March 10, 2011
AUGUSTA,G.a-- There is about two more weeks left until graduation and summer break. Some teachers at Josey High School are worried that some kids will not return. They say summer student safety is an issue.
Johnathan Davis is a senior at Josey high school. He is excited about graduation and has some rather big plans ahead of him.
" I plan on going to Georgia Southern and majoring in physical therapy," said Davis. He says he and his friends have plenty of things to keep them busy during the school year, but during the summer things change.
"We always hang around the wrong people at the wrong time," said Davis.
Johnathan believes it is not uncommon for students to get caught up with the wrong crowd during the summer. Last year one of his close friends was shot to death.
"He started hanging with the wrong people and ended up getting shot," said Davis. "It was all over nonsense."
Lyneisha Holmes is a junior at Josey High School. She says teenagers get in trouble during the summer for a lot of different reasons.
"We all deal with peer pressure and problems at home," said Holmes. "Sometimes we are just bored and get in trouble."
"When you see a child at the end of May and they do not return, it is like loosing a family member," said Veronica Cummings.
Veronica is a guidance counselor at the school. She and a team of teachers speak one on one with students to make sure they are in a safe environment for the summer. The program is called teachers as advisers.
"Sometimes we have students that say I wish I could stay and I wish we had school year round," said Cummings. "We want our students to feel safe at school and at home."
"We are always encouraging our students to get into something positive over the summer," said Jonavan Harris.
Harris has been teaching at Josey for more than 13 years. He says within the past three years, three students died from gun violence. He believes this should be a public concern for all schools.
"We are seeing a localized version of gun violence in the area and it is impacting schools all over in a negative light," said Harris.
He said the school prides on family and help from the community. He believes it will take the help of the school staff and the community to make sure the youth stays on the right track, during the summer.
Meanwhile Johnathan is graduating this year and looking into his future. He just wants other students to have one too.
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