City of Ellensburg hosts forum that encourages students to speak - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Ellensburg hosts forum that encourages students to speak up

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ELLENSBURG, WA - Since the deadly shooting last month in Parkland, Florida, school and student safety has been a top priority across the country. Now, communities in our area are also addressing that issue; in fact, the City of Ellensburg is getting ready to host an open forum surrounding this.

Today's forum titled "Voices of our Kids" is taking place this evening in the Ellensburg City Hall. The forum is intended to serve as a platform for students to speak up and say what changes they want to see in their schools to ensure their safety.

The Youth Services Mentor Program of Kittitas County is the organization behind the event, and to make sure students are heard they have invited the school district, the police department, and community organizations. One of the event leaders shared what the goal is behind this event.

"It's a listening session. It's a time for adults to sit and listen," said Jeff Cochran, a member of the Youth Services Mentor Program. "Often what happens is adults gather around a table and make a big decision with no students, and this is an opportunity for us to really come together as a community and say 'hey, you know we value what you're saying.'"

The forum will be streamed live on for those who can not attend.

After the event, Cochran says the community will work together to provide students solutions and continue to establish a safe community.