MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The image of two families coming together after that shooting inside Cummings K-8 has many hoping that other families can learn about putting differences aside for the betterment of the community.
It’s this moment between the families of two students involved in the Cummings K-8 School Shooting that has resonated with the community.
This meeting comes nearly a week after the shooting, where a 13-year-old boy is accused of shooting another student inside the school. District officials felt it was best for both sides to come together.
“These are both of my students. You know, we all make mistakes. And it’s about restorative practices, and trying to help our children because they’re hurting. And we got to come together as a family,” SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said.
The student who was shot has been released from the hospital.
The student accused of shooting him is now charged with attempted first-degree murder.
Emory Hammonds, the victim’s father, continues to call for understanding.
“These are children. I’m talking about a 13 year old child, so I have to think about that. Would I want my son to be thrown under the bus or would I want them to have help? Isn’t that what we should want for all our children,” Hammonds said.
During Tuesday’s discussion, both parents offered forgiveness toward one another and also prayed together. It’s something Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray says is needed now more than ever.
“This is a family issue, in fact, and that, you know, we want to help both of the young men. Mr. Hammonds said it best about grace and mercy,” he said.
As SCS tries to move forward, community leaders like Earle Fisher hope to see an emphasis on systemic issues that have plagued the community.
“I think it’s a beautiful gesture of black love and people in the community, who want to see a community be whole,” Fisher said. “I hope that next step after that is a type of education information that raises the public consciousness, so that we would understand why something like this happened. I don’t see this as an isolated incident at all. I see this as a byproduct of a community.”
When WREG last spoke with the teen’s father, he said that he was considering having his son transfer after this incident. It’s unclear if that will happen after this meeting.
Jerica Phillips and Superintendent Ray shared the moment on Facebook and Twitter.
The photo captures the parents of the two 13-year-old boys praying together.