High School Students, Not Adults, Forming Ideas to Curb Violence

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s National Youth Violence Prevention Week and City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby asked students what’s the best way to prevent crime.

The teens say they are tired of the violence and have lots of ideas on how to stop it.

Students at Fredrick Douglas High School say to stop violence in Baltimore, the City needs to invest in young people.

At a forum organized by Mosby, dozens of teenagers and community leaders discussed the need for change.

“You’ve got sometimes people that are teaching you some of the wrong stuff,” said panelist Edward Sutton.”

“We are only four months into the year and guess how many people have been killed, 82,” Mosby said.

That’s why Mosby is forming a new youth program to help keep teenagers out of the criminal justice system.

Instead of adults coming up with solutions, the teenagers are making suggestions of how to stop the violence.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to get our word across,” said student Hayley Boutte.

The peaceful discussion is a stark change from the notorious images of Douglas High students at the height of the unrest in 2015.

“The unrest doesn’t define our city. At the end of the day, it’s the history, it’s the culture, it’s the people that define Baltimore city.” Mosby said.

The students agree, saying the way to ensure they don’t become statistics, is for those in power, to believe in them.

“We should have the opportunity to have more job opportunities, instead of them judging a book by it’s cover,” said student Donya Little.

The most common requests the students had were jobs and recreation centers.

So far in 2017, 82 people have been killed and more than 156 have been shot. In 2016, 318 people were killed and were 942 shot in the City.

More from Amy Yensi
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