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The Littlest Witnesses to D.C.’s Gun Violence Inspire an Initiative Aimed at Stopping It

September 26, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EDT Originally Published By Theresa Vargas

The Washington Post

Lyric McClaine, 8, wears a “No Slide Zone” T-shirt. Soon those words will start appearing in neighborhoods in the District that have become frequent targets of gun violence. (Duane Cunningham)

A 13-year-old girl sits in her home on the Northwest side of the nation’s capital, taps on her screen to get to class — and feels relieved.

Relieved that she doesn’t have to sling her backpack over her shoulder and say goodbye to her mom and little sister. Relieved that she doesn’t have to step outside and make the 2-minute walk to her middle school.

Relieved that at the end of the school day, she doesn’t have to walk home alone. “She was the type of child, you could put her in the middle of a crowd and by the time you would pick her up, she’s cool with everyone and has friends,” the girl’s mother says. “I feel she’s lost some of that. She doesn’t want to go anywhere now without me.” Last school year, her daughter was on the cheerleading team, participated in African dance and talked about wanting to join the basketball team.

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