77ºF

Community leaders, educators call for end to gun violence

Group challenges community to take stand against recent shootings involving Miami Northwestern students

MIAMI – Standing in front of Miami Northwestern Senior High School, community leaders and educators vowed Tuesday to take a stand against the gun violence that has plagued their neighborhood.

"Which leaves me to ask you, do we really, really care about our children?" Miami-Dade County school board member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall said.

In the past six months, violence in the community has reached a fever pitch. Seven Northwestern students have been shot, four of them fatally.

Two other teenagers were shot last week as they standing in front of a home near Northwest 57th Street and Northwest 24th Avenue.

Shots were also fired Friday night near Traz Powell Stadium during a football game between Miami Carol City and Miami Central Senior high schools.

"Mothers and fathers and relatives cannot come to a football game and enjoy Friday night lights without some idiots shooting in a stadium full of crowded people," educator Dr. Steve Gallon said.

Community leaders are asking for more after-school programs designed to teach children about gang violence and added extracurricular activities to keep students at school longer.

"Some of our children are gravitating to gangs, and this is because they're not getting the proper love and attention at home," community leader William DC Clark said. "Ironically, the gang members give them the love and the respect that they seek."

They are also asking the community to break away from the "code of silence" that Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke about after the shooting that claimed the life of Johnny Lubin.

Follow Jenise Fernandez on Twitter @JeniseFernandez

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10