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Youth town hall addresses violence among minors

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SUSQUEHANNA TWP., Pa - Making the community a better place is what a group of students who led a youth town hall Monday is trying to do by opening a dialogue with adult community members about ways they can make their schools a safer place.

"Everyone should open their doors to students so they can feel comfortable with whom they're talking to so that they can understand what they're doing and we can help them," Ennis Mosley, a student at Susquehanna Township High School, said. "Violence is not the key to resolve things."

A student panel addressed many of the things they face on a daily basis, from drugs and gang violence to the use of social media for cyber bullying.

"It's just mainly, people talk through that and it builds a lot of problems,” Nick Byrd, a student at Sci-Tech, said. “The main thing that we face with that is mainly social issues. We attack each other and it's just dangerous for us."

Social media are also being used to promote fighting, but students say they are wary of telling an adult about it because the situation may cool down beforehand and anyone who tells may become the next target.

"It's making them feel less than themselves and they try to combat that by fighting the person or having a harsh argument with them so that they could resolve their issue," Mosley said.

The students at the forum got a chance to reach out to elected officials and give them a sense of what's going on and some of the ways they can help.

"The youth were able to talk to them and say this is what we think is going to help and start to fix the problems in our school district and community," Cole Goodman, the town hall moderator and a member of the Susquehanna Township school board, said.