Lincoln County, WV parents and students protest memorial ban - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Lincoln County parents and students protest memorial ban

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Protestors rally for Blake Dunlap Protestors rally for Blake Dunlap
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Hamlin, WV -

Lincoln County students and parents came together for another protest today, because they say students were banned from putting together a memorial for a former classmate at Lincoln County High School.  

More than a dozen people gathered at Heritage Park this morning with signs and banners. They say they want the school district to place a photo of Blake Dunlap in the school's trophy case. At least 20 students were suspended last week after they stood up and demonstrated in the cafeteria after lunch. The district denied their request, allegedly because Dunlap killed himself and the school doesn't want to glorify suicide.  

"For them to stand together to honor their friend to respect the family of Blake is amazing," said Marquetta Lyons, a mother who also lost her son to suicide. "I think they should actually be rewarded, not disciplined for their actions."  

Students say they achieved some level of success on Wednesday when the principal allowed for a moment of silence.  

"It felt great to finally get something done. I never thought it would be this big of a deal because I thought it was right to have something up," said Michael Whitten, a high school senior.  

Blake Dunlap's family was also present at the protest. They say they are appreciative of the community's efforts to stand up on behalf of their child.  

"For the first time in a long time, it brought a smile to my face," said Leslie Dunlap, Blake's mother.  

Leslie says she also hopes for a way to revisit the cause of her son's death over a year ago.  

"I'm not completely sure he pulled the trigger himself, and I would like for it to be looked into further. It would definitely give me a peace of mind," she said.