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Lexington 8th graders write poems about personal experiences with gun violence

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The push to end gun violence continues with 8th graders at Lexington Traditional Magnet School urging their peers to put the guns down.

The event was a part of One Lexington’s “We Are One” Stop the Violence program. Over 70 8th graders wrote poems about their personal experiences with gun violence.

“It took me a week to get through your poems because I couldn’t stop crying every time I turned the page,” One Lexington Executive Director Devine Carama said.

Carama praised students for their creativity. A poet and hip-hop artist, Carama encouraged students to express their feelings through art.

“We hope that in them talking about it and being brave enough to share their stories, that it will help get to the next stage, which is to be an advocate against gun violence,” Carama.

Sara Thornton, an 8th grade writing teacher, said her students spent a month writing the poems.

“A lot of them tell me that they hear gunshots at night when they’re in their homes, so they are definitely directly affected. They have family members shot, so this is coming straight from their hearts,” Thornton said.

As a way to celebrate their efforts, the students received free streetwear from two local boutiques and books.

“Studies show that if young people can see themselves in characters of books that they read, they’ll enjoy it and read more,” Carama said.

Carama told the 8th graders they can be the positive change this community needs.

Students will also get the opportunity to read their poem/rap on air with Jay Alexander on 170.9 The Beat.

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