A group of Lauderdale County students visited several locations in Meridian Tuesday dealing with crime and justice, as part of Leadership Lauderdale youth training.
"We have monthly meetings where we study one of the seven habits of highly effective teens," said Beth Randall, youth agent for the Lauderdale County Extension Service. "And we have a theme that increases their leadership potential."
The tours of the Lauderdale County Detention Center, the Crime Lab, and the courthouse deal with Habit #5, seeking to understand, then to be understood.
"All this relates back to being better leaders and communication skills, learning, being sure you're clear," said Randall. "We've learned today
in the justice system if you're misunderstood it could be for dire consequences."
The other six habits are covered from October through April during the participants' junior year in high school.
Students say they're gaining valuable knowledge from the experience.
"We learn a lot about the different city jobs, what it's like to be a leader and what kind of skills you need to be a leader," said Amanda Jones
of Lamar High School.
"It's a really good program for us to learn things to do day to day, how to be an effective leader in the community," said Ricky Clark of West Lauderdale High.
"We also learn about special skills with people like relational skills, personal skills, that will help us at any job we want to do when we start a career," said Jessica Bogue of West Lauderdale.
The tours for these students were not just another day out of
class, but a learning experience.