Extra security, protest planned for graduation at Valdosta school where gym-mat death occurred


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VALDOSTA, Georgia — Authorities say they will provide extra security during graduation ceremonies this weekend at the Valdosta high school where a student was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat more than two years ago.

The Valdosta Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/1SnygAF ) Kendrick Johnson, whose body was found in the school gym in January 2013, would have graduated with the 2015 class at Lowndes High School. Graduation ceremonies are Saturday, and lingering questions about Johnson's death have prompted plans for a protest outside the school.

Lowndes County sheriff's Lt. Stryde Jones says deputies will provide security at the school while Valdosta police and Georgia state troopers patrol outside, where about 100 protesters are expected to gather.

Local investigators concluded Johnson died in a freak accident, but the teenager's family insists someone killed him.

Information from: The Valdosta Daily Times, http://valdostadailytimes.com/

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