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Natchez High School hosted social injustice panel

NATCHEZ — Student-athletes at Natchez High School listened to a panel of five professionals talk on Thursday morning inside the Steckler Multi-Purpose building about social injustice issues happening in the United States and in Natchez.

The purpose of the social injustice panel was to have dialogue and communication with Natchez High School athletes about the current social climate in America and how Natchez student-athletes can play a part, organizers said.

The panel included Kevin Campbell, an assistant coach for Natchez High, Josh Thomas, a Natchez High football player, Randy Craft, head football coach of Natchez High, Shameca Collins, district attorney for District 6 which covers Adams, Amite, Franklin and Wilkinson counties, and Melvin Davis, director of safety and security at Natchez High.

Some of the topics discussed by the panel included interactions with law enforcement, leadership and unity.

Collins said people interacting with law enforcement should show respect to them.

“They are people just like you and sometimes they have good days and bad days,” Collins said. “If you show the police officer respect, then you will survive. There is no reason to argue with them.”

Davis has been in law enforcement since 2013 and said he is the type of officer who wants to help people and be there for people. Davis said he gave advice to the student-athletes in regards to being pulled over by a police officer.

“Keep your hands visible, tell the officer what you are reaching for and tell the officer about weapons in your car,” Davis said. “If you do those types of things, then you will keep the officer comfortable.”

Campbell said he recalled an interaction he had with a police officer on his way to Louisiana and stressed the importance of overcoming evil with good.

“Very easily we can react in a way that can get us into trouble,” Campbell said. “You guys know as students, when your teacher gets angry, you want to react in a way that is not proactive. You should treat them with respect. Remember to always be respectful, be courteous and only take charge of yourself.”

The Natchez High School football team was in attendance at Thursday’s panel discussion.

NHS football players LionDell Minor Jr. and Brandon Buie voiced their opinions during the panel discussion.

Minor said he learned from the panel discussion on how to control his anger in response to conflict. Meanwhile, Buie said he learned from Thursday’s panel discussion that he is in charge of his life.

“Whatever you do and whomever you are hanging out with will always reflect you,” Buie said. “You have to make sure that you are protected and you are set straight. The people around you should be set straight and protected. That is when life would be good for everyone.”