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Vanessa Harvey, a student in Beth Jacobs’ poetry group at Family Focus, was a first-place winner in the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence Student Voices
Contest in Poetry.  

There are only 12 winners in the entire Chicago area from ages 8 to 18. The theme was to speak out and write about the media’s role in gun violence. Her poem is reprinted below. …

I think the media plays a big role in gun violence

saying bad things about people and cyber bullying.

There’s a lot of school shootings

There’s a lot of people going into schools and shooting people, even the teachers.

When people hear about things that inspires people to start doing it,

shooting in special places like a school, bank or a mall.

Maybe people think it’s a sport or like it’s fun

But maybe we can help, so try to stop it.

Talk to people about it, because putting them in jail for a while doesn’t help.

To stop it, put the gun down.