Students remember classmates lost to violence last year at a school rally in May.
Students throughout the Chicago Public Schools system on Thursday will sign a pledge against gun violence.
CPS is joining with the Chicago Police Department and school districts across the nation in observing the National Day of Concern About People and Gun Violence. The pledge has been distributed to CPS schools and principals have been urged to engage students in discussion about the damaging effects and negative impact gun violence has on young people and their communities.
“Guns and gangs are too prevalent in our children’s lives,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan. “We need to draw attention to this crisis and get everyone focused on valuing and protecting our children more.”
The importance of the pledge is to be given additional weight at Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education meeting. Board President Rufus Williams will highlight the upcoming National Day of Concern, the involvement of Chicago Public Schools and read the pledge that will be presented to high school students on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, WBBM-FM B-96 radio will be airing an hour of commercial-free airtime from 9-10 a.m. dedicated to the issues of youth and gun violence, and many public officials have been invited to participate in the live broadcast to help address the topic and encourage students to sign their pledges.
The high school pledge reads:
I will never bring a gun to school.
I will never resolve a dispute with a gun.
I will use my influence with my friends to keep
Them from using guns to settle disputes,
Together, by honoring this pledge,
We can reverse the violence and grow up in safety.
“Sign it; mean it, live it, keep it.”
The elementary school pledge reads:
If I see a gun, I won’t touch it. I will remember that any gun I see might be loaded. I know how important it is to keep myself safe.