After the horrific shootings in Parkland, Florida, high school seniors in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn chose to focus their efforts on promoting school safety and advocating for increased gun regulation. Working in partnership with Students Demand Action (SDA), an Everytown for Gun Safety initiative, the students created a school-based Student Safety Coalition (SSC), a youth-led group through which teens promote a safer school environment and raise awareness around the issue of gun violence in schools. They organized a multi-faceted campaign to raise awareness in their high school – including a PSA, in-class presentations, and a school assembly- and created a How To Guide and video to inspire teens around the country to start SSCs of their own. Impressed with their efforts, Everytown shared these resources with their extensive nationwide network of schools.
Neighborhood Gun Violence
When SLP students are brainstorming social problems to tackle, nearly every group raises gun violence as a concern. This is true even for our younger students, including a group of 3rd graders in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn who decided to tackle their neighborhood’s constant struggle with guns and gun violence. During the Research Phase of their project, they conducted a peer survey which revealed heartbreaking statistics: 16% of third and fourth graders in their school had witnessed someone getting shot and 24% felt scared of guns while walking to and from school. To raise awareness about the pervasiveness of guns in their community, along with the resulting trauma experienced by far too many, these young advocates – all 8 and 9 years old – created a powerful (PSA).