"It was an eye-opener": Domestic violence survivor shares story with 8th graders

Teresa Carter Kizzie at Buckeye Middle School
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The 8th grade class at Buckeye Middle School took part in a unique lesson Thursday. Instead, of their typical curriculum, the students heard from Teresa Carter Kizzie, a survivor of domestic violence.

“Whew,” she said in a voice of despair. “When I was 8, March 8th, 1994, I witnessed my father killing my mother.”

Young and terrified, Teresa was the one who called the police to come to her family home on East 13th Avenue.

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“My dad and mom started fighting over money and I remember my mom putting her back against the door to keep him out of the room and he shot through the door,” she explained. “I was actually on the phone with 911.”

Twenty-six years later, Teresa is now sharing her journey in the classroom.

“It was an eye-opener,” said Shaniya Jones Harris, an 8th grader.

Teresa now travels to various schools showing kids how writing and journaling helped her heal and forgive.

“I remember asking God to read my writings to my mom… And in my heart I felt that she was with me,” she said.

The now published author has rewritten her story, a personal testimony of strength and endurance.

“If she got through that by writing, that's a lot and clearly it's powerful,” said Aniyah Thompson, an 8th grader.

“I know I can overcome things too now,” said Gabriel Monroe, also an 8th grader.

Teresa is now married and lives in Nashville. She is the mother of two children.