John Pirie partners with Sammy D to reduce violence

John Pirie Secondary students up front, with Mayor John Rohde, Principal Roger Nottage, Sammy D spokesman Neil Davis and Port Pirie police officers before the presentation.
John Pirie Secondary students up front, with Mayor John Rohde, Principal Roger Nottage, Sammy D spokesman Neil Davis and Port Pirie police officers before the presentation.

One punch can kill – that is the message Neil Davis shared with the students of John Pirie Secondary School while speaking about the death of his son.

Sam, Mr Davis’ son, was only 17 years-old when a fight broke out after a party and he was hit from behind with a single punch that ended his life.

Since that time, Mr Davis has toured the State with the Sammy D Foundation, showing the effects that violence can have and advocating peaceful solutions.

Mr Davis spoke to a enthralled crowd in the John Pirie  gymnasium, reliving the events of that fateful night in an attempt to spread his message of peace.

Principal Roger Nottage welcomed the event and hoped it would help the school’s downward trend of violence to continue.

“Today is about a safe school. My goal is that we would have zero violence in this school,” Mr Nottage said.

“We have had a 400 per cent reduction in two years, but it is not zero, so it is not good enough for me.

”Instead of making out we don’t have occasional incidents, we meet them head on.”

In the six-and-a-half years since the death of his son, Mr Davis has spoken to more than 45,000 teenagers.

“Have a good time, but look after your mates,” Mr Davis said after the presentation.

“You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, you just have to be friendly.”