Ex-Felon, Mother of Murder Victim Address Students

As part of an ongoing effort to promote peace and cultural awareness, students at Carson High School took part in an anti-violence forum Tuesday at which a former felon and a parent whose son was brutally murdered spoke about how violence has affected their lives.

Luis Rodriguez, a former East Los Angeles gang member, shared the story of how he broke away from gang life and now works as a peacemaker among gangs in Chicago. Fern Stamps talked about losing her son, a former Carson High School student, and her work as a volunteer with the California Youth Authority's victim's awareness program.

Students at the high school have organized a series of events over the next few weeks aimed at improving their community through nonviolent efforts. The students are trying to get the message across to their peers that everyone has a responsibility to make Carson safe.

"These were all lessons from the heart," said Assistant Principal Doug Waybright. "This is what we need and people came away from it feeling very positive."

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