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After Menchville High shooting, Newport News school board member to host unity walk

Organizers said any parents or students with questions or concerns can bring those up at the march.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Newport News School Board member is calling for people across Hampton Roads to gather on the Peninsula tomorrow.

John Eley is holding a walk against gun violence following the heartbreaking shooting death of a student this week.

“We lost one young man, Justice, great student,” said Eley.

Police said 18-year-old Damari Batten shot and killed 17-year-old Justice Dunham outside of a basketball game at Menchville High School this week.

RELATED: Warwick High student arrested after boy shot and killed at Menchville High

“Our kids are scared and that’s not acceptable,” Eley said.

Just three months ago, police said a 15-year-old shot and injured two students at Heritage High School. Now, Eley is calling for help.

“It takes a village, a community, to bring an end to gun violence,” Eley said.

On Saturday, Dec. 17, he’s asking students and parents to gather for a march at Anderson Park in Newport News. The goal, communication.

“Hear what the children want because the children are the only community to clean this up,” Eley said. “The parents play a big play in this responsibility as well. Checking your kids' rooms, talk with your children.”

Eley planned the march with Hampton mentor Adrian Cook.

“I was one of these kids out here who was lost,” Cook said. “I did a total of 18 and a half years in prison.”

Cook wants teens to know there is support in the community.

“Things are not as serious as you think they are, sometimes it just takes a mere sit down to have a conversation,” Cook said.

Organizers said any parents or students with questions or concerns can bring those up at the march and they will direct you to community resources that can help.

The unity march starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Anderson Park.

Organizers said they will have food and materials to make signs before everything gets started.

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