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Buffalo shooter’s high school looks to spread message of support and love in wake of massacre

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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CONKLIN (WBNG) -- It has been a long week for the students at Susquehanna Valley High School after their town of Conklin was thrust into the national spotlight.

“Right now I think everyone is doing as best as they can, especially with the circumstances. I think everyone’s trying to stay strong for one another and care for each other as much as possible” said senior Elizabeth Kick.

According to Edelman, the firm representing the school district, the alleged white gunman who opened fire in a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store Saturday killing 10 and injuring three, attended the Susquehanna Valley School District from September 2008 to June 2021.

When she saw the headlines, Kick and her group of friends said knew they wanted to take action.

“I had another student come up to me and they were talking about starting a fundraiser to raise money for the community of Buffalo, and all the families that had to endure this tragedy. We all know that fundraisers take time, so we want to start small and that’s when we came up with the idea of a fence to promote the idea of love not the hate,” said Kick.

That fence is exactly what can be seen by any driver or pedestrian facing the school building from Conklin Road. A simple message created from disposable cups that read “S.V. Loves Buffalo.” According to Kick, it is an attempt by her and her classmates to start a fundraiser for the families of the victims.

“We want to send it directly up to the Buffalo community and try to give it directly to the family so that we can help with any funeral expenses or anything that they’re enduring at this time,” she said.

It’s not just about the students, however, Kick said many teachers have been making efforts to reach their students as well.

“A lot of teachers will ask students how they’re doing same with other students will ask other students while us seniors did the cups we had the younger class make a lot of posters that are all over our windows,” Kick said.

Kick told 12 News she wants the nation to hear and see the message they are trying to send:

“This whole tragedy does not represent a district at all,” said Kick. “Everyone here is so friendly and nice to everyone and so we just want to show that we do not condone any of these actions and we just want to promote that love not hate.”

The group of students behind the effort said they are looking to set up various events to raise money for those in Buffalo, however no plans have been finalized.