What Students Can Do
Things students can do to participate in the Day of National Concern about young people and gun violence:
- Take the Student Pledge materials to your principal, school superintendent, Student Council representative and/or guidance counselors. Tell them that you would like for your school and your city's schools to take part in the Day of National Concern and that you would like to be part of your school's or even your city's advisory board (those who will meet together to plan the events that will build towards this observance).
- Call your city's or town's Mayor, and ask if s/he will issue a Proclamation calling for the Day of Concern to be observed in your city or town. Ask the Mayor to visit a school on the Day of National Concern and to publicize the date.
- See if your public library has copies of The Gorp's Gift by Sherri Chessen, Just One Flick of a Finger by Marybeth Lorbiecki, Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers, and Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns, edited by Harry Mazer. These are books appropriate for a variety of ages, from preschool to high school. Ask the Library if it will make a display of these books in the weeks preceding your observance, and if it will make a poster of a blown-up version of the Pledge to remind people that the Day of Concern is approaching.
- Call your favorite radio station and ask if they will donate an hour of airtime on the Day of Concern for you, your friends, your city's school superintendent or a teacher, your local police chief, and any other local leaders who care particularly about young people. The radio station could arrange a call-in and radios could be hooked up to the school's P.A. systems so all the students in your city or town could tune in.
For example, Chicago’s popular B-96 radio station contributed an hour of commercial-free time for many years on the Day of National Concern, to a call-in show about kids and gun violence. Then-Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois's U.S. Senators, the Police Chief, the Superintendent of Schools, teenagers, and Chicago Cubs home run hitter, Sammy Sosa, all have taken part.
- Plan a Pledge March or a town rally to celebrate all the young people who have chosen peace on the Day of National Concern. Suggest a community candlelight vigil for young people who have died of gunshot.
- Send or present your school's pledges to a family that has lost a loved one to gun violence. Tell the family that the pledges represent your sadness for what happened to that family and your and your peers' determination that other families need not suffer similar tragedies.
- Think of something completely new that students can do to observe the Day of Concern! Get really creative!
Please send your ideas to us so we can share them on the website. Even if you've only done one thing, you will have contributed so much.