U.S. Attorney’s Office Launches “FED-UP,” a School-Based Program Addressing Gun Violence

As part of an ongoing effort to address gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with Project Longevity, Bridgeport Hospital, the Bridgeport Police Department and several community organizations, has developed “FED-UP: Working Together For A Safer Community,” a school-based anti-gun violence program.

FED-UP is designed to address and help stop increasing gun violence that is destroying the lives of students, their families and friends, and their community.  Geared toward students in the 6th through 10th grades, the FED-UP presentation includes a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s Office presenting statistics on gun violence around the country and in the local community, and techniques that law enforcement use to investigate gun crimes; a hospital representative describing the trauma room, the victim experience, gunshot wounds, and statistics on death and survival; a parent or relative of someone who has been lost to gun violence; a formerly incarcerated person; and a representative from Project Longevity discussing community options and programs to lead students away from gun violence.

“FED-UP is a valuable program that teaches kids not only about the current state of gun violence in their community, of which they are well aware, but it encourages them to understand that what they are experiencing with gun violence is not normal or acceptable, that there is nothing wrong with being angry or scared by it, and that they can help put an end to it,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle.  “We hope that FED-UP will stimulate students to engage, provide ideas on how to end gun violence, and learn about how their community can provide alternative, positive options.”

FED-UP launched in September in Bridgeport and, to date, the presentation has reached more than 500 students.  Additional presentations in Bridgeport schools are scheduled through the remainder of the school year.  FED-UP will soon be made available to schools in Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury.  School administrators in those cities who would like to learn about FED-UP and schedule a presentation are encouraged to contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis at jocelyn.kaoutzanis@usdoj.gov or 203-821-3700.

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