Students take pledge inspired by Jessie Cate

TUESDAY marked the 16th birthday of murdered Dawesville teen Jessie Cate, with family, friends and members of her school taking the pledge against violence.

More than 850 students from Halls Head Community College and a further 500 from Coodanup Community College took the pledge to “never commit or condone violence in this school and in society and to speak out about violence whenever I see it”.

Halls Head deputy principal Jacquie Abbiss organised the event in line with White Ribbon Day and was inspired by Jessie Cate.

“I really wanted to create a positive out of such a tragedy,” Ms Abbiss said.

The school held a memorial service, unveiling a plaque and encouraging students to keep the memory of Jessie alive by honouring the pledge.

“Honour your pledge so no mother, no sister, no friend, no teacher … will ever have to face this loss again,” Ms Abbiss said at the memorial.

Jessie’s mother Judy Cate said she raised her five children to believe that if they had nothing nice to say they shouldn’t say it at all.

“The violence the youths are experiencing must stop,” Ms Cate said.

“Jessie tried to bring about change but she was just one person.”

“Keep her memory alive by honouring your word.”

Jessie’s sister Emma also spoke at the service encouraging the violence to stop.

“Next time you’re thinking about bitching or getting in a fight, take a minute, step back and think of Jessie,” she said.

“That will be the best birthday present you could ever give her.”