Teens Discuss Violence at Town Hall Forum

NBC 33
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POSTED: Monday, June 30, 2014 - 4:12pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 8:09am

(Baton Rouge)- The goal of the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Program is to to reduce crime in the Capitol City, and officials say it all begins with the younger generation. NBC33's Rachael Penton has the story.

Let's stop the violence. That was the message Baton Rouge public officials and law enforcement were trying to convey to a group of young people on Monday morning.

"You're going to have some tough times in life. You're going to have your buddies who try to steer you one way and the others trying to steer you the other way," says Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.

The Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Program, known as BRAVE, hosted a town hall meeting for students.

"We want to exchange in conversation to find out really what's going on in their minds that would make the areas where they live, where they go to school, where they live and shop much safer," says Sgt. Hebert "Tweety" Anny, BRAVE Project Director.

"Organizers say today's event is a little different. The table's are turned and it's the kids who are working to solve the issues."

"We are here to hear their concerns and address them with the resources we have available," adds Anny.

SIxteen year old Cydni Raby joined in on the conversation. She says that peer pressure is one of the biggest obstacles kids in her community are facing.

"The way kids are being peer pressured. It may impact the whole entire community and it may bring violence to their children or to schools or to anywhere that doesn't need to be violent," says student Cydni Raby.

The forum is meant to help these young people stay out of trouble and on the right path.

"They're living in that environment and they see it everyday so we're trying to do everything we can to strengthen them and let them know that we're here to help them," says East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.

"You have to make it up in your mind that I am not going to let somebody else will me or rule me," says Mayor Holden. 

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