Roswell parents support Arapahoe student visit

Posted at: 01/23/2014 5:32 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Roswell’s school superintendent doesn’t want Colorado students to meet with students from Berrendo Middle School.

The Arapahoe students just went through a school shooting themselves.

They’re planning a trip this weekend to show their support.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 talked to some people in the community who said they’re still going to make it happen.   

Some parents have been working hard all week to make this event a success. 

Local businesses have come on board and some people have donated their own money to make it happen.

“They do want to support our kids you know and it's so sad that somebody, one person, wants to stop that from happening," said Brenda Dear.

Dear has grandkids in the Roswell school district.

“And for our superintendent to say it's not necessary, well you know it is necessary because this town needs support from people that have gone through it and experienced it," said Dear.

School Superintendent Tom Burris told KOB he’s concerned the Arapahoe students are not trained to talk to middle school children.

He argues there’s a significant age difference.

Arapahoe student David Courtney said the goal isn’t to counsel students.

"We are coming down there solely to be there for the kids, just to hang out and support them like so many people did for me and my community," said Courtney.

“They’re just going to be here to have their arms of love out and be able to answer questions and just bond together," said Natasha N. Mackey.

Mackey is one of the parents who helped organize the event.

She said people donated money to make this trip happen.

“People from all over the world have donated so people from Colorado, local Roswell community, quite a few people have come on board and come alongside to make sure that this happens," said Mackey.

She said it’s been a community wide response.

“Candlewood Suites is on board and so of course for lodging, Walmart I believe, Rib Crib, Peppers Grill and Bar they've all provided food,” said Mackey.

And Mackey said no matter what, it’s going to happen.

“So, it will be going forth outside of Roswell Independent School District," said Mackey.

About 20 Arapahoe students said they’re still planning to come.

The event is at the Pearson Auditorium at the New Mexico Military Institute this Saturday at 4 p.m.