The sixth-grader can barely keep from smiling, self-conscious in front of the camera as she delivers a very serious message.
“Hi, my name is Hadiya. This commercial is informational for you and your future children,” she begins. “So many children out there are in gangs and it’s your job as students to say no to gangs and yes to a great future.”
The video then shows shots of a boy slumped in a stairwell, another boy sprawled against a locker, a girl lying on the floor against a wall as a classmate next to Hadiya says, “So many children in the world have died from gang violence. More than 500 children have died from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Four years after Hadiya Pendleton made that video at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School, police are saying the same thing about her.