ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Mayoral candidates came together Monday to talk about the impact of violence on children. St. Louis continues to top the list of most dangerous cities in America. The city's violence was the top topic for the candidates with just weeks to go before St. Louis picks a new mayor. The community forum was hosted by the Northwest Law Academy's Social Justice Council.
The student body knows first hand the devastation of gun violence. In December, and then again in January, two of their classmates were fatally shot. Following the murders it was the students themselves who came up with the idea to meet with the mayoral candidates.
"I guess as the government teacher I shared that this is an election. We're going to have a new leader who would be in charge of the police, who would change the attitude and the focus of the city's leadership and policing," said Krista Germann of Northwest Law Academy. "We are elated to have the future leadership of this city present with us. But, more importantly, excited that the future of the city is here with us Northwest Academy students."
Last year nearly 200 lives were lost to gun violence in St. Louis. Most of the victims were under the age of 25, many of them teenagers. Students in the Social Justice Council have taken to social media to share their message that they want a future without fear and violence.
While most are too young to vote, the Social Justice Council plans to follow the primary and the election to see who wins. They plan to reach out to the candidate who wins, To pledge their support, and also hold them accountable for what they said at this forum.