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Midland Alternative Program hopes to bring awareness to social isolation

This week the Midland Alternative Program kicked off its "Start with Hello" initiative to bring awareness to social isolation and gun violence.

MIDLAND, Texas — One of the things we have heard about a lot recently are threats towards schools in our community.

One school in MISD is trying to make a difference with students by bringing awareness to these issues.

This week the Midland Alternative Program kicked off its "Start with Hello" initiative to bring awareness to social isolation. Its an issue school leaders said prevents other issues like gun violence. 

NewsWest 9 spoke with the principal at M.A.P and she said this type of awareness is a step in the right direction due to the recent issues.

"Due to the rise in gun violence and just the kinds of access to firearms, I felt it was important to roll this initiative out during this time," said Clark.

Principal Clark said this is the first year something like this was implemented on the school campus. She believes there are many signs that people can detect through a social media post.

"When they see their friends posing with artillery, they think that they are just posing, that there is not a message behind it," said Clark. "This has changed a lot of their perspectives and view points to help get the dialogue going."

Throughout the week, students worked on different activities that brought awareness and conversation to the issue. 

One of those activities was a paper tree that reflected the lives lost during the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health.

Credit: KWES

"It wasn't necessarily that the shooter had an issue with anyone on that campus, but they had things going on the inside," said Clark. "They didn't have anyone to talk to... so this is more of the mental health side of it what do you do if you see someone alone."

NewsWest 9 spoke to Angel Cuevas, a sophomore at the Midland Alternative Program reflects on the activities throughout the week.

"If I see someone feeling that type of way and I didn't speak up or try to help them I would feel guilty if anything were to happen," said Cuevas. "If we just get to talk to people and let them know there is someone, it can prevent a lot of situations."

Clark said conversations like these are important for students at this age as they become adults in society.

"They understand the importance of at least acknowledging someone and see the signs of people that are isolated that you didn't think were isolated before," said Clark.

Principal Clark told NewsWest9 she hopes to include this initiative in the years to come.