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Attorney General Honors Zanesville Student Finalists in ‘Do the Write Thing’ Program on Impact of Violence


(ZANESVILLE, Ohio) – Zanesville Middle School student MaCaila Thompson knows what it’s like to be a victim of mental abuse.

I can say even if you get away from the person it takes a lot to forget what they said. When you close your eyes you can hear their voice. You can feel the tension in your body. The yelling, the throwing things. Them telling you, you will never be good enough.

MaCaila was one of 10 students from the Zanesville City School District honored yesterday evening by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost as a finalist in the “Do the Write Thing” challenge, a national program that asks middle-schoolers to explain how youth violence affects them and to share ideas about how to stop it.

“I am so proud of the Zanesville students,” Yost said. “Their stories are deeply private and certainly painful to remember, and they’ve put them into words for the benefit of others.”

Yost’s office launched Do the Write Thing in Ohio last year with Springfield City Schools and this year partnered with three more districts: Zanesville, Canton and Lima. The program allows students to express – maybe for the first time – their experiences with violence.

The Zanesville program received more than 500 submissions from seventh- and eighth-graders at Zanesville Middle School. The award ceremony was held yesterday at Zanesville Middle School.

Community members and business leaders volunteered to read the essays and choose the winning submissions, with the top 10 stories published as a booklet to be shared across the state to bring greater attention to the problem of violence.

MaCaila Thompson and Triovannt’ias Ladd will join 6 students from the other participating districts as Ohio’s ambassadors to the Do the Write Thing conference in Washington, D.C., in July.

Zanesville City Schools Superintendent Doug Baker applauded the students and community for working to make positive and lasting change.

“This program provided a platform for our students to express how they have been personally affected by difficult challenges, that are mostly outside of their control, as well as describe potential solutions to those challenges,” Baker said. “It is our hope that these insights will initiate the momentum that is needed to encourage us all to become a leader in creating the type of communities that we all desire to live in.”

Do the Write Thing, organized by the National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence, has reached millions of students with its program.

Attorney General Yost’s remarks from yesterday’s event can be found here.

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