MILWAUKEE — After two days of workshops about sexual assault and reckless driving, students at Milwaukee Excellence Charter School began the third day of Victory Over Violence Week talking about a topic at the top of mind for many in Milwaukee: gun violence.
"The only way that we’re going to change this is by working together,” said Darrell Williams, former educator and candidate for U.S. Senate.
Speaker Shannon King, a certified life coach, says many victims of gun violence are young, not much older than many of the students listening to her.
“These babies are being taken away from us before you can even be who you want to be,” said King.
Many of the students today knew about gun violence firsthand, with many losing friends and loved ones. As the conversation continued, some felt the need to speak up.
“Put the guns down, that’s all I gotta say.” “People should put their pride to the side and then like you said, talk it out or just walk away. It’s not that serious.”
Wednesday’s focus on gun violence comes as Milwaukee County hits a dangerous milestone, with more than 70 homicides so far this year.
Organizers say enough is enough.
“To be honest with you, I’m tired of going to candlelight vigils,” said Williams. “Students, the only way this can change is through a conversation with you.”
Thursday marks the final day of workshops at Milwaukee Excellence Charter School, with mental health and cyberbullying on the agenda.
This all leads up to a walk to the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue on May 1, marking the start of Violence Prevention Month in Milwaukee.