NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – A bullying and violence prevention Teen Summit was held in New Iberia to tackle gun violence within the youth and the community.

Nursey McNeal is an Iberia Parish School Board member. She says young people need to be empowered to get involved in the community for their safety and the safety of the community as a whole.

Children ages ranging from 5th to 12th grade gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. Phenyx ‘Nox’ Carman, 16, a student at Westgate high school said  it’s a great program and opportunity for the people to interact with each other and learn more about each other. 

Evrin Conway, 15 one of the youth there said, “I enjoyed the program, and it’s nice to see all the kids come together and be with each other and show respect to the adults.” Jouini Joseph 8, a singer performed her song about stopping bullying in school. “I just want to let people know to stop bullying other people and just make friends and stuff, and making friends is good, but bullying is bad because you’re bullying another person,” said Joseph. 

Joseph said she would get bullied in school because of her natural hair. She wants to encourage young people to stop bullying. Spokesperson Sgt. Daesha Hughes with the New Iberia Police Department said. “Y’all have to stop bullying one another. Y’all have to stop saying hurtful things to one another,” said Sgt. Hughes. She shared a story about her responsibilities as a parent. “I need to teach my children that police officers do not just shoot people,” she said. 

The organizers want the youth to know someone does care for them. “The more we can get organizations and build teams to address the crisis with our youth that’s going on, the better off as a city we’re going to be, ” said Raymond Lewis, one of Iberia Parish School Board members.