CORAOPOLIS (KDKA) — Students filed out of the auditorium of Moon Area High School after spending an hour learning about something many think will never happen to them.
“I just hope that my daughter Demi’s story touches them in a way that they see things different,” Dr. Garry Cuccia said.
Nine years ago, Demi Cuccia had just celebrated her 16th birthday when she was killed by her ex-boyfriend. The couple had just broken up two weeks earlier, when he came to her home and stabbed her 16 times. Her father Garry has now made it his mission to speak about dating violence.
“She was one of them. She was well liked. She was involved in activities and to think that something like this could have happened to her, I think they sit back and take a second look at their own relationships,” Dr. Cuccia said.
“It’s just like, that could be anyone of your friends, it could anyone of us,” one student said.
The assembly was unique. While around 1,200 high school students gathered at Moon, the program was live-streamed to several other schools in the area, reaching as many as 7,000 other students. The school and Dr. Cuccia hoping to spread the message about warning signs.
“If you see some red flags, you need to step in and say something,” said Moon Area Student Assistant Coordinator Joe Martonik.
Crisis Center North was also on hand during the assembly and afterwards, providing additional information and resources to students and staff.