Students pledge non-violence

Monday, January 21st 2008, 6:00 pm
By: News 9

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

Several students and parents were at Douglass High School Monday morning keeping a vow of non-violence on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They're vowing to boycott violence for a 40-day period with hopes it will extend beyond that.

Several hundred students gathered and signed the pledge.

"I know it's not going to get me where I want to be," said Briana Barton. "If I want to be the lawyer that I want to be, or the good defense attorney I want to be, I don't want to be in violence that will stop me at a young age."

Parents also signed the pledge.

"I wanted him to start now," said parent Sheila Hawkins. "Early is the best policy; I wanted Xavier to understand he has a chance to be the best he can be."

One of the students who signed was shot in the back, leg and face last week after a basketball game outside Putnam City High School. Police said the shooting was gang related.

The drive was part of a nationwide push called Pen or Pencil. The name means if you don't pick up a pencil, you could end up in the penitentiary.

More than 300 people signed the non-violence pledge.