Poetry contest

Students rewarded for an anti-violence poetry contest

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – Dozens of eighth graders from Lexington Traditional Magnet School have gone home with books and clothes for participating in the “We are ONE” by One Lexington.

Local clothing store Oneness has partnered with the town to provide freebies to students.

The English class of 13, 14 and 15 year olds of Lexington Traditional Magnet (LTMS) teacher Sarah Thorton were asked to write about their experiences and feelings about violence in Lexington.

“It’s much worse if you don’t get shot because now you have to live with it, and it hurts,” student Wilson Bronson wrote.

Lexington Police are investigating 29 homicides this year so far. That’s on track to surpass the record set by the city in 2020. Mayor Linda Gorton launched the “One Lexington” initiative to address violence, especially among young people.

The goal is to address deep trauma and prevent violence before it begins.

“It’s not normal to lose friends to gun violence and hear gunshots every night and if we can really get them to believe this and talk about it and be active and part of the solution, I believe in the long term and maybe even in the short term, it will help reduce the violence,” said director Devine Carama.

Poetry gave students an outlet to express their pain and frustration. The gifts they received on Wednesday were to celebrate their efforts.

“There’s not a single button you press to stop the violence. It’s literally an all-hearts, all-hands-on game and so for us we think of preventative ways. We don’t want to wait until someone gets shot,” Carama explained.