Melrose is preparing to launch a new initiative in an effort to get families to throw away violent video games, movies, and toys by offering coupons to residents who drop off such items at the city yard, Mayor Rob Dolan said Thursday.
"If a family has this discussion and maybe tries to get rid of some of this stuff, they are going to get one of these coupons," Dolan said. "The child may be getting rid of something they like, but they are getting some value for it."
Dolan, a father of a 4-year-old and 7-year-old, said he was inspired to start the new initiative following the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., in December.
"I'm not saying people shouldn't have those things, but, at least in my house, things have changed since Connecticut," Dolan said.
Under the initiative, called New Year - New Direction, residents who throw away items can go into the city yard office and pick up a coupon sheet, which will include youth-oriented deals at local businesses, and possibly a "get out of homework free" coupon, Dolan said. The coupons are being created by the city's Chamber of Commerce. Dolan said he hopes to launch the initiative by Feb. 1.
The city is also planning a forum sometime next month with child development experts to talk about the effects of violent video games and toys on kids, Dolan said.
"From there, we hope that discussion continues in the home," he said.
Dolan is also part of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, which sent a letter to the president last month seeking tighter gun laws.