Students are scared straight behind bars

Education

POSTED: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 6:45pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 6:49pm

It was out of the classroom and off to prison for 30 high school students from Valley Park Alternative High School.

"It was pretty eye-opening. There's real life consequences to everything you do,” says Kameron Bell.

Bell and Kenyaki Anderson were two of the 30 kids who got up close and personal with inmates from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison as part of the "Reality Behind Bars" program.

"If you make the wrong choices you'll end up behind bars because there's a consequence to every action," says Anderson.

That's the message inmate Roderick Wilson and the rest of the prisoners were trying to get across in a play they performed for the students.

"These are real life situations. People get life. People get death penalties all the time for wrong choices that they made. So that's the point we're getting across. Don't make those choices," says Wilson.

Choices like dropping out of Valley Park Alternative School.

"I stopped going. That was one of the worst decisions I ever made. After that my life just went downhill. Right after that I just didn't care anymore," states Wilson.

To help make sure the kids don't make those kinds of mistakes, each of the inmates was able to share his personal story with a couple of the high school students.

"I wanted to be a testimony to others. Let them know what I've been through. I don't want to go down the same road as I did," says Wilson.

And the students heard the inmates’ message loud and clear.

"'I'm going to take it to heart. I'll think about the stuff I heard today," says Bell.

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