FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- Out of the nearly 5,000 7th and 9th grade Cumberland County students polled this year, more than 45 percent reported a close family member of friend who had been shot.
It's just one statistic coming out of local classrooms, where teens have been taught through the pilot Educating Kids About Gun Violence program.
"We haven't had any homicides by a juvenile since this program was implemented in the schools, and we're hoping for more changes," said Operation Ceasefire program coordinator Lisa Jayne. "We know we're not all that, but we're a preventative measure and this program is prevention."
On Wednesday, the Fayetteville Police Department met with law enforcement officers and educators from across the state and Virginia, introducing them to FPD's EKG program. The program, which includes classroom visits, teachings by local officers and an original Operation Ceasefire movie, has been introduced in 464 CCS middle and high school classrooms this year.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro presented student surveys to the group during Wednesday's learning session at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
There have been 4,983 7th and 9th graders polled. Twenty-one percent strongly agreed or agreed it is easy to get a gun. Nearly 12 percent reported having been shot at or threatened with a gun.
Dr. Stacey Secrist and John Weil, researchers with UNCG and the NC Network for Safe Communities, noted the students reported more positive attitudes about conflict resolution after going through the EKG program.
Next year, Secrist and Weil said they would assist FPD and breaking down the stats by individual schools.
For more information on EKG, click here: http://ncnsc.uncg.edu/partners/operation-ceasefires-fayetteville-police-department-educating-kids-about-gun-violence-ekg-program/
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