Youngstown elementary students march to stop violence in their city

Local News

Principal Tod Morris says it's their way of communicating their concerns to the community

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Dozens of students at Taft School in Youngstown marched around their south side neighborhood Thursday afternoon, calling for an end to the violence that has plagued this part of town to the point where some are afraid to walk to and from school. 

“We want people to know that we want peace, and we don’t want anybody doing bad stuff. Just follow the rules like human beings would do, like us,” said second-grader Dazaniel Martinez.  

Organizers of the event said the children and their families shouldn’t have to fear being outside after dark. 

“We’re just pleading for the young adults, the children that are making bad choices, to be respectful, responsible and safe overall,” said Dean of Students Leslie Kitchen. 

Those who raise these children say the street violence in the neighborhood is becoming a way of life that needs to be changed before it’s too late. 

“First of all, we’ve got to try to take the drugs and guns off the streets. That’s the first thing. That’s where to start,” said Brenda Martin, one student’s grandmother.  

For now, the students hope their voices make a difference. 

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