Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Erlanger-Elsmere People’s Hearing a couple months ago that she felt unheard and devalued as a student, because she did not get her school’s or her community’s support for her Safe Students Petition or a proclamation for the 3rd week of October to be Safe Schools Week.

She says she wants to ensure that all students crossing busy highways and railroad tracks have a “safe school bus option to get to and from school and back home safe and alive.”

Last school year students in her school were hit by vehicles trying to access the school and her School Resource Officer was hit and hospitalized, risking his life trying to protect students crossing busy highways trying to get to school and back home safely. School buses in the district sat idle when, she says, they could be transporting students to and from school, keeping them safe so they can focus on learning instead of stressing about their dangerous walk to and from school each day.

Destiny Owen was discouraged but not deterred.

She held a “Walk in Students’ Shoes” this week to make her point.

Supporters gathered — including Charles Booker, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in November — to take the walk and experience some of what students face each day as they walk in adverse weather conditions, across busy Dixie Highway, busy Commonwealth, and across railroad tracks on busy Stevenson — all in her path to school everyday.

Destiny’s supporters said they thought it was important to acknowledge her efforts and to show students they are valued — and that adults want to keep them safe.

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