CHICAGO (CBS) — Students in summer school at a West Side elementary school had an assignment to write about violence.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, their teacher says she was struck by the fact that every one of them has a story to tell.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Teacher Tenisha Jones says the North Lawndale neighborhood is a place that needs some help, “because of all the violence that’s going on; because of, the overall, just the unhappiness within the neighborhood.”

Jones had her students at Roswell B. Mason Math and Science Academy, 1830 S. Keeler Ave., write essays about stopping the violence.

“And I was thinking, what is it that my students may be interested in? What is impacting their lives?” she said.

Her students had very personal answers.

“Too many people getting killed over nothing. I know this because I saw someone get killed before right in front of me,” said one student, Caprice, 13.

In his essay, Caprice wrote, “Violence should be stopped.”

“Me and my friend were walking down the street, and some guys started shooting, and he got shot,” Caprice recalled. He also wrote about a victim getting killed “for no reason.”

Caprice said, “Somebody needs to stop (the violence),” but when asked if he had any idea as to how, he said no.

Upon reading the essays, Jones said it was clear that “these kids have seen a lot, and that they have been through a lot.”

Jones also had had the students make posters.

“They were going to go around their neighborhoods and post them, so that they could be peace ambassadors,” Jones said.

She adds that there is plenty of hope.

“We’ve talked about college. We’ve talked about high school graduating; what they want to be when they grow up,” Jones said. “It doesn’t stop after this paper.”

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