29,765 students pledge to reduce gun violence
|State receives high marks for child gun-violence laws
By Scott Ishikawa
Advertiser Staff Writer
About 30,000 students statewide participated in the first Hawai'i State 2002 "Student Pledge Against Gun Violence."
The program had 29,765 elementary and intermediate-level students from more than 40 Hawai'i schools taking the pledge to stay away from guns and never to bring firearms to school. The Hawai'i State Student Council, Student Crimestoppers and state Department of Education recently held events honoring schools with the highest participation.
Four elementary schools (Hau'ula, Holomua, Ka'iulani and Ma'ema'e) had 100 percent of their students taking the pledge, one middle school (Jarrett) with 99 percent participation, and one high school (Kohala) with 91 percent participation.
Ma'ema'e Elementary won a drawing among the four top elementary schools and celebrated with a schoolwide ice cream party Dec. 19.
Kohala High on the Big Island was rewarded with a Winter Ball Dance on Dec. 21, and William P. Jarrett Middle School held a special dance yesterday.
"For the first year we were able to have almost 30,000 students participate statewide, which is very encouraging," said Detective Letha DeCaires of Honolulu Police's CrimeStoppers program. DeCaires said she is seeking sponsors to continue the program for another year.
Nationwide, 2,985,489 students pledged to take a proactive stance in reducing gun violence.