Gang peer pressure topic of seminar

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marquell Bain, 6, from left, Jaquil Ricks, 9, and William Brown, 9, participate in Youth Awareness Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Franklin on Saturday. FRANK A. DAVIS/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—More than 100 youth, parents and Franklin residents attended the Youth Awareness Seminar on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

The seminar co-sponsored by the Franklin Star Lodge No. 288 and Franklin Department of Parks & Recreation was designed to inform the community about problems youth face with gang peer pressure and problems in today’s high-tech and fast-paced society.

Edward Ruffin, the senior warden of Franklin Star Lodge, served as the master of ceremonies and introduced former Franklin resident Kent Grant, who now works with the Virginia Beach school system.

Others speaking were Cpl. Q. Livingston and Patrol Officer M. Carow with the Franklin Police Department; Sgt. R.T. Stevens and Sgt. J. Wyche with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office; and FBI Agent John Farr.

The highlight of the seminar was the video “The Wrong Family” prepared by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. This graphic informative video addressed gang situations throughout Virginia and left a strong message that gang involvement can end in jail or death.

It was concluded that there is a need of a balanced working situation between parents, schools, community organizations, churches and individuals to help youth.