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Metro Council member talks about solutions to youth violence

Youth violence is on the rise in Baton Rouge, but Metro Council member Chauna Banks says public officials do not know how to stop it.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Youth violence is on the rise in Baton Rouge, but Metro Council member Chauna Banks says public officials do not know how to stop it. Banks says she appreciates the youth programs and initiatives designed to prevent violence, but she feels they do not get to the root of the problem.

“They do not change mindsets. They do not give another opportunity where people begin to change their value system,” Banks says.

This week, the Mayor’s Office kicked off their “Summer of Hope,” initiative. The program will host several community events for the next eight weeks.

“Mayor Broome took feedback that we had been receiving from our community partners for the last six months in monthly meetings to collaborative initiatives that we know are impacts on violence currently,” said Courtney Scott, spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office.

However, Banks say she wants to see programs that identify troubled children early in their school years. She says most children show the most problematic signs in the classroom.

“There are a lot of parents who have not had positive experiences at school. So, they cannot pass that value system or expectation to their children. And that is the reality, and it is something that you know it’s a difficult subject because it’s easy to say don’t judge me,” said Banks

Banks says she is not against youth programs, she wants people to understand youth violence won’t until change is made inside and outside the home.

“It cannot be a single approach of just the city, just law enforcement, just youth programming but all of us working together and all of us embracing the entire family in a cohesive fashion to make things better,” said Banks.

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