School leaders hold anti-violence community meeting

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Sherea Harris

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There was a meeting Monday night about how to save children from destructive behavior. It was held partly because of four Erwin High School students that were arrested last week for attempted murder.

Erwin High School's Principal Van Phillips helped organize the meeting with principals from Woodlawn and Huffman. Woodlawn reported a poor decision by a student just hours before Monday night's meeting. According to Birmingham Police, a Woodlawn sophomore was arrested for having an unloaded gun with her at school. She was taken to Jefferson County Family Court.

People from those schools came together for a stop the violence meeting at First Baptist Church of Kingston.

School officials say it's time to start a dialogue about violence among teens with hopes of preventing them from making irrational decisions.

The Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools says what happens in the community affects the schools, which makes the event necessary.

"It's an opportunity for all of us to sit down and talk about how we can work with families, communities and schools. None of us are isolated we are all connected," Superintendent Dr.Phil Hammonds.

"I'm hoping tonight that everybody that comes out to see what Erwin presents and that we are not for violence. And everybody gets the idea that we are against violence,"  said a Erwin High School student, Lakeshia Parks.

Dr. Hammonds hopes to heighten the awareness of safety for children on and off campus.

Many say it all begins at the child's home with parental involvement.

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