SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System is taking aim at violence and crime, launching a series to help prevent students from becoming involved.
The district hopes hearing the lived experience of others will prevent students from engaging in crime. It’s aimed at middle and high schoolers, where leaders say the majority of violent incidents are happening.
“Sometimes they’re just so angry so the first thing they want to do is lash out,” said Dr. Quentina Miller-Fields, director of student affairs. “We want to have our students understand there are other coping mechanisms other than violence. There are other ways to resolve disputes than violence.”
Dr. Miller-Fields said gun violence is a top concern for the district, especially after a number of threats made at schools in 2021.
“We want to put some strategies in place on how to deal with anger, how to deal with violence so it will not resort to fighting and ultimately somebody getting shot,” Miller-Fields said. “We definitely don’t want that or any other kind of violence. That could do one of two things: have our student become injured or have someone injure someone else and they become incarcerated. Because in either of those situations, we’ve lost.”
In February 2020, SCCPSS hosted a similar event in person. Leaders said it will take the entire community to help keep kids out of crime, which is why they plan to invite local law enforcement to join too.
“We the school system are not blaming the community for not doing their job and no one is blaming it on the school system,” Miller-Fields said. “But we all know we have to work in tandem to try to make a difference.”
The first of three virtual sessions begins next Thursday, February 3rd. The speakers have backgrounds in gang prevention and intervention, mental health awareness and anti-gun violence.
You can click on the link here to register. It’s also open to middle and high schoolers outside of SCCPSS.