Jacksonville parents and community members hold safety town hall meeting after Northside High School stabbing

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -Residents of the Jacksonville community came together Thursday night for a town hall meeting to discuss safety.

The gathering comes two weeks after the fatal stabbing at Northside High School.

Jacksonville parent Anthony Sloane says talking directly to the youth about their perspectives will ultimately provide everyone with a better understanding.

“Next we need to hear the kids, we need to hear what the kids have to say,” Sloane said. “I think that’s a big issue right there, hear what they have to say because these kids are smart. They have a lot of things going on in their mind, they got things going on in school and after school so let’s hear what they have to say. Perhaps once we know maybe we can provide something for them.”

Several topics were discussed such as school violence, community violence, and eliminating gang activity.

However, Sloane says some children act out because of their situation and just want to feel loved.

“They’re looking for acceptance and we have to understand that the parents are working hard, some are single parents who are working two and three jobs so they are doing the best they can,” Sloane said. “Perhaps we need to develop some community outreach programs where the parents come and kids can come, they can help one another. It provides something that the kids can go to after school.”

Although the meeting was centered around better protecting the youth, Jacksonville parent Nelson Valentin says the structure starts at home with parents staying connected with their children.

“What they do once they turn 18 I don’t have that responsibility but I do have a responsibility until they leave my house,” Valentin said. “I want to know who my son is talking to, I want to know who my son is hanging out with, I want to know what my son is doing when I’m not there. When he comes home we have a talk, what are doing or what have you been doing.”

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