Gibbons shares anti-violence message with students - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gibbons shares anti-violence message with students

Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons shared tough love Thursday morning at Hamilton High School while delivering an anti-violence message to students.

"How many of you know someone who has been killed as a result of violence in our community?" he asked.

With that question, Gibbons and his staff told students about a new campaign to warn students about gun crimes and other acts of violence.

"A lot of you all think you are tough," said Jimmy Chambers, and investigator in Gibbons' office. "We get those same tough guys downtown, and they cry like little babies."

Perhaps the most gripping visual message put in front of the students was a long list of pictures of juveniles already transferred to adult court for crimes like murder and aggravated violence.

"We have reached the point where juvenile violence is so serious in this community that we have got to do everything that our state law allows us to do to hold them accountable," Gibbons told students. "Under state law, we can seek a transfer to have them tried as adults."

The message seemed to get through to students.

"I believe that it kind of helped some students, but I know it really helped me, because I know I'm not going to be in a gang," eight grade student Patrick Quinn said. "That is not the way to go."
 
Quinn said the threat of adult prosecution will keep some students from committing crimes, but not all.

"Some students just don't care," he said.

To encourage students, Gibbons has started an essay contest called the "Do the right thing."  For the contest, students write essays about violence and what can be done to stop it.  In turn, they can earn trips to Washington D.C. with their teachers and parents.


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