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Capital area high schoolers forge tighter ties at Longest Table luncheon

High School Table.jpg
Tom Flanigan
Some 300 students from area high schools attended the Longest Table event.

Hundreds of area high school students gathered for an open-air lunch at Rickards High School on Sunday, Dec. 11. It was the return of the Longest Table event to forge common ground among students from different schools and peer groups.
Before the mass meal and conversation began, Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna welcomed the high schoolers, some of whome came from adjoining counties.

"You are without a doubt the leaders in our schools. And if I say something, or your teachers or principals say something, it's one thing. But for you to step up and model as student leaders, that's what it's all about."

Students also put the event together. Co-organizers Tallulah King and Riley Long - both from Leon - said the idea is to break down the artificial barriers that separate kids from different schools, or even different social groups within the schools. Finding more common ground, they said, may not only mean lots of new friendships, but also reduce the distrust that can lead to violence among young people.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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