YouTube video

Responding to the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, some California youth are joining 750 mayors, and more than 750,000 grassroots supporters to demand President Obama and Congress come up with a plan to end gun violence.

In a 60-second video, 33 youth from California-including Boyle Heights- say guns are not the way to keep schools safe. “Don’t lock down our schools,” says one teen in the video.

David Valdez, Director of the Youth Institute at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA, helped coordinate production of the video.

“Students want schools to be safe,” said Valdez. “But they are wary of solutions that only call for more police in schools.

The youth who took part in the video are leaders in The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, which focuses on improving neighborhood and school environments.

The video was inspired by the “Demand a Plan” video, released last week by Hollywood artists. The national “Demand a Plan” campaign is being led by Mayor Bloomberg.

In the United States, an average of 14 young people are murdered every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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