Students asked to flag violent plans

ORLANDO, FL: A campaign launched in Florida that encourages students to report friends with guns or plans for violence, is going national.

ORLANDO, FL: A campaign launched in Florida that encourages students to report friends with guns or plans for violence, is going national.

The Silence Hurts campaign kicked off two weeks ago at the International Youth Leaders Crime Prevention Conference in Orlando.

It includes a CD-ROM press kit for school PR people to use in organizing student groups to combat violence. Also planned is a video documentary on school violence featuring students speaking out and encouraging others to report friends who talk about committing violent acts at school.

The video is already in production, but the campaign is searching for a sponsor to pick up $50,000-$100,000 of its production cost. The video will be offered to MTV, other networks, and local stations to run as a public service announcement.

"The campaign was created by school PR professionals, but has student ownership,

said David Voss of David R. Voss Associates. "The students own this campaign because it takes peer-to-peer contact to work."

Voss began working on the campaign as a volunteer for the Palm Beach County schools in 2000, after a teacher there was shot by a student. He is continuing to volunteer his services as the campaign goes national.

The planned media kits will be distributed to members of the National School Public Relations Association.

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