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Students initiate pledge campaign
Green Mountain High School sociology students began promoting a new program called the "I Will" campaign which was originally created by students at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tennessee.

"We see the 'I Will' pledge as a way for students everywhere to actively support non-violence in our schools and bring awareness to individuals about how they are treating one another." said Green Mountain High sociology teacher, Heather Beck. "The pledges started just a few days ago and as of Thursday, there were already over 1,000 students who had made the pledge, a number of them are already reminding each other other about their new commitment."

"I Will" Pledge
 As part of my community and the Jefferson County School District*, I WILL...

I will pledge to be part of the solution.
I will eliminate taunting from my own behavior.
I will encourage others to do the same.
I will do my part to make my community a safe place by being more sensitive to others.
I will set the example of a caring individual.
I will eliminate profanity towards others from my language.
I will not let my words or actions hurt others.
 ...and if others won't become part of the solution, I WILL.

 ______________________________________________
 Signing here reflects your commitment to this pledge

*Students should use the name of their own school district here.
 
The students' goal is for this program to become a nationwide compaign by starting with signatures of every student  in Jefferson County including high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Students are collecting signatures from their classmates on an "IWill" banner for the Columbine memorial, handing out pledge cards, and keeping a tally of students involved. Elementary students were very receptive to the program when students from the sociology class presented it to them today.

The sociology class students have also contacted organizations to donate supplies including Sir Speedy, which is currently donating 20,000 (business card size) pledge cards. Corporate headquarters for Sir Speedy in California has made the "I Will" pledge card available on their web page for any Sir Speedy store to download. They are also offering free printing of these cards nationwide. Schools are asked to contact their local Sir Speedy store for more information about obtaining copies of the "I Will" pledge.


Quotes from Around the World

I'm the mother of a 7 year old in a small town in New York State. My son is currently a 2nd grader in a parochial school. I've come across the I Will pledge and am interested in calling it to the attention of both his school and my church community.
-- New York

What's so impressive about the "I Will" pledge is that it encourages participation on an individual basis towards an end of solving a collective problem. AND, it's truly representative of a democracy by and for the people. The future of any country always rests in the hands of its youths and the "pledge" is a great place to start preparing for the future.
-- San Diego, California

I heard about it on the radio & since I have known so many students in the past few years who have become very negative toward school, classmates, & teachers, I'm glad you're sharing it with us. I've also put in my Rotary bulletin a request for Rotarians & other adults to become mentors for the students who are thought to be high-risk in the area of school violence. Great idea...íMuchas gracias! :)
-- Jefferson County Middle School Teacher, Colorado

I live in New Jersey on the shore. I just wanted you to know that even all the way over here, we were deeply affected by the events in Littleton. The "I WILL" pledge is a great idea! Keep up the good work and God Bless You All.
-- New Jersey

Hooray for you and your students!!! My son is a student at GMHS and I am so pleased that this is happening at our school. What a positive step in the right direction!
-- Lakewood, Colorado

I think the idea of the "I will" campaign is great. I will give the info to my wife who works at our elementary school in Marlborough CT.
-- Connecticut

I'm a 4th grade school teacher in the Atlanta, GA area. I'm interested in knowing more. How can I get started?
-- Georgia

I am a junior at Highlands High School in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky and I am an officer for a club there called Students Offering Support, a club in which upper classmen mentor with younger students, peers and the community. I think that this campaign sounds like something that all the schools should get involved in.
-- Kentucky

We are a Senior Primary School In South Africa. Our Principal, Heather Polmans, has declared this year "Peace Year" at our school, and we are working on a Peace Song, as well as small exercises on Peace, and how it can be brought about in our Country, in our school, in our homes, and in our own lives. As you may have read, violence is a real problem in our country at the moment, and we are being challenged to be part of the solution. We read of your pledge with excitement, and would love to be involved. I have spoken to our Principal, and she has read your article, and asked me to contact you, to let you know. We will be looking at your web page, pledge etc to see how we will implement your idea in our community. Thank you for a good idea, and thank you for sharing it. We look forward to being part of a Global I Will campaign!!
-- South Africa

I'm a 14 year old Canadian, and I was wondering if we could use your pledge in my school, because we have a real problem with teasing and tormenting one another.
-- Canada

I am a 7th grader at Walt Clark Middle School in Loveland, CO. I think that this "I will" pledge is a great idea! I would like to get my school involved.
-- Colorado

Dear Ms. Beck and class, Thank you for starting the I will campaign. It makes me feel better just knowing about it. I hope to get started on it at Littleton High School where I teach art and sponsor United Youth, our diversity club.
-- Littleton, Colorado

I am a counselor at Eaglecrest High School in Cherry Creek, and am trying to get the "I Will" campaign going at our school. I think that these are the kind of ideas that can really make a difference.
-- Colorado

I am a Junior at Battle Mountain High School, in Vail, Colorado. I heard about your campaign and I would like to say this is such a good thing you and your students are doing. It is great to know that there are people like you all out there. This is a terrific way to create awareness, and I commend you all.
-- Vail, Colorado

Because Harry Ainlay High School has the largest school population in Western Canada (about 2300 students), I feel that the "I Will" campaign could play a large role in committing our students to non-violence and in encouraging the acceptance and diversity of our students.
-- Canada

Egg Harbor Township High School Key Club in New Jersey. We saw your pledge cards online and immediately contacted Sir Speedy whom made us up 2,000 pledge cards. On May 26th we will be making a school announcement and passing out cards asking students to sign them. We hope this will raise their awareness of what will be done.
-- New Jersey

I am a teacher at Wood River High School in Hailey, Idaho. My students would like to do more in response to the tragedy. This sounds perfect.
-- Idaho

I am a senior at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces. It starts with you!! We need to stop the anger and violence among American high school students. It begins with awareness and understanding. It also begins within the home.
--Las Cruces, New Mexico