SPARTA, IL (KFVS) - Local high school students are taking matters in their own hands after learning a younger student was attacked a few weeks ago.
Kyron Penny, sophomore at Sparta High School, saw the viral video on social media showing a 13-year-old boy attacking two other 13 year old boys while they were walking home from school.
“Instantly, it infuriated me. I was angry, it was ridiculous. That shouldn't happen. Not at all,” Penny says. According to the Sparta Police Chief Sean Lukes, the alleged assailant was taken into custody and transferred to St Clair County Juvenile Detention Center.
So Penny and the other high school organizer Jayden Ethington, along with their football team took the matters in their own hands.
Once they got approval from administration, they started a bully-proof safe sidewalk for the younger kids.
Ethington says, “Him not being able to protect himself and people recording and not helping out was kind of...what hurt us the most I think." So when the bell rings and school lets out, everyone gets in place. For about 15 minutes, all the upperclassmen greet the Sparta Lincoln kids as an assurance of safety on their walk home.
Penny says, “This district Sparta district number 140, we had a minor setback but we turned it into a MAJOR comeback by coming together as a family because we are all a unit here in this town, in this community at each school.”
Both Penny and Ethington have younger siblings, which they say they wouldn’t want something like that to happen to them. “I have a sister in kindergarten and I have a brother in 7th grade and I felt like if they were walking home and that happened, I might be furious. So i figured I could act as if I was their sister or brother,” Ethington says.
The superintendent Dr. Gabe Schwemmer says she’s very proud of the students being proactive. “These kids are exceptional here in Sparta, they really have a sense of caring and commitment to their communities, so I wasn’t surprised but i was touched,” she says. Penny offers sound advice to other students like “be kind, be positive to everyone...it’ll make your life a lot simpler, it really will.”