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Pupils learn about life outside of school

EDUCATIONAL: Young people at the forum held at Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church in Handsworth

YOUNG PEOPLE are joining forces to talk about issues which they feel are not talked about enough in school – such as politics and learning more about stop and search.

A youth forum project is gaining ground in Birmingham to give children and teenagers the chance to thrash out issues while also talking to local politicians and police officers.

Student Samsara Kramer, 19, who attended the latest forum at Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church in Handsworth, said: “This is a very good experience as it makes you think for yourself and ask questions.

“I feel politics is something we have to learn for ourselves. At school we are spoon-fed with information to pass exams, but these discussions offer different view points.”

Handsworth-based PC Michelle Ugwueze, of West Midlands Police was on hand to discuss issues surrounding stop and search and to advise young people on how to react if they are stopped by officers.

Paulette Geohaghon, who works with young people at Cannon Street, said: “There is definitely an information gap on certain issues in young people’s lives and I feel forums like this are providing answers. I hope we can continue to have similar events locally.”

Desmond Jaddoo, of Birmingham Empowerment Forum, who set up the project, said: “Sessions like these demonstrate to young people that they have a voice and also rights which they need to be aware of once they leave school and enter the real world.”

The forum is organising a visit to Birmingham Council House, a visit to Steelhouse Lane Police Station in Birmingham city centre, and a meeting with Bob Jones, the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner.

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