Every school wants students to think. In Mobile County, they also want kids to think about calming down.
It’s a new awareness campaign targeted at schools, where violence among young people can be a problem. When students return to class this year, they’ll be greeted at the front door with professionally done posters designed to emphasize conflict resolution without violence.
Dr. Reginald Crenshaw, a school board commissioner for 14 years, is hoping the program makes a difference. Posters on the subject were already in local barber shops and stores, so it made sense to put them where every child would see them. To start, they’ll be at the front door of 12 schools. With six teenagers already killed in Mobile this year due to violence, it was time for schools to get involved.
Crenshaw said it was obvious something needed to be done.
“After talking with community leaders, we readily agreed we need to talk to young people,” said Crenshaw.
The posters are not ones that will be easily missed. One features a little boy praying and reads, “Are y’all going to kill me? A coward shoots into an occupied dwelling.” Another reads, “A coward beats females. Are you a coward?”
Crenshaw said the campaign will also have programs that follow up on the message, bringing speakers in to talk with students and serve as mentors.
“People who can come in and tell stories about young people who lost their lives [will be invited to speak],” Crenshaw said.
Meanwhile, the bottom of each poster offers kids a money-making opportunity to create messages of their own. “Start your own business. Get paid for clicks!”
Crenshaw said this part is to “encourage students to develop other 'stop the violence' posters and other positive messages related to stopping the gun violence. These can be done through TikTok, Facebook, and forms of social media. Just an idea to encourage students to become entrepreneurs.”
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