CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Students in the Upstate are taking a stand against gun violence.
On Wednesday, 3 local schools participated in the 18th annual Students Pledge Against Gun Violence Day.
“Stop. Don’t touch. Runaway. Tell a grown-up,” sang 5th graders at Northwest Elementary School.
Principal Kathy Phillips says the song is one way students will remember what to do if they ever encounter a weapon at school.
“Tell a teacher at recess or whoever is around,” said Trenton Blanton.
“If [the gun] is in class, I would raise my hand,” said Grant Gardner.
Students are also taught what not to do.
“You shouldn’t pick it up at all because it could be loaded,” said Terrance Bacote.
The song was part of the lesson plan on Wednesday. Northwest Elementary, in Gaffney, participated in National Student Pledge Against Gun Violence Day.
“Unfortunately in today’s world many of our families are touched by gun violence,” said Phillips. “We just want our children to be prepared and we want them to feel safe and secure.”
All 450 students took the pledge. By signing it students promised to never bring a gun to school, use a gun to resolve a problem and encourage their friends to do the same.
“It’s important because when you take the pledge you’re saying that you’ll stop and not touch it, and not ever to use a gun to hurt somebody,” Lauren Mathis told 7News.
Principal Phillips believes in proactive instruction. She says students take these lessons with them long after they’ve graduated. So she encourages open discussions about gun violence.
“Always be careful about guns because it could hurt you or somebody else,” said Beau Peeler. “Even if you don’t mean to.”
“If you don’t know what to do, you could hurt yourself or somebody else,” said Trevor Blanton.
Limestone Central Elementary and Greer High School also participated in National Student Pledge Against Gun Violence Day.
(WSPA) – Three Upstate schools, as well as area law enforcement, will be participating in South Carolina’s 18th annual Student Pledge Against Gun Violence event today.
According to a news release, Greer High School in Greenville County and Limestone Central and Northwest elementary schools in Cherokee County, will take part in the pledge, as the United States Attorney’s Office and local, state and federal law enforcement visit schools across the state Wednesday.
“With a focus on keeping schools and communities safe, students in middle school and high school are signing 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 are pledging that if they see a gun they will not touch it, they will tell a teacher or a trusted adult, and they will assume that any gun they see might be loaded,” from the U.S. Attoney’s Office release.
According to the release, the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence is a national program that “provides a means for beginning the conversation with young people about gun violence and encourages important conversation among students about gun safety and respectful ways to resolve disputes.”
The participating law enforcement agencies across the state include:
- Beaufort Police Department
- Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office
- Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
- Columbia Police Department
- Florence County Sheriff’s Department
- Greer Police Department
- Hampton County Sheriff’s Office
- Hardeeville Police Department
- Marion County Sheriff’s Department
- Myrtle Beach Police Department
- Richland County Sheriff’s Office
- Summerville Police Department
For more information about the student pledge, click here.