Federal Leaders, Students Discuss What Needs To Be Done To Heal Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One week after students return to class following riots in West Baltimore, members of President Obama’s cabinet visit Frederick Douglass High School.

Gigi Barnett explains their message.

The White House sent two of its top secretaries to Frederick Douglass High School–Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

They teamed up with state school leaders and hosted a roundtable discussion with students, asking them what needs to be done to heal Baltimore.

Last week, some students at the school and other city high schools were caught on camera rioting against police.

Now lawmakers and students say more jobs, more role models and after-school activities are needed to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“If we can go on the Internet, social media, and start these riots and stuff, which was the only way we could get attention, we should be able to have meetings with important people and get them to listen to us,” said one student.

“These are beautiful, beautiful young people. And they’re brilliant. They want to go into their destiny, but we have to help them get there,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D) Baltimore. “We’re the adults. This is our watch.”

Right now, there’s no plan in place. But Secretary of Labor Tom Perez says he wants to get new programs rolled out in a matter of weeks–not months.

City Schools’ CEO Dr. Gregory Thornton and State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery were both at Wednesday’s event.

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