BUTTE, Mont. – “Five, four, three two one!”
And they’re off.
The students at Margaret Leary Elementary spent a fun-filled day in honor of a fellow student who died on a tragic day 25 years ago.
Eleven-year-old Jeremy Bullock was killed after being shot by a classmate in April of 1994. On Friday, the school held a fun run in Jeremy’s honor with the central message being kindness.
Jeremy’s family was there, including Gov. Steve Bullock, who is Jeremy’s uncle.
“It’s an incredible thing and the best thing you could ever do for a parent who has lost a child is to remember our child and to remember in such a positive way,” said Jeremy’s mother Robin Bullock.
The students, though too young to have known Jeremy, understood the point of the event.
“Kindness, kindness and being nice, because you need to always be nice to people,” said Margaret Leary student Eli Smith.
Classmate Mason Lever added, “I think it was just the thing to do to remember Jeremy and just support kindness.”
Jeremy’s mother believes her son was watching over this event.
“I believe he’s seeing it every day and watching out over the kids and our family. And I see it every time I look at his identical twin brother Josh—he’s also a teacher—and how he deals with students and tries to reinforce positive behaviors,” said Robin Bullock.
The governor said he believes gun violence should be treated as a public health issue and not a political one.
“The thought that my sixth-grade son, when he went to the middle school this year, learned about where to go for an active shooter, like that, kids shouldn’t have to know,” said Gov. Steve Bullock.
A mural was painted after Jeremy was killed and 25 years after that tragedy, it remains here as a message of kindness. And that’s what Jeremy’s family wants to do, preserve that message.
“To see that message given to that next generation I think is that much more important,” the governor said.
The Jeremy Bullock Foundation plans to hold a safe school summit in Butte in August to address school shooting violence.