Gun violence was main topic at civil rights program - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Gun violence was main topic at civil rights program

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

Students went back in time to get a history lesson that focused on gun violence Thursday morning.

Nettleton Junior High eighth graders worked for months to put on a civil rights program.

Students wrote poetry, dressed up, sang and shared history lessons with parents and students.

Braelen Lee, an eighth grade student, said he has learned a lot about history and how not to repeat it.

“This is just our way to show our appreciation for what others had to go through to be where we are now,” Lee said.

There were multiple speakers, including one who put a real face to the consequences of gun violence.

Viola Turner was one of the speakers. She lost her son in 2013.

“This thing is like an epidemic,” Turner said. “It’s hitting the old, the young, the rich, the poor. It does not matter what neighborhood, what background you come from.”

Turner has made it her mission to fight against gun violence and save the youth.

She shared her story of loss with the middle school students and discussed the consequences of picking up a gun.  

“It's not only going to affect you, but it's going to affect your mom, your dad, siblings and not just that side that you've taken a life from,” Turner said. “It's going to affect the whole environment of people.”

Turner has donated her son’s organs and his heart lives on through someone else.

Turner said when she heard her son’s heartbeat inside someone else, she knew she had a new purpose in life.

She is now sharing her story with whomever she can.

She also created an "I Promise" blanket. The blankets have a written pledge stating “I Promise…not to resolve issues by the use of a gun. Not to touch a gun, loaded or unloaded. To use my eyes and ears to help keep my school and community safe.”

She brought the blanket for the middle school students to sign and put up in their school.

Turner said she was excited to speak at such an important program for kids. 

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