Gun violence is a strange man-made epidemic. A disease of the soul that strikes harshly and unjustly, gun violence has especially taken to horrific regularity on school campuses. In fact, since 2012’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, “a gun has been fired on school grounds nearly once a week,” according to The Los Angeles Times. Even just yesterday, headlines and commentary swept through social media in regards to the murder-suicide at UCLA.
In the years since Columbine, gun violence has latched itself to youth in our country’s narrative, increasingly finding its way into our national conversation after we talk of gang violence. We talk about the streets and then we talk about the schools, but not necessarily as a solution — often as just another problem.
This is what inspired New Yorkers Against Gun Violence to team up with Swedish agency Volt to make Sign Their Yearbook, a defiantly heartbreaking online yearbook for a school that doesn’t exist. Its entire student population were shot and killed before their own graduation.
The sobering online project also works as a petition, as the passionate individuals behind Sign Their Yearbook know that awareness isn’t enough, that action of some kind must follow. Here, it will be a demand universal criminal background checks for anyone attempting to purchase firearms. After 30 days, the petition will be sent to the U.S. Senate in the form of a physical yearbook.
See pictures and a video about the sobering project below.