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Saturday October 15th at Andrew's Chapel UMC (122 Watterson St. Jonesboro, GA), we hosted an open forum featuring preachers, teachers, politicians, cops, youth, and more. The focus was to address mounting concerns in our community and how our community can better serve the youth. We asked tough question ranging from police brutality, appearance, behavior, and education.

When asked what concerns you have and how you community can help you, students seemed to have gripes about the social setting of school. Surprisingly, high school students were complaining about violence and drugs in schools. One young man brought to our attention that while administration and staff patrolled the school, in areas that lacked supervision students faced the threat of physical harm. Another complained about the usage and distribution of drugs on campus.

The panelists gave advice to the troubling news, such as, text or give anonymous letters to staff or school officers alerting them about the malice. Panelists also gave advice to seek guidance from elders, practice mediation or prayer. Advice was also given about healthy lifestyle choices, such as, eating none GMO foods and exercise; seeking help for mental health was another.

In all, the information passed was helpful to all that attended the forum. I look forward to seeing more inter-generational interaction. Special thanks to Rev. Susan Warren for her leadership in organizing the panel.

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