Relatives of slain teens, community leaders, educators, parents and students joined county officials at a town hall meeting Monday night in Prince George’s County to address the violence in the county that has claimed the lives of six students in the past six months.
The standing-room-only crowd of nearly 300 people filled the gymnasium of the Suitland Recreation Center. Many of the speakers expressed frustration over the recent killings.
“These violent acts of murder really have traumatized our community and our police department,” said Police Chief Mark A. Magaw. “It has to stop.”
Everyone was looking for ways to prevent the violence. Some suggested assessing current resources, including mentoring and conflict-resolution programs. Others said the high school dropout rate has to be addressed.
State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said the community has to work together to change a culture in which some people have placed a higher value on a pair of shoes than on a person’s life.