Memphis organizations team up to stop violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Memphis organizations team up to stop violence

Two Memphis organizations have joined together to say enough is enough after yet another week of violence in Memphis City Schools. 

Seventeen students were arrested for fighting at Northside High on Tuesday and 14 students from Pyramid Academy were taken to Juvenile court Thursday for fighting.

The violence lead lead Interim Memphis City School Superintendent Dan Ward to say, “That kind of behavior is stupid, unacceptable and unproductive.”

Now, K97 FM and Heal the Hood Memphis are echoing Ward's sentiments that violence leads to no where.

On Saturday, they began an anti-violence campaign that encourages kids age to sign a pledge against violence, crime and gang activity in Memphis schools and neighborhoods. 

"There are other things out here besides gangs, there are other things out here besides guns, K97 program director Devin Steel said.

Over 1,000 kids, including some gang members, signed pledges Saturday.

"They know the lingo but they know it's a horrible situation, and they want to come out of it, but it's about us giving them options," Heal the Hood Memphis CEO Ladell Beamon said.

Virgial Bailey has three children.  She was just one of the parents who brought kids up to sign the anti-violence pledge. 

For her, the future is about staying away from negative behavior.    

"You don't have to go that road. There is another road you can take, and you don't always have to give into gangs (and) give into drugs," Bailey said.  "You are the master of your fate.  You make your own decisions. You're responsible for what ever happens to you in your life."

K97 and Heal the Hood volunteers said Saturday was only the beginning.  They intend to continue their effort well into the summer months.  They are planning a series of community center tours that provide a place for kids to go while they are out of school.

Click here to send an email to Justin Hanson.

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