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<v Speaker 1>Regardless of where you live, you know violence will it will be there. <v Speaker 2>Worse, and it scares me. It scares me, scares me. <v Speaker 3>People carry knives, guns, razors, box cutters. <v Speaker 4>You can't go to someone and talk about it because what are they can do about. <v Speaker 5>You come from your parents, they're supposed to bring you up in a way where you should know right and wrong. <v Speaker 6>We are what they have made us. <v Speaker 7>Kids do what they want to do and the parents, some just don't care. <v Speaker 8>All we want is someone to make us safe. <v Announcer>This is Make US Safe part 2. A community workshop on solutions to youth violence. Now here's Gary Walker. <v Gary Walker>Good evening. Welcome to our Community Workshop on Youth Violence. Welcome also to those of you listening on WXXI AM thirteen seventy radio and on DDKX 104 FM. This is not a town meeting. We've had plenty of those in the past. Tonight we're going to get busy and brainstorm some solutions to what we already know is a problem, youth violence. And to do that, we brought together experts, community leaders, school and public officials. But more importantly, those folks will dialog with the real experts, parents and kids. Tonight's broadcast workshop is part of the Make Us Safe Project, a collaboration among WXXI TV and Radio WOKR News Source, thirteen and the Democrat and Chronicle and Times Union. We started our project earlier this year by polling nearly eighteen hundred Monroe County teenagers. Then we gathered some of those youngsters together in a youth summit to talk about the poll. And in the last two weeks, WXXI WOKR and the DNC and TU have devoted extensive coverage to the poll results. Tonight, we turn our eye towards solutions. Now we have assembled three tables representing areas that the kids told us had the biggest effect on crime and violence in their lives. The tables represent home, family, school and the community. And as you can see, tables are hosted to a mix of parents, kids and experts, along with the media facilitator from the Make Us Safe collaboration. Now at the home table and the family table, our facilitator is Carolyn Washburn. She's managing editor of the Democrat and Chronicle, The Times Union. Carolyn?
<v Carolyn Washburn>Hi. To my left. I have Nelson Feliciano, a sophomore at Benjamin Franklin High School. Debbie Benjamin, the mother of two daughters at Greece Olympia High School David Markam, acting director of the Epic Program for Parents at the Health Association. Judge Anne Marie Tateo, who is supervising judge at Family Court. Jack Rizzotti, director of the Monroe County Children's Detention Center. Charles Smith, director of mental health services at the Anthony Jordan Health Center. And Kathy Mezzinsev of a junior at Brighton High School. <v Gary Walker>Thank you, Carol. And now we're going over to the school table and the media facilitator is WXXI senior producer Elissa Marra. Elissa? <v Elissa Marra>Thank you. Gary at my table sitting here to discuss how school fits into the solutions part of our program. I have several people with me. I have Cedric Walker, a teacher at Monroe Middle School. Suzanne Blue, a teacher in the Rush Henrietta School District and Burger Middle School. I also have Madeline Houghton, a student at Mendon High School, and another student, Rashinda McCullough, at Greece Olympia High School. Also with us tonight, Jody Siegel, the president of the Monroe County School Boards Association. Dr. Joe Acangio, the principal at Jefferson Middle School. And our parent will be represented tonight by Mr. Richard Williams. He has a daughter at Wilson Magnet High School,
<v Gary Walker>and at our community table. WOKR News source, thirteen investigative reporter Jim Redmond. Jim. <v Jim Redmond>Thank you, Gary. Sitting to my left, we have Mayor Johnson. To my right, Rosemary Johnson, a parent and school psychologist, to her right. Wyoma Best across the table from her, Jim Mully. We have Joe Calibris from the United Way, sitting next to Jim, Tara Chin, Greece Olympia Senior and Sherry Negre from the Democrat and Chronicle. <v Gary Walker>OK, thank you, Jim. Now, let's get started. We're going to explore three areas tonight. The first weapons kids tell us they're a big part of youth violence. Almost 10 percent of the kids who took our survey said they sometimes carry a weapon. Yet, as Jim Redmond found, many of those kids are arming themselves out of fear. <v Student 1>I carry a knife at night because people harass me. <v Yaneek Anthony>I got knives, razors. <v Jim Redmond>It is not hard to find a teenager carrying a weapon for one teenager. It's a folding knife for another. It's a sharpened screwdriver carried in a makeshift holster on a belt loop. 17 year old Jeff Anderson used to carry the bar to a dumbbell in his book bag. He started carrying it after a group of guys jumped him.
<v Jeff Anderson>I came out and thinks I can get my coat and I got a scar right here from it. <v Jim Redmond>We have some tough streets in our area, and one of the reasons teens tell us they carry weapons is not so much to attack someone, but to protect themselves. <v Yaneek Anthony>Like a lot of girls didn't like me because of my baby father. So they always want to fight me or one girl she she told my brother she was going to shoot me over this dude. <v Jim Redmond>That fear of violence is also present in the suburbs. 13 year old Carrie Marlow says she does not carry a weapon, but she knows teens in Henrietta who do arm themselves. <v Carrie Marlow>I think that the cost of it is just like there is that everybody else is scared, that they're scared that someone's going to come up to do it to them. So they go and get a knife or whatever. So they think that they're protected, but they're not. <v Robert Gross>Their parents is the problem is not the kids problem is the parents problem because the parents let the kids go out and get the guns and stuff.
<v Robert Gross>Sometimes teenagers figure things out for themselves. Jeff Anderson says carrying a weapon didn't help. He says it made him feel like a target. <v Jeff Anderson>If you have a weapon on you and people know you have a weapon, I mean, people are going to try it. It's always consequences. You reap what you sow. <v Jim Redmond>And that is something to keep in mind as we work to make teen safe. <v Gary Walker>So that's what some of the kids had to say about weapons and why they carry him. Now it's time to get down to work for the next 15 minutes. Our tables will discuss the issue. At the end of that time, they'll deliver an action plan. As you can see, they've already started talking. And we're going to do is use a special boom camera to visit each and every table so we can listen in on the discussion. And we're going to begin listening in on the home table with Carolyn Washburn of the DNC and TU. <v Carolyn Washburn>Well, we were talking earlier about things that some of you said the parents needed to do, needed to be more attentive, needed to maybe walk a child to school, a teenager to school, patrol the area a little bit. But you two were talking about how that really wouldn't work and you would end up alienating your kids. And I'd like you all to talk a little bit more about that. Kathy, what is the answer? If if you're if you're too afraid that that you will be alienating your child, what do you do?
<v Kathy Messinzev>Well, I don't know. One of the ideas that I had is maybe having just letting the kids know that if anything happens while they're in a certain street or if they're in a certain area, that they can go to a specific house or a certain place and that if they're in trouble, they can get help as simple as like using a phone or just shelter, maybe if someone's following you. And that way they won't feel as much as well that we're being watched twenty four hours a day, our parents don't trust us. But just so they know that if something happens, the people there will offer their help or they can get help there in case anything goes wrong. <v Carolyn Washburn>So is that enough to keep weapons out of the hands of kids? <v Speaker 12>I think we I think as parents we have a fundamental responsibility to educate our kids that carrying weapons is not a solution, but it's a blueprint for more violence. And I think we we have to start there. There are some parents in this community who would encourage their kids to carry a weapon. And I think that's only setting their child up as well as a potential victim. So I think we have to start with education in the home first.
<v Anne Marie Tateo>In other words, parents have to know what's going on in their children's lives. They have to know that there's a problem. They have to know that there's some fear out there. They have to know that there's some conflict and they have to be prepared to stick their nose into things. They have to know what's going on. <v Debbie Benjamin>As a parent of two children in high school now at a particularly troublesome high school, it seems there's a lot of media focus. I am very attentive to the types of kids my my kids hang around with, as well as their style of dress and as well as the route to school and the times. And I do expect structure and there are rules. <v Carolyn Washburn>So do we risk alienating kids by doing that? Do you not worry about that? <v Debbie Benjamin>I don't worry about it. They know that I'm there to support them as well as to set the law down. <v Carolyn Washburn>Jack, I think that you said when we were talking earlier that you worried that there was not very much that you could do to keep weapons out of kids' hands. <v Jack Rizzotti>I worry. I think we have a problem in our community with what the what the accessibility of weapons. I think most kids know where they can find a gun if they need one. That that scares me. But I also think that if parents are really tuned in to their kids and talk about love and talk about concern for their future and educate their kids and and even if it means that the child becomes a little upset with them when they accompany them to school or or make sure that the kid gets there safe or encourages their child to call when they get to a friend's house. Simple things that we've all done when we were growing up. And I think the message will be there that we truly care about our kids again and help.
<v Gary Walker>Right now. We are going to go over to the school table, which is hosted by Elissa Marra. They're talking about student accountability and also the use of metal detectors in schools. So let's pick up on that conversation. <v Speaker 13>Metal detectors and knowing that maybe 50 percent of weapons have been left out of the school. But I'm not sure how others would feel about that because I don't carry one and I think I would feel safer. <v Elissa Marra>What do you think, Jody? What about a handheld? I mean, we talked about this issue. <v Jody Seigel>I'm not a supporter of them as a general policy. I'm a real believer in high expectations. And I'm not someone who believes in punishing everybody. And I think at least in certain environments where there hasn't been a lot of history for people to be suspicious of the student body, it would create a very negative impression for people to turn to students who hadn't been carrying weapons and saying, we're going to start checking you for weapons anyway. So much so. I don't think it would be effective or positive. I think it's much better to try to come up with other ways to let students know that weapons are unacceptable. Certainly zero tolerance suspension. If someone is caught with a weapon, certainly what is going on with with whatever policies you can, starting, especially when they're very young, letting them know that students carry weapons are much more likely to be injured. Than students who don't.
<v Elissa Marra>OK, you're touching on a lot of issues here. Let's start with zero tolerance. Is that something that the whole table agrees on in terms of bringing weapons and there's zero tolerance? Madeline, you think so, too? <v Madeleine Houghton>Shouldn't need to carry a weapon for any reason. You shouldn't need to carry a weapon to defend yourself, you should feel safe at all times. <v Elissa Marra>What should happen to students who carry weapons. A lot of kids told us in the youth summit and on the poll that things like suspensions just don't really work that well. What about punishments? Joe, you're shaking your head over there. <v Joe Accongio>That's a difficult question. Punishing kids who have already learned how to withstand as much pain as any of the adults at this table combined have had to in their lives are not going to learn from another piece of punishment. I think that's an easy question. I'm not quite sure how you really respond to youngsters who have to carry weapons except to really look closely at the fear and the the impression that they've lived with and get under that surface and begin to work with that. You can't simply send a kid home and say you're cured when you come back and follow up with a lot of deep interventions. <v Elissa Marra>OK, let's let's go to that for a moment, because a lot of you have mentioned that getting to the reasons that kids carry weapons and make it just so that they don't preventing that. How does the school how do you perceive that the school ought to do that? And I'd like to hear from Mr. Williams on that. What would you how do you think your school should function?
<v Richard Williams>I mean, to me, everything gets back to a parent. Take the parent taking responsibility for the child. If the parents were punished in some way, then I think that they would I would like to see the parent forced to take responsibility for the child. <v Elissa Marra>All right. Thinking from a school perspective, though, what how can the school facilitate that? <v Richard Williams>By the only thing that I can think of now is is creating a forum for the parents, the school and the children of the student to work together. I think, OK, just creating some type of format where we can come together on somewhat regular basis and discuss some of the problems that we have. <v Elissa Marra>Cedric what do you think? <v Cedric Walker>Touching base with what Dr. Kanjio stated, there has to be some type of counseling program after the child has been suspended. I mean, as you stated, many children have lost a lot of pain, no pain from home. What are they paying for, mother? Loved ones who don't live in a house and now they're coming to school and they're venting out. So we suspend them and when they come back, they haven't been taught anything other than I carried a weapon. I got suspended. I'm coming back to school. So there has to be some type of process to try to detect what happened to them and keep them from having this process happen again.
<v Elissa Marra>Rashinda, do you agree with that? <v Rashinda McCullough>I know that, like at our school, we carry a weapon, like people have been expelled, expelled, and the expulsion of it, you know, but I'm saying for the kids that have carried a weapon, have been suspended and brought back peer mediation's been a suggestion for the kids to go through. <v Gary Walker>OK. Right now, we're halfway through the first discussion, which is about weapons. We're going to go to the home and family table hosted by Carolyn Washburn. And we're going to get an update from Carolyn as to what the discussions about. Carolyn? <v Carolyn Washburn>We're talking a lot about parental involvement and absolutely all comes down to parents and parents paying a lot of attention so they know whether their kids feel safe and they know what their kids are carrying weapons. They know if their kids feel at risk. <v Gary Walker>Carolyn Washburn with the Democrat and Chronicle Time Union, the next check I'm going to go to is the school table. Our host is a Elissa Mara of WXXI and Elissa, can we have an update as to what you're talking about. <v Elissa Marra>Yes, you certainly can, Gary. Right now, we're at about the halfway mark in our discussion. We are talking about zero tolerance, actually having a no tolerance for weapons. That seems to be very popular at this table. But also a longer term solution is how we can make it so kids just don't bring weapons at all.
<v Gary Walker>OK, it's a school table. I'm going to go to the community table hosted by Jim Redmond. Jim, how about an update on what you're talking about? <v Jim Redmond>Gary, right now we have been talking about from the community perspective, how we go about making teens feel safe. The mayor has proposed that we stiffen the penalties. Other people have talked about holding the teenagers accountable for their actions. Zero tolerance is a term that was used in this group as well. And there's talk, too, that parents need to take greater responsibility for their kids. <v Gary Walker>OK, we're going to stay right with you table, Jim, so continue your conversation. We'll check in with you later. Thank you. <v Jim Redmond>You were saying. <v Rosemary Johnson>Working in a high school nine through 12. And I felt for a long time that we need to develop more alternative educational sites for the students that are not there to gain an education, but who maybe there for some other social reason. We can't do that as the system is set up. Now, we can't deny those kids an education. They have to be there. But I think that we need to keep our schools safe for the kids who do want to be there by maybe providing a different kind of alternative educational setting.
<v Tara Chin>They do have special ed, and things like that, for kids who may have a hard time learning and hard time just adjusting to everything. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>That goes beyond that. I was going to ask you have you know, we keep hearing that we can get waivers on this thing. I mean, can a local school district decide to create an alternative education system, not one that pushes kids out when essentially said that you need to be in a separate environments, you know, you've demonstrated behavioral and social disruptive. Have you want to call and you really can't afford to have you disrupt what's going on in this classroom. But we're going to still provide you with an education. I don't mean the punitive kind of thing that some schools have gotten to be recognized. I mean, as an as an educator, do you see that as something that can be done under our state system? <v Rosemary Johnson>Within the state system, we have something like that set up through the special education programs that we offer to students, alternative high schools. But you need right now to access those those systems through special education kids and not qualify for that kind of thing.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>So it suggests that there needs to- <v Gary Walker>If you just joined us, what you're watching to we are doing a community workshop on violence. We have three tables representing different parts of the community, community table school and the home. And they're staffed with parents, teachers, students, community leaders, school officials. And the idea is to talk about solutions of violence. And this particular segment we're talking about weapons. Accountability is high on the on the high on the minds of most of these tables right now. But so what we're doing here is a basically a workshop. And out of this workshop, we're going to come up with priorities at the end of this 15 minute segment. And at the end of the program, we're going to have a battle plan, a game plan for violence. Now, if we can walk over here, we're going to start listen to the conversation again of our community table, our sorry, our home and school, our home table, which is hosted by Carolyn Washburn of the DNC and TU. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>Child to be welcome there. However, there are kids in the neighborhood that I may know they're trouble. I don't want to be involved with them because that's simply the way it is. You make friends with the people who are are good for you and good with you and you avoid the trouble.
<v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>So you're saying that parents or adults don't always feel safe? <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>Well, I think they need to get involved to the extent that what is going to help those that are doing right by their own children and those that are good kids. And clearly, if there's a bad kid in the neighborhood, it's OK that they don't get involved. But, you know, the positive accentuate the positive actions. I don't want to get involved and I don't want to know the bad kid. <v Kathy Messinzev>I don't know if maybe several kids have heard this. But a lot of times the parents say, I've heard this said to me several times by my parents or by friends of my parents, of my friends that say, well, I don't care about other children. I care what's good for you to. I understand that they're saying, OK, well, I care about you and we need to make up rules that are directly applying to you and will accommodate your needs. But that's also saying, well, I don't really care about what other parents or how other kids feel. I mean, on one hand that's fine. But on the other hand, I think your should get more involved with other kids and they should know what's going on with your friends and the kind of things that they're involved in and stuff like that.
<v Carolyn Washburn>What about the kind of old habit I think that parents get very nosy about other kids in the neighborhood, that if if the kid who lives three doors down- <v Gary Walker>OK right now, we're going to begin our wrap up session. So we've got two minutes left, folks. Let's start wrapping up. Let's start getting our priorities in order and we're going to report them, OK, so we only have a couple of minutes left. Let's begin it. So right now, we're going to listen to the priority setting at the community table, which is hosted by WOKR's Jim Redmond <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>and the consequences. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Well, well, I think you have to keep that on- <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>It still doesn't solve the problem between three and six. You can have your separate school. I mean, I think you need to have that problem. Are they afraid of what's going to happen to them in school? If they are, you need to get ?inaudible? [crosstalk]. <v Jim Redmond>So what what is our top solution here? <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>We have we have to effectively address the problem. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Other kids won't take the weapons. <v Jim Redmond>So number one would be a separate school or a separate environment. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>In terms of how do you want to ?inaudible?
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Well, alternative learning environment. I would call it alternative learning environment <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>For chronic offenders. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>For people that have a history. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Kids at risk or habitual problems. <v Jim Redmond>And what about the consequences? You know, do you want to-. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Yes, I think, you know-. <v Jim Redmond>Personal responsibility? <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Maybe they won't do it if they know they can't. Accountability. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Should parents be included in the accountability and parents? <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>True parents have to be there. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Nothing I hate worse than a parent say I can't do nothing with this kid. It's yours. <v Jim Redmond>I do think there's something to this this notion of the time after school. And I don't I don't think we should pass and pass that by. Our school system is set up in an odd way in terms of the time that kids are in school. And there's there's absolutely no reason, no worthwhile reason if you have kids are the customer.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Which has to do we need to put a third one down. <v Gary Walker>With the home table. Carolyn Washburn, what are your priorities? <v Carolyn Washburn>Here are three priorities are parental involvement. First and foremost, we have to give kids a lot of attention. We have to know what what's in their backpacks, know what to know who their friends are. We also have to educate our kids about alternatives to violence, conflict resolution and that kind of thing. What do you do instead of carrying a weapon? And one idea was creating safe houses in neighborhoods. We do that for little kids block houses, but creating some networking in neighborhoods where was top priority is parental involvement and involvement. <v Gary Walker>Let's walk over now to the school table. And Elissa Marra, could you wrap up and tell me what is your table to talk about as far as weapons and school? <v Carolyn Washburn>Yes, Gary, I certainly can wrap up. My table is talking about three very important areas and we put them in priority for you. Schools going to parents, parents and teachers getting together and being able to work things out as much as they possibly can. That's our number one priority.
<v Gary Walker>OK, and let's check in with a community table. Jim Redmond, top priority. <v Jim Redmond>Our top priority at this point here is coming up with an alternative environment for the troubled teens. The point was made that it's not like we don't know who these teens are. It's a question of of targeting them and getting them treated. The other thing we need to do is hold young people and their parents accountable for their own actions. <v Gary Walker>OK, that is the end of our first segment. And we now have our first set of action plans on weapons related to that issue is the issue of law enforcement. What role does it play with curbing youth violence? The kids say the criminal justice system should play a bigger role. Now an excerpt from our WXXI documentary, What Kids Say About Solutions and the Law. <v Joe Accongio>If we don't stop it now, I don't know what the hope is for the kids in the future. <v Student 2>What are some solutions? <v Dr. Stuart Loeb>Rules are very important, and this is something that I think parents can really help with
<v Jocelyn Goldberg Schaible>harsher penalties for kids over 13 was the number one response was. Seventy seven percent saying they think it would be very or somewhat effective, followed by more and better counseling programs for families, followed by harsher penalties for kids below age 13. So they're looking for penalties and guidance. <v Dr. Michael Lynch>Whether it's metal detectors or peer mediation programs, or the not me not now campaign. Most of those things, approximately half the kids said that they were somewhat effective, meaning almost half the kids thought that they weren't effective and they can't understand where the kids are coming from because you know, all those programs are in place right now. But the problems kids are facing a greater now than they ever were before. <v Jocelyn Goldberg Schaible>And though they're willing to say that the reason that kids get into trouble is very often the parents fault, they're not willing to punish the parents because we offer that as another alternative. And that was penalties and punishment of parents of of kids who commit crimes. And that only 30 percent said would be, you know, very or somewhat effective. So, yeah, maybe it's the parents fault. They say that the kids are getting into trouble or that they don't have the values they need and therefore get into trouble. But don't punish the parents.
<v Student 3>They need to start taking some responsibility. We are what they have made us. And, you know, they can't just say, you know, the kids, they're the problem. We don't care. They made us what we are. <v Gary Walker>And that's what kids are saying now, that our workshop groups are going to be talking for the next 15 minutes. The tables will discuss law enforcement. Now, let's get started and let's listen in at the community table with Jim Redmond from WOKR, as we begin a discussion. Jim, go ahead. <v Jim Redmond>One of the things that that the teens told us in the survey was the question of harsher penalties are harsher penalties. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>The answer is, I think what's important is that their first encounter with the criminal justice system be meaningful. They can't perceive it as just simply being that they're going to get a slap on the wrist if they come to court for the first time. I know in Monroe County, for example, family court judges for years couldn't even give a juvenile offender community service sentencing. That's something that we've imposed in this past year. Now, family court judges can issue an order of community service. We've had over 200 offenders doing over 5000 hours of community service since we've instituted that program. And I think the theory behind it, you want that first encounter to be meaningful, not simply that, you know, what are we going to do with this kid is either a restrictive placement or nothing has to be something. You have to learn that there are consequences for the criminal behavior.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Does this go back to what the mayor was talking about, zero tolerance? <v Jim Redmond>I think so. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I think so too. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I would even I would even go back further. And again, you hear me talk about parental responsibility. I think that there's not enough parents who are who are teaching kids to respect authority, whether it's police or teachers or whoever. And I think that that is a real problem right now. <v Gary Walker>We're going to be going to the school table on the Elissa Marra from WXXI. They're talking about having a higher parent visibility in the school. Let's listen in on the conversation. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>What is to occur? And maybe it's time for this to occur. Maybe we do need to take those individual students. And it's a very small minority. Students who are bringing weapons to school placed them in an environment where they can get some counseling, where they can see that there was no real need to bring this weapon to school and hopefully work towards putting them back into the mainstream of the education system. <v Elissa Marra>Rashinda you go to school at big suburban school. Do you agree with that, that the most violent kids that are that are wrecking it for the rest of the kids ought to go somewhere else?
<v Rashinda McCullough>Yeah. <v Elissa Marra>You do. <v Rashinda McCullough>We have that problem because at least one area we have, it's the central school where students that come and they stay in like a house with a bunch of them stay in the same house and drive in our school and getting a lot of people that really weren't involved in the violence, that usually they're kind of awkward but, you know, we have to separate them to this year. Parents were complaining. <v Elissa Marra>How about the rest? You only go around quickly and just hear yes or no for the alternative learning sites separating the kids out. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>I would have to ask a question in order to understand that. Go ahead. Are there schools in the city school district that do that now? Separate them? <v Elissa Marra>Yeah. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Is that effective? <v Gary Walker>From the school table, we're going to go over now to the home table with Carolyn Washburn and listen in to what they're talking about. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>And any 13 year old like the guy of thought he should know what he said at the time, that what he did for his crime. And if he does, he'll probably eventually regret what he did after going through jail. Cause ?inaudible? These kids nowadays are too smart to do that.
<v Carolyn Washburn>So you agree with harsher penalties. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>Yeah. That should be done. Because my little brother, he'll go up to any kid you want to smack him in the face or whatever. And I look at him nowadays, I'm like, you know, you're gonna be a little punk. You're not going to learn that way. If a cop sees you and they arrest you for some good reason, know, of course, you're going to go to jail. And I haven't even tried one time after what he'd done. And now he's like, slow down, because now regretting everything ?inaudible? <v Carolyn Washburn>What do you I mean, we've been talking about treatment. What do you do to help somebody like your little brother, somebody whose first reaction is to strike out. What do you do to help him before harsher penalties are even an issue? <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>Perhaps somebody that has done crime before. <v Gary Walker>We're at the halfway point talking about law and order. And let's check in right now with Carolyn Washburn at the table. Could you just give a synopsis? What's going on so far? <v Carolyn Washburn>There's a lot of discussion about the balance between prevention, treatment for kids and harsher penalties. <v Gary Walker>OK, thanks. Let's take a walk over now to the school table with Elissa Marra. And let's find out at this point. Let's check in and find out what the discussion has been about here.
<v Elissa Marra>Here we are talking about alternative schools for chronic violent youth and whether or not they should be the violent kids should be separated. There's some disagreement. Some people think they should be riding with the other kids. And everybody, I think, agrees that they should be counseled. But whether or not we should separate them, that's what we're dealing with right now. <v Gary Walker>OK? And at the midpoint in the community table, talking about law and order, Jim, what's the conversation about? <v Jim Redmond>Gary we're talking about is tailoring the penalty to fit the crime and making the first court appearance a meaningful one, not necessarily more jail time, but for example, if you're putting graffiti on, you get put on a graffiti detail and have to take it off. <v Gary Walker>Thank you. And if you just tuned in, what you're watching is a workshop on violence, on youth violence. We have put together parents, teachers, children, school officials, community officials. And the idea is to have them sit in different workshops here in 15 minute segments and come up with some real prioritized plans to how to solve youth violence. Right now, we're in the middle of a section of called Law and Order. We're going to continue on with our community table, which is hosted by WOKR Jim Redmond there.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>But these individuals have and while we do right now, have to put people in jail and the like. The point is, how do we get at those core things that are causing people to act out in an abnormal way? And that's not happening in the juvenile justice system as it stands right now. I see kids coming back from division for youth facilities and they become institutionalized. It's very difficult for them to transition back into a public school setting. And that's what we're expecting them to do. Yeah, DFI. But now you're done and now you need to come back into a new school. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>You need the longer restrictive placement, but toward what end? And the real issue becomes, what are they doing when they're being placed? <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Do you need to go back further to what Joe was saying about parental responsibility. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>A lot of time and a lot of money and trying to rehabilitate people after they've committed crimes, that sort of thing? We need to go back from the very beginning. We got to make certain that kids are born healthy, that they're properly nourished, that their parents have parenting skills. I mean, does anybody think that 13 or 14 or 15 year old is mature enough to properly raise a child? And we have to we have to work at that end and then support kids through the school system so that they are successful, not wait till they fail and then put them in jail or whatever.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>But that's going to require far more. <v Gary Walker>OK, right now behind me is a school table hosted by WXXI Elissa Marra, and they're still talking about alternative schools for violent kids. Let's listen in to what they have to say. <v Elissa Marra>So bringing the family into that, OK, and then in general, also intervention in that area. I think that's what we're talking about here for number two. And then if I had to put our third priority, a police relationship with the school, good relationship between the police and the criminal justice. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>And probation officer. <v Elissa Marra>OK. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>And just like programs like Judge Bristol does a great program with mock trials and how the whole legal system works that their program is the kids seem to like that a lot. <v Elissa Marra>I hear a lot of kids talk about their I see a lot of t shirts and things like that around. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>I learned a lot. But usually I think it makes a lot of my, a lot of my classmates think twice about what you're going to do. <v Elissa Marra>I'm interested to that. Mr. Williams said that just having a parent around just the presence of a parent or the presence of a meaningful adult makes a. Difference, maybe having a police officer just around his time is just there for the kids. What do you think of that?
<v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>That is critical. Think we need more ?inaudible? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>It works. I know it works. <v Elissa Marra>Even with even with chronically violent kids, kids are violent all the time. You think just keep hammering away with some adult who cares there? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>You'll be surprised, even though they give that perception of being violent. Sometimes it's just a facade. It's a defensive act for some of them now. <v Gary Walker>To my left is a community table hosted by Jim Redmond, and they're talking about teen pregnancy at this point. Let's go over and take a listen to what they have to say. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Well, the thing you know, and this is the strange thing, and I find myself doing it to remembering how it was when it when it was 20, 30, maybe 50 years ago. But now the thing is, that's not what we're dealing with the day. I mean, the thing is, what was not normal when we were coming up is normal today. Yeah. Women who, quite frankly, are capable of having single having a child without a partner are choosing to do that.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I don't have a problem with that if a woman-. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>If you're talking about the capability and I understand what you're saying. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>If a woman is mature and if she's financially. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I mean, that's that's really not. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I don't know of any young person yet. <v Jim Redmond>I've got to come up with three solutions here and a great discussion we did. We're talking about two different things. One being prevention, one being intervention. <v Gary Walker>OK, folks, we only have a couple of minutes left in this segment, let's start summarizing and getting things on paper if we could, OK, in a couple of minutes, we'll be reporting. <v Jim Redmond>Now we have a 12 year old. And guess what? You're going to get out sometime. You're going to get out. <v Gary Walker>To the home table with Carolyn Washburn, and they're going to be the first to present their findings. Let's go listen in to the prioritization process. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>In the way I do we have sustained cuts this year from all major who have cut back on programing. We received cuts from Oasis, which is the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Prevention money has been cut. Guess what? The data came out Monday. Teenage drug use is back up again. Is anybody surprised by this? Prevention services have been cut. It's a cheap and easy thing. So that concrete, tangible. But we forget as taxpayers that we have a new generation coming up who need to learn what the last generation learned when the rate went back down. And if we're not willing to invest those dollars in those prevention, education and treatment services up front, we will pay later.
<v Carolyn Washburn>Is there a place for harsher penalties? What do you do with kids who have penalties? <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>?inaudible? penalties, this child is not going in jail, so the longer time is needed to undo the problems. You can't undo, like I said, years of bad habits and neglect and bad thinking that you need to reprogram a person that takes a long time. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>What sense does it make if we give the judge the authority instead of 18 months for a juvenile delinquency? Twenty four months, let's say. Thirty six months if if state facilities or treatment programs can only hold them for five or six months because they don't have enough money to keep kids in program now because the system is overwhelmed. What good is it going to do? They're still they're still not going to be there right now. <v Gary Walker>We're going to go to the home table. Sorry to interrupt, but we need our priorities. What is your what was your number one priority here at the table, Carolyn? <v Carolyn Washburn>Priority was more treatment, more focus on treatment and less on punishment. <v Gary Walker>A law and order discussion focused on treatment here. All right. OK, let's take a walk over to the school table now hosted by WXXI as Elisa Marra, a law and order. What was your priority?
<v Elissa Marra>Well, Gary, we were dealing with law and order from a standpoint of chronic violent youth. A number one priority, of course, is to get to the family of kids who are chronically violent and talk to them and counsel them. Intervention into that child's life was our number two priority. And we had a lot of talk about getting the criminal justice system, having a relationship with the school so that the school and the police have some kind of a presence in the children's lives. No agreement, though, on whether we should have alternative learning sites. And I do just want to welcome Erica Rosenberg to our table from the DNC, I failed to mention her before. <v Gary Walker>OK, thank you, Lisa. Now let's go to the community table with Jim Redmen and Law and Order. What were your priorities here at the community table? <v Jim Redmond>We've come up with three, Gary, starting with a greater emphasis on prevention and identifying the troubled teenagers earlier in life. Should they then end up in the system anyways? Intervention. The group here talked about tailoring the penalty to fit the crime. We also think the parental responsibility, teens need to be taught by their parents to be respectful of themselves, respectful of others and respectful of authority.
<v Gary Walker>OK, thank you. Community table. Now we're going to go to our third and final topic, and that's the home. Overwhelmingly, kids in the poll and in the youth summit said behaviors that cause violence and behaviors that prevent it begin in home. <v Student 4>Parents are a backbone, and, you know, the way they bring you up is what you become, and if they're not there, then you have to fend for yourself. <v Dr. Stuart Loeb>I think everybody's facing more complex problems. I don't think parents I think parents want to be good parents. And they got into this. Maybe they didn't know how long and hard it was going to be, but parents want to be good parents. <v John Rosati>We've got to give to the kids two things. One is roots and the other is wings. That's what they need. You need to know you're there for them, you're going to provide the nurturing, the roots. But then you got to let them go.
<v Student 5>The adult in my life who listens to me and most cares about me is. <v Jocelyn Goldberg Schaible>They had to pick the most, cares about me and listens to me, mother came through loud and clear. Sixty five percent. Father at twenty three percent. <v Dr. Stuart Loeb>Children still do look to their parents, but I think parents are busier and more distracted and more concerned. I think parents are well meaning. <v Student 6>Your mother needs to give you guidelines, if you can do, to help you learn yourself. Because when you get grown, you know, I'm saying you have to rely on yourself. <v Student 7>I live in a single parent situation and it's hard for my mom because there's four kids in our house. It's hard for my mom to be with all of us at the same time. And she works really hard. She does a great job. But it's so hard for her. <v Gary Walker>That young man has a point, his mother is sitting at one of our tables tonight, she and other parents agree with Dr. Loeb. Parenting is more difficult than it ever was before. So how can they deal with the stresses of the day and still be good parents? That's what our tables have to talk about for the next 15 minutes. Right behind me is a school table hosted by WXXI Elissa Marra. We're going to begin the conversation there at her school table. Go ahead, Elissa.
<v Elissa Marra>Terms of initial reactions. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Which they do, they do an excellent job, but it's something I insist upon. If my child is absent from a class called me, if my child is being disruptive in class. Call me if my child is slipping or falling asleep in class, call me. And they do that and- <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>They can call too if they're doing a good job in class. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Okay, thank you. <v Elissa Marra>Communication then? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Communication, a direct link. Talk to the principal and the principal call you. I want I insist upon a direct link and I get it. <v Elissa Marra>OK, Cedric you agree with that? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Yeah, I agree with that. I think that we as educators need to keep parents involved, but it needs to be a two way ongoing dialog. Also has to call us and ask us how are the children in class? <v Elissa Marra>OK, Dr. Loeb also told me in an interview that he feels a level of trust is sort of degenerating between parents and teachers, that parents maybe don't trust teachers so much as they used to, is that so, do you think? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>I think so. <v Elissa Marra>How come Rashina? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Because things have happened so much in schools these days, like Mrs. Roberts was saying from a community table, bizarre has become the norm.
<v Elissa Marra>Bizarre, has become the norm. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>So I just I'm thinking about one statement that was made on the survey. The I would rather be perceived as tough and whatever as opposed to caring type of individual. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Yeah, no, I agree with Rashinda. <v Elissa Marra>It's odd, you know, because when they answered that question, the majority of them would rather be seen as friendly and caring than feared and tough. That's how they answer. Yeah. You guys talk about this idea about communication. Are there other ways to communicate? Do you think? Suzanne? <v Gary Walker>Right now? We're going to go to the community table hosted by OCA's Jim Redmond. Right now, they're talking about more support services for parents, particularly after school hours. Let's listen in. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>It is not a part time responsibility. I mean, my oldest child is 20 and I'm still got help, but they are still having to be involved in her life. You cannot divorce yourself and your children and somehow, you know, have sort of equivocated on that. I just think we need to and I think we really need to. And the second thing is that I think that in the schools, bad parenting skills ought to be added to the curriculum. I mean, you know, I mean, I think we need to have class in parenting.
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I like that idea. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>And we don't have it, we don't have it in colleges, you know. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Some high schools still maintain the old Home EC and they include parenting and in there. But it's not mandated by the state. So those are the things that go first. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Does that send a message that it's OK to have a kid at age 16? <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>No, no. We talk about parenting skills. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>But I mean, you're talking about when you get ready to be a parent, these are the things you need to know. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>But we don't want them to think that they're ready to be a parent at age 15. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Make the education around what the actual responsibility is and what decisions you make. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>And that's why I'm so bothered that I know the superintendent is too by the fact that now we even have daycare centers inside of school. I mean, what else sends a message that it's alright have a kid you can bring your kid to school with your by God. I mean, I think we have to really do everything in our power to say to the youngsters, no, it is not alright for you to have a child when you are a child. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>When you can't take care of it. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>We tried, not me, not now, when we put a lot of money into that. And it's something that can you to do at the county level. I don't know how that the kids react to that. ?inaudible?
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I mean, kids just do it anyway. <v Jim Redmond>They just had the results of the poll on the street and half of the kids said it was somewhat effective. Half said it wasn't. <v Gary Walker>Right now, if you just tuned in, what you're listening to and watching is a community workshop on violence where we have three groups of folks. Now, these are teachers. These are students. These are parents. These are kids. These are community leaders. These are school leaders. And we have three distinct areas, home and the school and the community. Right now, I'm standing by the home table. It's hosted by Carolyn Washburn of the DNC and TU. The topic they're talking about is better supporting families. Let's listen in. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>It does make parents feel comfortable to feel invited, but also to feel that they are part of a solution as opposed to being the problem. And I think many parents come to situations feeling as though they're being victimized, if you will. <v Unidentified speaker at Washburn table>I think I think what parents need more than anything is and this is kind of jargon, but they need an emotional support system, whether that's the school, extended family, neighbors, other parents, friends, whatever that is. But parenting is is a big job. And never before in the history of our culture as parents and as isolated as they are right now, you know, in a more agricultural society, of course, there was grandma and grandpa and, you know, aunts and uncles and cousins and the neighbors down the street and that sort of thing. And we've watched long
<v Gary Walker>As we're listening in to the community table, Carolyn. And I wonder if we can check in with you halfway. Find out what discussions about here. <v Carolyn Washburn>We're talking a lot about how to encourage parental involvement systems, systems especially the schools, making people feel more comfortable, more part of the solution, not part of the problem. <v Gary Walker>In seven minutes, we'll be back with your solutions. Now let's take a walk over here to the school table. This is hosted by Elisa Marra of WXXI and the school table talking about home support. What are you talking about? <v Elissa Marra>We decided one of the ways that the home can be supported by the school simply by getting better communication from the school where we're exploring that now. And we're also finding out really that the schools also need some support along the way from the families. So we'll let you know. <v Gary Walker>OK, thank you very much. From the school table, halfway point. Let's check in with Jim Redmond here at the community table. Jim, what's the seems like it's lively here. What are you talking about? <v Jim Redmond>Gary, what we're talking about is the need for parenting skills to be taught both in the schools and in the home, and that the community needs to send a better message that you need to be prepared for parenthood. It's it's leaning toward prevention of teen pregnancies. But there is also an emphasis on values here as well.
<v Gary Walker>OK, so we're talking about we're talking about supporting stressed families and parents were at the community table. Might as well stay right here and continue discussion. Thank you. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I think with violence and violence in the home life, if a kid sees violence at home and they and that's the way they take out their anger in school, that's how they're going to take out their anger. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>That's absolutely right. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>That is so important because I can remember, like friends is now four letter words say to keep going back to that. But it's a common thing. It's part of the language. But I can't remember that being a part of my experience growing up. And so you take that little things parents do that they just may feel normal, translate into some maybe negatives in the minds of young people is teaching things that perhaps aren't good, which even goes to the point of learning parenting skills. <v Jim Redmond>So parenting skills in in the curriculum. Do we need to direct more resources from the community toward parenting programs or?
<v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I think that we do, but at the same time, we already have parenting programs and a lot of the agencies and and and not enough parents are making themselves-. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Availing themselves to the service. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>Are they doing that? <v Jim Redmond>Because they've got they don't have the time because they're they're working two jobs, I think. <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>It could be but I think maybe- <v Unidentified speaker at Redmond table>I understand that the strains of finances. But I come back to the most important thing that you have to do is raise that child. <v Gary Walker>And once again, we are at a workshop on youth violence with three groups of tables stocked with parents, teachers, kids, adults, experts, school leaders, community leaders talking about ways we can solve some of the problems of youth violence. Let's take a look over here to the school table now. It's hosted by Elissa Marra. Let's go over, see what they're talking about. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>So the community could come in, open the gym up, as well as try and come up with a play big production number that parents, students and the teachers at the school can get them.
<v Elissa Marra>So everybody would be involved in it, okay. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>And that's one of the clubs and our special activities. <v Elissa Marra>So when you ask the parents to become involved, do you think it's the school's responsibility to give them something to become involved in? <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Well, I think there's a lot of good things going on in schools. Just inform them and give them the option. OK, you know, like, I want to brag a little bit, and go home and to be excited about it as well. <v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>It can go both ways. I mean, parents can think they can come to the school and say, we'd like to do this school. There are a lot of ways to initiate an activity. It doesn't have to be just school saying, tapping the parents on the shoulder. We'd like you to come for this school, for community building communities put a tremendous amount of resources into everyone that they build and they have a lot of things within them to help the entire community. When the community feels the school belongs to them, the kids will benefit from that. OK.
<v Unidentified speaker at Marra table>Do you agree with that? School's probably the only stable institution left in our society. And I think all things can wrap around the school and find if there is something more. The more we involve the school or the community and the parents in the neighborhoods. ?inaudible? <v Gary Walker>We're almost getting ready to wrap up our final segment and to have our three table facilitator's report on this issue, which is supporting families, stressed families. So what we're going to do now is maybe we'll take a walk over to the community table, I'm sorry, to the home table. I can't keep this right. This looks a little confusing. It is. This is television like you've probably never seen. Three groups. It's totally unrehearsed, and we're trying to come up with solutions of youth violence, and I think right now we're going to walk over to the home table hosted by Carolyn Washburn of the DNC and TU. And we're going to ask you to do her final report.Carolyn, can you tell us your final game plan here? <v Carolyn Washburn>Top priority for family for family? This family support issue is just getting back to some basic parental involvement. Parents have to remind themselves that it's time again to go to the soccer game, go to the basketball game, go to school events, be there.
<v Gary Walker>This segment was. <v Carolyn Washburn>Parental involvement or involvement. <v Gary Walker>OK, let's take a walk over to the school segment. Now, I know this is a school table hosted by WXXI's Elissa Mara. And this is your final report on your last topic. Lisa, what was your priorities? Are some of your priorities here? <v Elissa Marra>Right. Gary, our number one priority in terms of family support actually was parent involvement. And we're talking about the fact that schools can get out to the parents more, let them know about what's going on, that schools may be in some cases, a place like a neighborhood center, that it's the center of the community. And then that way, parents will become involved in the educational process and the violence reduction process. Our other two issues, though, where communication between the school and the parent and between the parent and the school, we think that's very important and it could be improved upon. And as a third priority, of course, the option of having parenting classes right at the school offered by the school so that people can deal with parenting and youth issues and that would make their family support issues a lot easier to deal with. <v Gary Walker>Top priority? <v Elissa Marra>Our top priority, parent involvement. <v Gary Walker>Parental involvement in the schools. Right now, we're going to turn to our community table. This is hosted by Jim Redmond of WOKR Channel 13. And Jim, could you give us your final priority here for this home supporting home and parent segment?
<v Jim Redmond>The top priority that we've come up with is there needs to be a greater community emphasis on teaching parenting skills and deferring parenthood until you're ready. <v Gary Walker>What other priorities did you have? <v Jim Redmond>Well, we also talked about the growing trend among business to support the parents through some of the worker friendly programs. And we're talking about why institutions can adapt. For example, keep kids at school and programs after school until five o'clock when mom and dad get out of work. <v Gary Walker>So business having a role in this issue as well. <v Jim Redmond>Business and and the educational system. <v Gary Walker>Recap what your top priority for you was? <v Jim Redmond>Top priority has got to be an emphasis on teaching parenting skills and deferring parenthood until you're ready. <v Gary Walker>OK, that wraps up our last segment. And what we're going to do now is show you what we've done in the last hour. These folks have gathered together here giving us a strong hour of work. And now we're going to show you exactly what the priorities were and we're going to list them for you, but also tell you that we'll give you the top priorities right now. But it doesn't stop there. There's also several other sub priorities that happen. And what's going to happen now is the Democrat and Chronicle will be reporting on these issues, give you some of the other things that they spoke about at these tables. There's a DNC report out each and every one of these tables. So what we're again, we're going to keep collaborating on and tell you about everything that took place here. But right now, we're going to give you the top priorities. Let's begin with weapons. The top priorities we found with weapons were parental involvement, zero tolerance on weapons, and also have an alternative learning environment that's in the schools for possibly some of the kids who do carry weapons. The next segment was Law and Order Our Community Workshop. Their top three priorities. That's one table apiece. That's a school table, a community table and a home table. Their top three priorities were treatment for children and family, also intervention, also prevention. These are preventative programs intervening also into the lives of youngsters who maybe have run ins with the law at a very early age. And the final slate, which was supporting the families and the top three bullets, were basic parental involvement. We heard that a lot communications with parents got to have the kids and parents talking, also institutions and parents talking. And the third one, teaching parenting skills. This is also in the schools is all going to be in other programs outside of that. So their top three were basic parental involvement, teaching parenting skills and communications with parents. Now, in the next several weeks and months, the Media Partners WXXI got newspapers DNC and TU and the OK, our Channel Thirteen are going to follow up any solutions. You'll see and hear stories on these ideas and whether or not there's been any action on them. Now, we also like to hear from you. What did you think of the Make Us Safe project call with your comment on the viewer response and you'll see on the screen in a minute or so if you're listening on WXXI AM 13 seventy or WDKC radio, you can call four five four six three zero five once again, which you have seen here tonight as a community workshop on violence and again tomorrow in the paper. And you can hear the people talking behind me tomorrow, the people you read some of the other priorities they had, the priorities we showed you were just a top priority. Each table came up with three very sensitive issues. Weapon. Law and order and how we can help out stressed families. So what we'd like to do now is to say thank you to each and every person here. As you can see that the conversation is continuing. They're still talking about these things. I know an hour wasn't a lot of time, but our goal was to try to focus and get these things on the map so the media collaborator's WXXI WOKR. And also to connect Rochester newspapers, the DNC and TU can actually start reporting. And that is our commitment here. We're collaborating on this issue now. It won't stop. We were reporting on these issues, so I'd like to thank my colleagues from the Democrat and Chronicle and Times Union and to news source 13 WOKR. And also our own WXXI Elissa Marra for helping out tonight. And many thanks to those. You worked so hard at our tables tonight. It was great. And from all of us involved here and to make a safe project, I'm Gary Walker. Good night.
WXXI Make Us Safe Community Workshop
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WOKR-TV (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
"'Make Us Safe' is an ambitious and unique effort, spearheaded by WXXI Public Broadcasting, to engage the community and respond to the growing problem of [teenage] violence in the Rochester area. "WXXI and its partners, the Gannett Rochester newspapers and WOKR-TV13(ABC) sponsored a poll of 1771 local school students. WXXI Television illustrated the results of the poll, and the community's reaction to it, with the enclosed 60-minute documentary program. WXXI AM Radio featured two weeks of poll and documentary participants on its daily news programs and talk shows. To support WXXI's efforts, the newspapers ran daily stories, mirroring the documentary. [WOKR-TV13] ran two weeks worth of series' segments. The project, which culminated on the anniversary of the murder of a 13 year old girl, was ubiquitous. With a respected public television station, a dominant network affiliate and the daily newspapers running stories about teen violence, it was impossible to ignore. A World Wide Web site set up by WXXI and the newspapers featured poll questions and results and received more than three thousand hits. The enclosed 'WXXI Community Workshop,' broadcast one week after the documentary, received enthusiastic support from local community leaders, educators, parents and teachers who participated. The project continues to have impact, both in the form of follow up on up stories in both television stations, and because 'Make Us Safe' is being put to use in the educational components of both WXXI and the newspapers. Enclosed in the support materials, is a copy of 'Newspapers in Education,' which sent Make Us Safe into thousands of homes and classrooms. "'Make Us Safe' was a phenomenal and successful effort by several relatively small staffs. The partners, especially the broadcast partners looked beyond competition toward community, and sought for solutions through journalism. As we continue 'Make Us Safe' into 1997, we feel it is a project deserving consideration by the honorable committee which judges the Peabody Awards."--1996 Peabody Awards entry form. This program is a community workshop focused on coming up with solutions for youth violence. Featuring students, teachers, community leaders, parents, and experts on three separate panels led by journalists Elissa Marra, Carolyn Washburn, and Jim Redmond, Gary Walker moderates each group as they brainstorm how to solve this problem in their community.
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Producing Organization: WOKR-TV (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-22eda3f1196 (Filename)
Format: Betacam: SP
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Chicago: “WXXI Make Us Safe Community Workshop,” 1996-09-01, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “WXXI Make Us Safe Community Workshop.” 1996-09-01. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: WXXI Make Us Safe Community Workshop. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from