Ending domestic violence has been a big focus for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings –- so much so that he encouraged high school students to take a pledge, and the school with the most pledges wins a home game at AT&T stadium next fall.
W.H. Adamson High School in north Oak Cliff took this mission to heart because it hit so close to home for so many young men.
Adamson has 1,400 students, and 8,200 people pledged to end domestic violence on the school's behalf.
The school's football coach and athletic director took on the pledges as a personal endeavor, urging kids to fill in the blank: "I pledge to help stop domestic violence because…"
The response was overwhelming.
Adamson is one of Dallas' oldest high schools, with alumni spread all over the country.
When many learned of the current student body's mission to end domestic abuse, thousands pledged online to support their alma mater. Little did they know why the young men were so passionate.
"As a child, I did see some kind of domestic violence between my parents, and it affected me, but as kids, we pretend like we don't see anything," said David Banda, and Adamson football player.
"I had my fair share of domestic violence in my family and I personally hate it, because it's disgraceful," said Joseph Taylor, junior football team captain.
Football coach Josh Ragsdale distributed flyers to his team in mid-October, then posted their words and pictures on Twitter.
One retweet after another, football players from Baytown to Corsicana and Kennedale signed the Men Against Abuse pledge and posted it.
Even college players in New Mexico and the Naval Academy reinforced Adamson's efforts.
The football players are the big men on campus, and realize that responsibility demands leadership.
"I treat a woman like I treat my mother or my sister," said Banda.
Players say they were motivated by the cause, and not by winning the mayor's contest to play at AT&T Stadium.
"They feel like they've done a service to ladies who are being abused, because they feel they've started a movement that might not fix it, but it sure will get closer to getting the problem fixed," said Josh Ragsdale, Adamson High's football coach and athletic director.
In the pledge contest, Woodrow Wilson came in second with 7,100 pledges, and Thomas Jefferson finished third with 2,000.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said he is proud so many young men are taking a stand against domestic violence.
KDFW FOX 4
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