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IPS hosting community conversation on youth violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis Public School officials want to talk about how violence and crime affects their students.

The district is holding a community-wide conversation Thursday evening on youth violence.

In a blog post from January, IPS superintendent Dr Lewis Ferebee wrote about receiving a message that a current student had been shot to death, and a 14-year-old had been hurt in a shooting. He said this latest message made him decide to write that blog post. In it, he says he believes what happens in schools is “a spillover of what is taking place in our neighborhoods, and most of our schools are neighborhood schools.”

He added, “The rash of violence in our schools must be tackled from the outside in and the inside out. I firmly believe the behaviors we are seeing in schools here and across our nation have a direct correlation to what our young people are seeing and experiencing in our communities, particularly in our high-poverty areas.”

Fast-forward a couple months: Thursday night, IPS, IMPD, faith leaders and other community group leaders will host this community conversation on youth violence.

It’s the first step, IPS officials say, in creating a community task force to address youth violence.

According to statistics from the Indiana Youth Institute, “Youth ages 12-17 who experience violent crimes are more likely to feel distress, have problems with family or friend relationships, or have problems at work or school.”

IMPD stats show as of the end of March, there were 27 murders in Indianapolis in 2016.

It’s not clear how many involved teenagers or students.

IPS is hoping you’ll get involved: their community conversation is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at New Era Church at 517 W 30th Street.

There will be a panel discussion then small group sessions after that.

They say other events will continue through the spring and summer as they work to develop a plan to fight the issue of violence in our neighborhoods.

For more information on the meeting and how to RSVP, click here.

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