DA 'Says No To Violence' At Rockaway Schools
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and many of his assistants and staff members toured eight New York City public schools in Far Rockaway, Queens, this week in celebration of the community's annual "Say No to Violence" week. The week-long event recognizes the community's efforts to prevent youth and gun violence.
On Wednesday, March 22, the District Attorney joined New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was paralyzed by gunshot wounds while on duty twenty years ago, in speaking to students at Bryan Piccolo Middle School 53 at 1045 Nameoke Street in Far Rockaway.
District Attorney Brown said, "The young people of Far Rockaway share with all teenagers the challenge to make peaceful choices when settling their problems. If they need more of a reason why they should refrain from participating in acts of violence at home, in school and in the community-at-large, they should turn to Detective McDonald to see firsthand the terrible consequences of just a moment's act of violence. Twenty years ago, Detective McDonald was on patrol in Central Park and approached a group of young teenagers for questioning. Instead of answering his questions, a 15-year-old member of the group instead chose to shoot Detective McDonald three times, paralyzing him from the neck down. Although Detective McDonald forgave the boy who tried to kill him, he and his family have had to live with the consequences of that boy's actions for the last two decades."
District Attorney Brown added, "In celebrating 'Say No To Violence Week', students should remember that their parents, teachers and public officials support and encourage their efforts and should walk away from this week with one message: violence and retaliation are never the answer."
Throughout the week, the participating schools heard from public officials and police officers. The schools were decorated with posters created by the students. Announced at the end of the week will be the poster and essay contest winners.
The participating schools are: PS 43, PS 104, PS 106, PS 197, PS 215, MS 53, MS 198 and Far Rockaway High School.