Ideas for tackling teen violence include church activities and t - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Ideas for tackling teen violence include church activities and teen dances

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A lot of recent violent crime in the Lake area has involved teens. Which leads to the question what can be done to stop the violence among our youth? 

A concerned citizen and statewide church group are among those working to help young people avoid trouble and find the right path.

People from around the state who belong to the Louisiana Home and Foreign Missions of the Baptist State Convention Inc. are in Lake Charles this week.  An event at a local church site might look like a dance or party at first, but it's the youth section of the convention. Hundreds of young members from age five to 21 participate in prayer and other activities likely to influence the kind of adults they will be.

"We're here to teach our children positive lessons, to teach them bible stories with their drill teams and praise dancers,."said Rev. Mitchell Stevens of Kenner. He has this advice for those in Lake Charles trying to tackle the problem of teen violence.

"Connect with a local church, connect with a local pastor. We all work together with the same message and that is through missions, evangelism, worship, fellowship, discipleship. So, we're teaching, training for the next generation."

Courtnee Brown knows all too well the tragedy of teen violence. About a year ago she lost her 16-year-old nephew in Franklin.  She says the suspect arrested was only 15 when it happened. He's awaiting trial.

"I had a family member that I lost and I know the pain, the struggle and the hurt that the parents are feeling.  I'm not sure where the young children are getting these guns from but  when they pick up a gun and they kill someone it affects everyone,"said Brown.

Brown is a member of the Lake Charles Mayor's Community Advisory Board. She recently held a meeting for citizens and youth to discuss ways to offer more for youth. One suggestion that came up: teen dances.

"When she grew up they had the teen dances at the civic center, where your parents could drop you. You pay like $5.  They have a DJ and you would have fun,"said Brown.

There will be more meetings in the future in which she hopes others will contribute ideas--ideas that, like the convention here will likely hinge on people willing to donate their time, talent and treasure to lead young people away from harm and toward a successful future.

A town hall meeting on the subject of youth violence is expected to be called within the next few weeks. Watch kplctv.com for word of the time, date and place.

 The following is a list of some of the suggestions offered by those who attended the community meeting July 18.

  • Christ for the Crisis
  • Church youth initiatives
  • Crisis intervention programs
  • Youth prevention programs (court, Office of Community Services, Juvenile Justice Services)
  • Single parent support services
  • Youth in transition therapeutic services
  • More outdoor activities for the kids and young adults
  • More government funded summer programs and "community sit down" with youth.
  • More resources on north side Lake Charles.
  • Jobs for children over summer and activities for younger children such as crafts, writing, mechanics.
  • More unity local events that are family oriented.
  • More activities for children and young adults.
  • More community involvement between police and children.  Require police to live in the area they serve.
  • More activities for youth, job opportunities, parental involvement, mandatory counseling, positive role models, community working together, citywide prayer.
  • A water park, What-a-Burger, KFC, Zaxby and YMCA
  • Job corps, educational purposes, LC Water Park, sea world, carnivals, talent shows.
  • More positive role models.
  • Address killing and bullying.
  • Reform juvenile justice, and criminal justice.  More family and community engagement
  • More activities for youth, better schools, positive role models, community coming together
  • Bring back teen dances, but have parents volunteer to watch them.  Keep them inside until parents pick them up.  Give them more activities at recreation centers to keep them off the streets.
  • Support youth with dialogue, conversation and encouragement.  Less emphasis on juvenile justice. Teach parenting skills/priority.
  • More child friendly entertainment:  functions, play, parties. Amusement park, water park, events that are more child friendly.
  • Safer streets for children to play.  "Can't even have my children outside without fear of something happening to them or to someone around."

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved

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