DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   CONTACT:  AG (507) 645-5378
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2007                                         OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
WWW.PLEDGE.ORG                                                                     MLGROW@PLEDGE.ORG



            [BEAUMONT, TX] – Members of the Eastern District of Texas' Project Safe Neighborhood Advisory Board will join local schools in recognizing October 24th, as the 12th annual Day of National Concern about Young People and Gun Violence.  On this day, millions of students from around the country will join together in pledging to do their part to end gun violence.  From Honolulu to New York City, young people will be signing a voluntary pledge: “I will never carry a gun to school; I will never use a gun to settle a personal problem or dispute; and I will use my influence with my friends to keep them from using guns to settle disputes.”  A different pledge is used for elementary-aged children. 

In order to re-iterate this message throughout the school year, the PSN Advisory Board will be distributing more than 5000 cloth bookcovers to area students on October 24, 2007.  The book covers serve as reminders to keep their schools safe and free from violence.  Along with the presentation of the book covers, members of the Advisory Board will also lead school discussions on this issue at various schools throughout the area.

In light of the recent tragedies at schools all over the country there is no better time to give students a way to respond and participate in ensuring their safety and the safety of those around them.  The Student Pledge is a way to start the conversation about gun violence with children and adolescents affected by these shootings. “Linking students around the country in one observance is important,” said National Coordinator, Mary Lewis Grow.  “It underscores the fact that violence is not inevitable, it is the sum total of individual decisions.  Individually and collectively, young people are an incredibly powerful force for change.”

Since the first Day of National Concern in 1996, more than 10 million young people have participated in the national youth anti-gun-violence campaign.  The signing of the Pledge is the cornerstone of a day, often weeks in the planning, which may include school assemblies, speakers, rallies, essay and poetry contests, displays of art work publicizing the toll of gun violence, and the beginning of many conversations about gun violence between students and adults. 

The Student Pledge Against Gun Violence web site, , includes suggested activities, references to appropriate resources, and curriculum ideas.  Questions can be directed to 507-645-5378 or .   


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