High school students discuss teen pregnancy and violence at national mayor’s conference

Several hundred high school students attended a youth day luncheon at the National Conference of Black Mayors annual conference today being held at the Hyatt regency in downtown Columbus. Youth violence and teenage pregnancy were two of the issues on their minds

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When the emcee of the Youth Day luncheon opened the floor to a discussion of what was on the minds of the high school students in attendance…the first issue to be raised was teen pregnancy. Sierra Robinson…a senior at Linden McKinley High School in Columbus…knows first-hand what it’s like to be a pregnant high school student. Robinson…who turned 18 last month.. plans to graduate this year and get on with her life. Another Linden McKinley student…Samuel Payne…crticized the media for the negative coverage of Columbus Public Schools students Payne linked teen pregnancy, poverty and violence…saying one tends to lead to the next…and he thinks students, schools and the community must work to resolve these issues. Ketan Patterson…a high school student from Pittsburgh…told the crowd that several students in his school have been shot to death in recent weeks…and kids must come together and deal with the scourge of violence afflicting young people. He urged kids to calm down and deal with their problems without resorting to violence…saying.

Heather Hudson is the youngest mayor at the National Black Mayors Conference. She was 27 when she was elected mayor of Greenville, Mississippi two years ago. Her message to young people is two-fold.

Hudson praised the students for facing the tough issues that confront them. And she tells them to take action. More than 300 mayors are attending the annual meeting of the National Conference of Black Mayors which ends this Saturday.

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