WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes a bad image is hard to shake.
But after some less-than-positive things happening at Warren G. Harding High School recently, the community came together Thursday night to put its best foot forward.
Mark Hameed graduated from Warren G Harding two years ago. On Thursday, he was back from college at Capital University to help show people there is a lot to be proud of in Warren.
“The kids within that school have so much potential because you can walk the halls and feel it,” Hameed said.
Dozens of people like Hameed gathered at Courthouse Square in downtown Warren. They wanted to help fight a negative image of the school that has been fed by things like a fight that was posted on YouTube earlier this month.
“They got the wrong idea. What they were feeding off of is the negativity,” Hameed said.
The people at the rally said it is a problem with perception and their school is much more than any video posted online.
“Just because you see the bad things on the Internet and on TV and things. That is not who we are. Just because you have a few bad kids doing things, there are a lot of other kids doing positive things,” Harding senior Crochelle Johnson said.
Those positive things were highlighted at the rally: Academic excellence, athletic prowess, volunteer work and inclusiveness.
“You always hear these horror stories of these small schools where people don’t fit in or they can’t find a place to fit in or they get made fun of. That doesn’t really happen at Warren,” senior Violet Burd said.
“I am just really proud that so many people do have pride for Warren because it’s such a fantastic school,” junior Lexi Meade said.
And that is what organizer Carol Wilson wanted to convey.
“We keep saying that the light will overcome. And we just keep talking about the positive. And people do in small pockets. And that is why I thought let’s gather it all together,” Wilson said.
And overcoming is what these kids are all about.
“That is not something you hear every day because you went to an inner city school and became great. That just means anyone can do it,” Hameed said.