Community volunteers plan to curb youth violence

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Community activist Curtis Pitts has created a step by step plan to curb youth violence.

He said when he was in high school he and his friends used to find places around town to go fishing, but these days, he said, there aren’t many opportunities in Topeka for young people to do things like that.

Pitts plan is called “Stop Youth Violence.”

The plan brings together the school district, city leaders, and community members to provide safe and positive activities for teens on weekends.

He says the idea is to let kids, be kids again.

“They should be laughing and doing silly stuff, you know rather than trying to survive out here on these streets,” Pitts said.

One step in Pitts’ plan is something from his past. He organized basketball and dinners, on weekends, at a high school gym.

He’d like to see it happen again, at Highland Park High School.

“That was one major deterrent from kids getting caught up in gangs and deviant behavior because everyone wanted to come and hang out,” he said.

Keith Rayton graduated from Highland Park High School and has sisters there now.

“If you don’t have anything to do then you’re bored and you wonder a lot,” Rayton said. “And you can get easily influenced by the wrong things.”

Rayton said a plan like Pitts’ will get rid of that boredom and give kids the chance to meet other kids.

“More community events will defeat the enemy feeling,” he said. “If kids had a place where they could go and see each other more often then they wouldn’t feel as much an enemy toward each other.”

Pitts says a plan like his doesn’t work without community support to make it a reality and provide these opportunities for teens.

To read more on the Emergency Youth Success Plan and how to help, CLICK HERE

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