Area’s Second Annual “Day of National Concern” Addresses Young People and Violence
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – Local middle and high school students are joining thousands of others from around the country this week in pledging to do their part to end gun violence. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, the Cedar Rapids and Marion Police Departments, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office are partnering with about 10 local middle and high schools to promote discussion of the impact of violence on youth in observance of the 20th annual Day of National Concern.
The Day of National Concern was established in 1996 through a Presidential Proclamation and Unanimous Senate Resolution. The cornerstone of the initiative is the signing of a pledge in which students promise to never use a gun or violence to settle a personal dispute and to use their influence to keep their friends from doing the same. Nationwide, the pledge is often combined with school assemblies, homeroom activities, guest 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.
Locally, many schools are inviting guest speakers to talk with students, having students submit written reflections about gun violence in the form of a poem, song, or short story, or hosting a lunch with the United States Attorney. Several Assistant United States Attorneys and other local law enforcement officials will attend and speak at many of the events.
Kevin W. Techau, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, stated, “We are proud to partner with the Cedar Rapids and Marion Police Departments, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and College Community schools in the second Iowa observation of the Day of National Concern. The NO Gun pledge and the discussion it generates in our area schools will have a positive impact in our community. The Cedar Rapids and Marion area students are to be commended for taking the positive step of saying no to guns in schools.”
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