Student’s Shooting Death Mobilizes Community

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The Roseland Christian School community in Chicago is grieving the death of former student Blair Holt, 16, as are members of Pullman Christian Reformed Church, where he was active in the youth group.

On May 10, Holt was riding a Chicago city bus home from school when someone boarded the bus and began shooting. Holt was killed, and four other students were injured. Two gang members have been arrested and charged.

In extensive media coverage Holt, who attended Julian High School, was hailed as a hero for saving the life of a friend, Tiara Reed. As bullets began to fly, Reed got up to run, but Holt pushed her down in the seat.

Roseland principal Wendi Wattie said, “Blair was an honor student with a sense of humor and a smile that would light up the world. We’re definitely going to miss him.”

Roseland Christian School parents organized a march on May 18 from the school to the funeral to honor Holt’s life and to gather support to develop solutions to the problem of school violence. Marchers wore shirts with Holt’s picture and carried signs that read, “Stop the Violence.”

Two Chicago TV stations televised the march.

About the Author

Ruth Moblard DeYoung, a former Banner news correspondent and teacher, writes children's books. She is a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Ill.