Reducing youth violence and school safety were the top priorities discussed during the first Youth and School Safety Summit hosted by Fulton County and Fulton County Schools on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at the Fulton County Government Center.
“Violence in our schools and crime amongst our youth is increasing at alarming rates in Fulton County,” said Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts. “We are at a crossroads on how we emerge from this crisis as a community, which is why when the superintendent contacted me, I immediately agreed to partner and host the summit; this is vital in creating a coordinated intergovernmental response to this critical issue.”
The summit included leaders from Fulton County Schools, Fulton County Government, city and public safety leadership from municipalities located throughout Fulton County. Convened by Fulton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney and Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts, the summit addressed five critical challenges currently facing youth:
- Difficulty readjusting to school structures and expectations
- Challenges with reconnecting with teachers and peers
- A lack of problem-solving and coping skills
- Weapons in school
- Social Media: sensationalize acts of violence
“Bringing our safety and security partners together for this summit was very productive. We all share the same goal, and we know when we coordinate effectively, the result is safer schools and community,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney. “I was impressed with the engagement and ideas everyone brought to the table. We left with a solid list of next steps and long term plan to build on the progress of this conversation.”
Elected officials, chiefs of police, and behavioral health leaders prioritized the top three action items that each partner could immediately support with available resources to help protect students.
“We have a responsibility to protect and serve the children of Fulton County,” said Chairman Pitts. “By working together, we can reduce crime to make our schools and communities safer for our children.”
Moving forward the group will be known as the Fulton School and Youth Safety Coalition and reconvene in June to continue to address issues facing Fulton County youth.