Selma City Schools hosted Community forum to help children

Published 9:25 am Friday, November 18, 2022

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The Selma City Schools hosted a Community forum Wednesday night with city leaders on how to protect the youth.

SCS Superintendent Dr. Zickeyous Byrd, Selma High School Principal Stoney Pritchett were joined by Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., Selma Police Chief Kenta Fulford, and Drug Free Community of Dallas County Executive Director Jerria Martin leading the forum.

Byrd said the purpose of the forum is to come together and save the community. He added that it goes beyond the death of a Selma High student last week.

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“We are here to address the issues in our community,” Byrd said. “We have large gaps to fill and it starts with our community. We need help. We’re asking for churches to fill in gaps. We have to fix Selma for ourselves.”

Pritchett said problems with the kids have started to affect the teachers. He also said that when kids enter Selma High, their bags are checked.

“Our teachers are burned out and frustrated, its taken a toll on them,” Pritchett said. “The programs we’ve implemented aren’t helping. The kids are crying out for help. It’s tough and sad.”

Fulford said raising the youth starts in their homes.

“We can’t count on the police or the church to raise our children, it starts at home,” Fulford said. “Some parents are afraid to go into their children’s room. My parents always went into my room. Our children are in trouble.”

Perkins, in his third term as Mayor, said he doesn’t understand how certain children have control of their parents.

“Children are still children, as a child, I wanted to do a lot of things, but my parents got me to do what I needed to do,” Perkins said. “I did not want to be in the church and in the choir, they made me.

“I don’t understand when kids tell their parents what to do Every generation has a rebellion in them, but we always checked our children. It worked for me.”

Selma City Councilwoman Jannie Thomas said she always talk to the youth in her Ward 7 about the dangers of drugs and murders.

“I make it a big effort to save my community and I always make it an effort to talk to the young me in my Ward,” Thomas said.  “A lot of my babies are headed down the wrong path.

“I tell them, ‘Fast money will not make you, drugs will destroy you.’ A lot of them roll up blunts before they go to school. A lot of them roll up blunts after school. I ask them, ‘why they do it.’ They have no answer.  I tell them, ‘We’re not trying to control your life, we’re trying to save your life.”

Martin said the youth need to see a positive example before trying to improve their lives.

“Our kids know better, but they won’t do better until they see better,” Martin said.

Selma City Councilwomen Christie Thomas and Lesia James also attended the forum.