Forum to address the future of area youthPublished 10:16pm Monday, August 1, 2011
Georgia Boggs is getting tired of seeing area youth on the front page of the newspaper for all the wrong reasons.
So the Niles City Council member has teamed up with fellow 1st Ward councilperson Pat Gallagher to organize a community forum they are calling “Saving Our Future.”
“I’ve become very disturbed reading the newspaper about young people doing things that are not permitted,” Boggs said. “We need to start looking at our future. These kids are our future.”
Boggs and Gallagher are inviting area youth, parents, educators, ministers, judges, law enforcement and concerned citizens to the event, scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Niles City Council Chambers.
Representatives from the Niles, Brandywine, Cassopolis and Edwardsburg school districts will be on hand. There will also be a presentation from local police officers about sexting. It’s an issue that has been put in the area spotlight recently with the felony charges filed against five Niles teenagers in an alleged sex video case.
“Parents need to know what’s on their kids’ cell phones, their texts. It’s not their private domain,” Boggs said.
The forum will help educate youth on the laws and how to avoid run-ins with the criminal justice system.
“These are not bad kids. Some just make bad decisions,” Boggs said. “We want to see our
young people make better choices.”
Boggs and Gallagher are also hoping it will cause adults to step up and point youth in the right direction.
“It’s about ‘what can I do?’” Boggs said. “If we all sit on this, nothing will change.”
The forum organizers know they aren’t going to solve all the problems youth face overnight but are hoping the forum sparks ideas on how people can help area young people.
“We’re going to let the people decide that. Maybe it’s a church group or a concerned citizens group,” Boggs said. “Each of us has to take an active role in the future. It takes a community to raise a child.”