CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/ The Loop)- The Brainerd High School Peer Mentoring Group addressed the Chattanooga City Council on April 5th with their concerns regarding safety at Coolidge park.
Alexis Moore, student and Vice President of the mentoring group, believes that a stricter curfew needs to be enforced at the park, due to the recent increase of violence after dark. By enforcing a stricter curfew Moore feels that gang violence will decrease and stop affecting those in her community and school.
Moore said, “I have personally lost loved ones due to the curfew not being enforced.” Alexis Moore Speaking
Moore was not alone in her concerns. Fellow mentors and classmates also addressed the Council with their concerns regarding community safety in the park ,such as requiring a search of each person upon the entrance to all events, requiring security at all teen parties hosted in the park, certifying the hired security and limiting “street gatherings.”
The students also addressed the Council with possible programs that could be enacted to reduce the number of teens participating in violence, such as reviving an old program that helps provide summer jobs for at risk teens and potentially incorporating a class in local high schools to educate teens about the risks of guns, violence, and gangs.
Jenelle Thom spoke to the Council to advocate an incorporation of gun, violence, and gang education in high schools throughout the area.Thom believes that changing the way teens think is the key to reducing violence.
Thom said, “It only takes one person or one thing to stop events like this.”
Councilman Russel Gilbert said that the Council will review the curfew and potential code changes in a future meeting.