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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Over 30,000 Students To Take Pledge Against Gun Violence

United States Attorney Kenneth Polite announced that on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, over 30,000 students in over 70 schools across Southeast Louisiana will participate in his Office’s first district-wide Student Pledge Against Gun Violence Day.   

Middle and high school students will sign a voluntary pledge promising that they will never take a gun to school, will never resolve a dispute with a gun, and will use their influence to prevent friends from using guns to resolve disputes.  Elementary school children will make a simpler commitment,  pledging that if they see a gun they will not touch it, they will assume that any gun they see might be loaded, and they will tell a teacher or a trusted adult.              

In coordination with the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program, the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence is a national program that recognizes the role that young people, through their own decisions, can play in reducing gun violence.  This campaign against youth gun violence culminates each October in a Day of National Concern about Young People and Gun Violence. Students from around the country will join together in pledging to do their part to end gun violence.  Over 10 million students nationwide have signed the pledge since its inception in 1996.

U.S. Attorney Polite stated that his Office began using the pledge during the 2013-14 school year, with approximately 2500 students signing the pledge at seven schools.  Because of the outstanding response from school leaders and students, the Office decided to expand the initiative district-wide to include all schools in all 13 parishes, including  Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington.  "Our Office is pleased to take this opportunity to reach out to students, engage in a dialogue about gun violence and the importance of making right choices, and encourage them to become peacemakers of our time," stated U.S. Attorney Polite.

In addition to providing the pledges, members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies will serve as speakers at several schools to talk to students about what they can do to reduce gun violence in their communities.

The participating schools and law enforcement agencies are as follows:

Schools:

Algiers Technology Academy (Orleans Parish)
Alice Birney Elementary School (Jefferson Parish)
Assumption High School (Assumption Parish)
Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics and Science School (Orleans Parish)
C.T. Janet Elementary School (Jefferson Parish)
Christian Brothers School (Orleans Parish)
De La Salle High School (Orleans Parish)
Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy of Global Studies (Orleans Parish)
East Houma Elementary School (Terrebonne Parish)
East St. John Elementary School (St. John Parish)
East St. John High School (St. John Parish)
Emily C. Watkins Elementary (St. John Parish)
Esperenza Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Fannie C. Williams Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Fifth Ward Elementary (St. John Parish)
Fisher Middle/High School (Jefferson Parish)
G. T. Woods Elementary School (Jefferson Parish)
Garyville/Mt. Aire Math & Science Magnet (St. John Parish)
Gentilly Terrace Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Golden Meadow Lower Elementary School (Lafourche Parish)
Gretna No. 2 Academy for Advanced Studies (Jefferson Parish)
Hammond Junior High Magnet School (Tangipahoa Parish)
Harry Hurst Middle School (St. Charles Parish)
Helen Cox High School (Jefferson Parish)
Henry Ford Middle School (Jefferson Parish)
International High School of New Orleans (Orleans Parish)
J.C. Ellis Elementary (Jefferson Parish)
Jefferson Elementary (Jefferson Parish)
John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School (St. John Parish)
Johnson Gretna Park Elementary School (Jefferson Parish)
Joshua Butler Elementary School (Jefferson Parish)
KIPP Believe Primary School (Orleans Parish)
KIPP Renaissance High School (Orleans)
Lafayette Academy Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Lake Area New Tech Early College High School (Orleans Parish)
Lake Forest Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School (St. John Parish)
LaPlace Elementary School (St. John Parish)
Laurence D. Crocker College Prep (Orleans Parish)
Livaudais Middle School (Jefferson Parish)
Martin Behrman Elementary (Orleans Parish)
Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School (Orleans Parish)
Mater Dolorosa Catholic School (Tangipahoa Parish)
McDonogh 32 Literacy Charter School (Orleans Parish)
McDonogh 26 Elementary (Jefferson Parish)
McDonogh 42 Elementary Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Medard H. Nelson Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Mildred Harris Elementary (Jefferson Parish)
Miller Wall Elementary (Jefferson Parish)
Myrtle C. Thibodeaux Elementary (Jefferson Parish)
New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (Orleans Parish)
Northshore High School (St. Tammany Parish)
Our Lady of Grace School (St. John Parish)
Paul J. Solis Elememtary (Jefferson Parish)
Pierre A. Capdau Charter School (Orleans Parish)
Pierre Part Middle School (Assumption Parish)
St. Augustine High School (Orleans Parish)
St. Benedict the Moor (Orleans Parish)
St. Bernard Middle School (St. Bernard Parish)
St. Christopher School (Jefferson Parish)
St. Peter Claver Catholic School (Orleans Parish)
St. Mary's Academy (Orleans Parish)
Sylvanie Williams College Prep (Orleans Parish)
T. H. Harris Middle School (Jefferson Parish)
The Good Shepherd School (Orleans Parish)
Vic A. Pitre Elementary School (Jefferson Parish)
Village East Middle School (Terrebonne Parish)
West St. John Elementary (St. John Parish)
West St. John High School (St. John Parish)
Wesley Ray Elementary School (Washington Parish)
William Fischer Accelerated Academy (Orleans Parish)
William Hart Elementary (Jefferson Parish)

Agencies:

Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Gretna Police Department
Houma Police Department
Houma Sheriff’s Department
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office
New Orleans Police Department
St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office
U.S. Probation

Updated November 18, 2014