Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Students discuss race, crime with local leaders

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BATON ROUGE - Dozens of students from Scotlandville Middle Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy got a chance to meet with local law enforcement and community leaders Friday.

Teens got the chance to pose questions to the people they look up to.

"It's going to encourage us to be better," said 13-year-old Kirsten Cannon.

Principal Shalika Scott said the program lets kids interact with community leaders in order to learn how to make good choices.

Race was also a part of the conversation and the discussion was sparked by recent events involving Michael Brown, a black teen who was shot and killed by a white Officer, Darren Wilson, out of Missouri.

Scott said she thinks it's a good thing that students are thinking about race relations early.

"I think it's an excellent thing. I think that it prepares them for things that they're going to see later on in life," said Scott.

Cannon asked Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie if race played a factor in where he chose to place officers throughout the city. The chief said no, and explained the factors he does consider with the students.

"I felt that his answer was also very encouraging to me because I would hate to find out that that's the way they would pick," Cannon said. "But knowing that it is not, it kind of tells me...it gives me a little bit of security in that."


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