Orangeburg students sign pledge to reduce gun violence in their communities

Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 11:14 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Student Pledge Against Gun Violence is a national program that honors the role that young people have played through their own decisions to help reduce gun violence.

Over 700 students gathered at Lake Marion High School on Wednesday morning to sign a pledge to help reduce youth gun violence in their schools and their communities.

“One thing I wanna do is like engage with the community like if I see certain things that’s not right or something that seems suspicious or off, let someone like an authority know or police maybe and just stand up to it. I wouldn’t go up to the person you know but I would go up to someone and tell them about it,” said Shidaesia Davis-Amiker, a Lakewood High School Junior

I signed the pledge today because nowadays, it’s a lot of teens dying from gun violence and we could stop this by just like…. We could handle our problems with just talking. We don’t always gotta use guns all the time to handle violence like stuff like that,” said Saniah Smith, a Lakewood High School Sophomore.

Michelle Green from the organization, Voices of Black Mothers United shared her personal experience of gun violence.

Green lost her two sons Isaac and Carlton Wilson over a 9-year span.

VBMU is a national group of mothers who lost their children to gun violence.

“When I lost my second son Carlton, then it was like I relived losing my first son and it took me into a downward spiral because I thought all that I had done, giving to the communities and raising my kids that I was a failure,” said Green.

The pledge was signed by students who stated they would never bring a gun to school, never use a gun to settle a personal problem or dispute, and would use their influence with friends to keep them away from guns.

Green told the students the will to live is better than the will to have a gun.

“I just want to encourage our children to know that they can live. I have spoken to so many that the violence is so great in our communities that some don’t feel they’ll live beyond 21. I want to encourage them that they can live full fruitful lives. They just have to make that effort to basically like what we’re doing today which is take a pledge. Take a pledge that you’re not going to bring a gun to school, that you’re not going to use a gun to solve a conflict, and that you’ll encourage your friends to do the same,” said Green.

Green is also the founder of Reclaiming Our Youth Services which is a non-profit dedicated to supporting grieving mothers and promoting community awareness all across South Carolina.

For more information on the pledge against youth gun violence and to sign the pledge, anyone can head to the website here.

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