Use these resources to assist in your
participation in the #BooksNotGuns effort.
My name is Jennifer Nava. I am 16 years old and I am a youth leader with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, a member of AROS. I walked out on March 14th to demand that we address the root causes of gun violence and I am proud of all the students who are walking out on April 20th.
I am a sophomore at Thomas Kelly High School in Brighton Park, a Latino community on the Southwest side of Chicago. Brighton Park is not the safest of neighborhoods. There’s a lot of gang activity.
We trust our school to be a safe zone from all forms of violence, and bringing guns willingly - whether it’s in the hands of teachers or police officers - only shatters any feelings of comfort.
I know the added dangers guns bring with them. One way or another, someone will slip up and the gun we’re told was for our safety will hurt us, be it physically or emotionally.
I don’t want to send my nephew and niece to a classroom with a gun in a desk. I want to send them to a school full of books, with clean rooms and a playground. I want them to confide in counselors. I want a full-time librarian and a nurse; not guns and bulletproof windows.
If we choose bullets over counselors, we show how unimportant lives are. We show that the right answer is to kill off any feeling rather than express it. We should all be raised with the belief that problems can be solved through peace, not through bullets.
I want every educator and parent to take the pledge and stop adding violence to already unsafe situations.
If you are a parent, please stand with your children as they walk out. If you are an educator, be bold and take the pledge that no matter what laws they pass, you will not bring a gun into your classroom.