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Paola Laborda

Primary organizers for the “Break the Silence” basketball game, juniors Riley Schofner and Heather Mcgeachy hold a sign expressing their aim to “Stop the Violence.” Also known as “Get Loud”, this event requires the crowd to remain silent until the 9th point in honor of domestic violence victims.

Students fight for safety

February 26, 2019

Teen combats domestic violence

Q: When did the event take place? 

A: It happened Jan. 17. 

Q: Can you describe what happens during the Get Loud event? 

A: It’s basically a basketball game, and the way we raise awareness for domestic violence is that until the home team scores nine points, the stands are completely silent in honor of domestic violence victims. 

Q: What was the purpose of the event?  

A: To raise awareness for domestic violence. 

Q: Why is this cause significant to you?  

A: I just feel like there’s too much hatred in this world and people don’t deserve to feel unsafe or unloved, especially by people that they know and love. 

Q: What do you hope people get out of this event?  

A: Just a little more compassion and people wanting to change. 

Q: Where do you hope to take this cause in the future? Any future goals? 

A: I think just passing it down, making it grow and bringing all of the schools together, making it more of a community-wide event instead of just a school one. 

Q: What have you taken away from this experience? Have you learned any skills you hope to use in the future? 

A: One skill overall is that you never know what people are going to say when you ask them, because so many people have been so helpful in the process, and it can be scary to ask but as soon as you ask most people are really ready to change. They’re just waiting for someone to start it. 

Q: How would you measure the success of this event? 
A: Just seeing people change and get wowed by the facts that we throw at them and see that they’re understanding it, because half the things said I didn’t even know about. So many people are unaware, and it’s because nobody’s said anything. 

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Junior hosts third ‘Break the Silence’ event

Q: When did the event take place? 

A: I think Friday, January 17th. 

Q: What role did you have in this event? To what extent were you involved?  

A: I’m 100 percent the guy behind it. Heather McGeachy kind of piggybacked on. I started it at this school and she asked if she could help. 

Q: Why is this cause significant to you? 

A: I just kind of represent it. I go to these events, I go to these state-wide events for the Youth Action Committee, I represent the district and I go to a bunch of meeting for the Youth Action Committee. The biggest thing about it is that they’re all women – I’m the only guy there. The reason is that I’m just showing that white men can care too. You have all these women sitting here telling you how bad domestic violence is and they know that men are the ones that provoke and abuse their partners, and I need to show that men are the ones that really want to stop it and change their behavior. So it’s just trying to reach the target audience, which is men who need to change their behavior. That’s what the core of everything we’re trying to do is — prevention, which is what I really try to focus on, by speaking to youths about how to prevent it. I guess a big problem with a lot of these women – it’s not a problem, it’s just the way it is –  is that the main focus is on what to do when you’re in that situation, how to avoid it and how to leave it and go to a place that can help you. I’m showing that we should stop it before it even happens. I’m going to these schools to talk to these kids about what a good relationship is, what a bad one is and examples of healthy ways to deal with conflict within a relationship.” 

Q: What do you hope people get out of this event?  

A: Just that I’m a person who can teach, and if you have any problems you can talk to me. I guess the biggest part about it is that we have that community within the school. 

Q: Where do you hope to take this cause in the future? Any future goal?  

A: Do it again next year. And especially to have another student take over when I’m gone. 

Q: What have you taken away from this experience? Have you learned any skills you hope to use in the future? 

A: It’s my third year doing this. I’ve done this already. It’s cut-and-dry, it’s the same thing. It gets easier every year. 

Q: How would you measure the success of this event? 

A: Attendance has risen. There were more kids here than last year, so I guess I feel successful in that way. 

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