WILKES-BARRE – Educators in Luzerne County said students returning to class later this month will see new anti-gun programs, following a summer of violence in the Diamond City.
Workers with Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services said the weapons deterrent program will be incorporated into lesson plans for nearly every classroom in Wilkes-Barre, as well as in school districts throughout Luzerne County.
The outreach program will be used at G.A.R. High School, just blocks away from where a teen set to enter his senior year was shot and injured on South Grant Street over the weekend.
Susan Mizenko said prevention education specialists will visit classrooms to talk about the dangers of inappropriate gun use and violence, as well as offer students a card pledging not to carry weapons, or spend time with kids who carry guns or knives.
“We`re going to talk about conflict resolution and talking about violence, that`s not the answer,” said Mizenko. “There are better ways to deal with situations and problems.”
Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services CEO Carmen Ambrosino told Newswatch 16 that the program will also connect youth facing weapons charges in juvenile court with counseling, as well as an opportunity to listen to someone who turned their life around following a weapons arrest.
“Former inmates that are courageous enough to come forward and say our possession of guns, our use of guns, have led us to incarceration. We`re now finally back on the streets living a productive lifestyle,” said Ambrosino. “We have become acceptable of violent outbreaks when we have stressful situations in our lives.”