(Senatobia, MS) "The important thing is, we want to honor him in some way,” said Jo Hanahan.
The students in her Senatobia Middle gifted class are about to get a first hand look at how government works.
”I’m really hoping that they say yes to renaming West Main Street for officer Eric Lentz,” said Emmy Winstead.
All of Senatobia felt profound loss the day Highway Patrol Staff Sergeant Eric Lentz lost his life on West Main street in a traffic accident.
This class decided it had to take action.
”It was kind of all of our idea. We started talking about Trooper Lentz and one thing led to another,” Hanahan explained.
Students will appeal to Senatobia’s Board of Aldermen to change West Main Street’s name to honor Staff Sergeant Lentz.
”It would show honor and respect to him and I’m sure lots of other citizens of Senatobia, agree," said Winstead.
A make-shift memorial along the road still marks the spot where Lentz died.
It was a very emotional time for those there the day of Staff Sergeant Lentz’ accident, so there’s wide interest in the students’ project.
But changing the name of a state highway, or city street, is harder than most of us realize.
Senatobia’s mayor says he’s anxious to hear from the students.
”It’s a very noble idea. We’ll give it full consideration,” said Alan Callicott.
He can’t predict if the board will approve their request but says the students will learn a lot.
”This is their City Hall and we like folks to see what happens with government."
The students know it’s possible aldermen may not be able to grant their request, but they hope they’ll at least settle for some kind of memorial to the man who made it his life’s work to protect the community.
”We want his family to know that we care about him and we do care about him and this is a great way to show that we care,” said Winstead.
City leaders say some kind of community project might be just the way to show that.