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Attorney General Yost Kicks Off ‘Do the Write Thing’ Program in Zanesville


(ZANESVILLE, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost addressed students at Zanesville Middle School today as the district ushered in another year of “Do the Write Thing,” 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 happy to welcome you back to the ‘Do the Write Thing’ program,” Yost said in a kickoff video shared with the students. “Do the Write Thing is a writing assignment like no other. It’s an opportunity for you to share your own story, share your own thoughts about violence, about your world, your neighborhood – maybe even your school.”

The Zanesville City School District is in its second year of the program, which Yost’s office launched in the 2020-21 academic year with Springfield City Schools. The Canton and Lima school districts also joined the program last year, and new this year is the Youngstown district.

The program encourages seventh- and eighth-graders to put in their own words – maybe for the first time – a personal and sometimes-painful experience. It challenges them to express in a story, poem, song or other written form the violence they’ve seen, with an emphasis on exploring these key questions:

  • How does violence affect your daily life?
  • What are some of the causes of youth violence in your community?
  • What can you as an individual do to reduce violence in your community?
Zanesville community members and business leaders will read the work of students from Zanesville Middle School and pick the top submissions. The winning pieces will be published in a booklet and shared statewide to draw greater attention to the problem of violence.

Schools Superintendent Doug Baker said the district and the Zanesville community as a whole welcome the opportunity for their students to participate in Do the Write Thing.

“It is both heartbreaking and inspiring to read the stories written through the eyes of a 14-year old,” 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 we all desire to live in.”

Do the Write Thing, organized by the National Campaign to Stop Youth Violence, was founded in 1994. The program has reached millions of students nationwide.

Attorney General Yost’s remarks to the students can be found here.

Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113

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