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‘Look after your mates’: Lessons of Sammy D’s one-punch death a ‘big deal’ for Riverland students | #students | #parents | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

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School students from across the Riverland have been urged by the anti-violence Sammy D Foundation to put an end to bullying and fighting.

The foundation began 12 years ago after 16-year-old Sam Davis was killed as a result of a single punch to the back of his head while he was trying to break up a fight at a party in Adelaide.

Glossop High School student Hayley-Joe King said the story of Sam’s death resonated with her, as she and her peers had witnessed teenage fights.

Glossop High School students Hayley King and Tahlia Dillon said the anti-violence message was crucial, as fighting occurred in their region.(ABC Riverland: Samantha Dawes.)

Fellow student Tahlia Dillon said she felt learning skills like how to deescalate a potential fight was crucial.

“It would be best to get other people to help us break up a fight or just walk away,” she said.

‘We want them to be prepared’

Neil Davis has used the death of his son to spread a message of mateship and safety among Australian teenagers.

Male school students sit before Neil Davis, who stands in front of the crowd beneath a large projected image of his family.
Sammy D Foundation founder Neil Davis says walking away from fights will save young lives.(ABC Riverland: Samantha Dawes.)

“So far the Sammy D foundation has spoken to over 135,000 people. That’s 135,000 people who have now been impacted by that one punch too,” Mr Davis said.

“For those country people who might say ‘violence like that doesn’t happen here’, what about all those kids who will go to university in the city?”

“We want them to be well prepared and have the tools to look after themselves.”

A middle aged man stands to the right of a middle aged woman, who has curly hair. They are inside, in front of a picture frame.
Neil Davis and Nat Cook have been taking their anti-violence message to school children since their son’s death.(Supplied: Neil Davis.)

For Mr Davis, walking away from a physical altercation is the key to saving lives.

“If you’re out somewhere and you know trouble is going to start, grab your friends and say, ‘come on, let’s go.’”

“We’ve got testimonials from people writing to us, saying they were out somewhere and a fight started, and they grabbed their mates and walked away.”

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