If you see what looks like a small parade Thursday along Beatties Ford Road, it’s just students from West Charlotte High School promoting the 20th anniversary of the Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) club.
SAVE was formed in 1989 after West Charlotte High student Alex Orange was shot and killed at a party during a dispute over a jacket. Since then, more than 1,700 chapters have been formed in schools across the United States.
The Thursday walk will begin at 3:30 p.m. in front of the school and continue to Northwest School of the Arts. Between 50 and 100 club members, along with the school band, are expected to participate.
“We’re going to let people know we’re here and that these students are against violence,” said Tammy Broadaway, special populations coordinator at West Charlotte High. “We want to be visible and have more students join SAVE, not just at West Charlotte but around the community.”
North Mecklenburg High, Harding University High and Waddell High also have SAVE chapters, and clubs are being formed at Olympic and J.T. Williams High as well.
In addition to advocating nonviolence, West Charlotte’s SAVE club members have visited a local nursing home and done community beautification projects.
The SAVE national convention will be held this fall in Charlotte. Past conventions at the national office in Raleigh have drawn about 1,000 students. But given the bad economy, Broadaway said, attendance this year is hard to predict.