Aija Burnette, a 17-year-old rising senior at East Hardy High School, saw the cell phone video of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, and decided she’d had enough.
She talked to her boyfriend and her friends, including Alivia Sager and Skyler Landacre, both 17 and classmates, and Taylor Strawderman, a 15-year-old rising sophomore. Instead of dismissing her thoughts, they cheered her on.
First there was a Facebook page. Burnette worried about putting herself ‘out there’ on social media. She thought there would be hate.
“We’re trying to have a really safe space,” Burnette said, explaining her intentions behind creating the site.
Burnette hasn’t always felt safe in Hardy County.
She recalled being 5 years old, and playing on a school playground. An older boy pushed her over.
A teacher told Burnette that because she hadn’t seen it happen and saw no evidence, the teacher couldn’t do anything about it.