‘Respect for Life’ mentorship programs kicks off at Scotlandville High School

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) –  Students at Scotlandville Magnet High School are some of the first in the city to engage in the new ‘Respect for Life’ a partnership the district launched with 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge and BRPD.

Inside a classroom at Scotlandville, the conversation about perception got candid.

When asked how society views certain people, a student pointed out that someone dressed in a suit walking in the hood could easily be a “lick.”

“He’s keeping it honest with me. If I’m walking around the hood where he’s from, he said I look like a free lick. I understand what that means. I look like somebody you can get,” said East Baton Rouge’s School Board Member Dadrius Lanus.

A lick is a slang word for an easy target. 

The ‘Respect for Life’ program teaches students like freshman Mya Murray to be open about issues in their school and communities.

“Nowadays in society we have kids that’s being peer pressured into things they really don’t want to do,” said Murray.

In the Capital City, some would say the streets are rough.

“That’s what I see everyday in society from the neighborhood I grew up in,” said Murray.

Now several groups are working to make them better.

“It teaches them how to avoid certain situations, how to be preemptive and if you are put in a situation where you might feel uncomfortable then how to actually deal with that,” said Respect for Life’s Director Ryan Curtis of the 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge.

For school board member Dadrius Lanus, this program is personal.

“Knowing what I saw then and knowing what needs to happen now is the reason why I’m stepping inside this space and the reason why I want to be as intentional as possible when it comes to reaching our kids,” said Lanus.

Through interactive assignments and videos. These mentors hope to reach as many students as possible.

“These are the types of things our students need. When you talk about the fighting, killings that’s happening inside our neighborhoods, a lot of it is centered because we’re not having the conversations,” said Lanus.

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