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Kauffman School pays tribute to Kourtney Freeman during anti-violence workshop

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Posted at 2:49 PM, Apr 20, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Ewing Marion Kauffman School hosted an anti-violence workshop for students and their families on Saturday.

One of their students Kourtney Freeman was shot and killed last week when a bullet flew through her home. She is now the seventh student Kauffman School has lost to violence in its history.

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“I could barely get sleep when Kourtney died, it was really hard letting her go,” her best friend Emily Castro said.

11-year-old Freeman was always a voice for peace. At school, she was involved in Kauffman Cares, a student-led group working to push back on violence.

“She really had love for people and she would stand up for people. And for her to go that way was just heartbreaking,” said Rikai Mason, who is also a member of Kauffman Cares. “She was the number one student inside Kauffman Cares that didn’t like violence at all.”

Through prayer and open conversations about violence, people in the audience talked about the cause, the consequences and above all, “a call to action.”

Several non-profit organizations were there to provide resources.

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Teresa Fliger, one of the social workers at the school, said since Freeman’s death, many of her students are showing signs of fear.

"'I heard somebody was maybe gonna try to hurt me next,’" Fliger recounted a student telling her. "And it’s like 'no honey, no, no, no, no, no.' But that’s where their brains go.“

While the road to healing is anything but easy, everyone believes Freeman would want them to continue fighting more than ever.

“We’ve got to use the feelings that we experience in a way to move and to push people in a direction that is positive,” Fliger said. “Knowing Kourtney, she would go, ‘You better go on, you better continue to do something with this information.’”