On November 10th, from 4 to 6 pm, at the Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was the 2014 YouthSpeak meeting.
YouthSpeak is an annual youth public forum that empowers young people to advocate on their own behalf. Represenatative Rutledge, Sheriff Clayton, Washtenaw County prosecuting attorney Brian Mackie, Superintendents of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, State Representative Adam Zemke, Washtenaw Department of Human Services, and WISD all attended this forum. Youth were asked to write and present a 2-3 minute speech telling local decision-makers what safety meant to them.
Here’s what an employee of H.O.P.E. said:
What Safety Means to Me
“I am an 11th grade student at Ypsilanti High School. I work as a tutor for Dedicated to Make a Change. In school, I feel pretty safe, but as a student, I don’t think safety is the biggest issue in the school. I really think that, as a community, [we] should focus more on education. If we had a strong focus on learning, there would be fewer safety problems. For example, I have a class without a teacher. In this class, the students walk into class not expecting to learn, but to sit there and waste an hour of class that should be used to gain the privilege of a public education. Thank you.”