October 18th is the National Day of Concern about Young People and Gun Violence.
To mark the occasion more than 900 local students will be signing a pledge to take a stand against gun violence.
The pledge is a national campaign that is said to empower students to educate themselves on the risks of guns and gun violence.
Gun violence remains the number of cause of death for children ages 1-19 according to a study completed by the Children’s Defense Fund.
I will never bring a gun to school;
I will never use a gun to settle a personal problem or dispute;
I will use my influence with friends to keep them from using guns to settle disputes.
My individual choices and actions, when multiplied by those of young people throughout the country, will make a difference.
Together, by honoring this pledge, we can reverse the violence and grow up in safety.
After students take that pledge they will participate in a conversation about the dangers of guns when used improperly and how they can communicate with their peers about gun violence.
Administrators, counselors and teachers are expected to support these students after making this pledge.
Jessica Brown, the Alabama state lead for the Voices of Black Mothers United says some students taking the pledge have never experienced gun violence. Others have a more personal reason.
“Some children may have lost a sibling to gun violence. Some people may have witnessed a senseless act of gun violence. Some people may have accidentally been the person to pull the trigger,” said Brown.
Education resources like books and research project ideas will be provided to area schools to help keep the conversation about gun violence going.
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Brown says this effort also relies on parents and the community.
Adults can encourage students to create their own gun violence awareness events.
Since 1996, over 10 million students have signed the pledge.