Students from various Pottawatomie County schools will speak to a panel of local leaders regarding issues they wish to rectify Friday February 8, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Shawnee High School Performing Arts Center.

According to event coordinator for the Shawnee Youth Coalition, Taylor Bivings, a group of students has organized the event and so far has accepted 10 speeches for students to read.

"The Youth Speak Out event is a chance for middle school and high school students to talk about problems they think are in their schools and offer a solution," Bivings said.

Those speaking to the listening panel will have two to four minutes to introduce their issue and offer a solution or explain its importance.

Bivings explained though she helped with the event, Youth Speak Out is student run and it gives those participating a chance to be heard.

The issues brought forth, Bivings said, include bullying, homelessness, littering, dress code, headphones in school and other such topics.

The event also enables policy makers and community leaders the chance to hear and understand a problem from the youth's perspective.

Schools across the county are invited and currently students from Shawnee's high school and middle school, Pleasant Grove and Tecumseh are planning to attend the event.

The youths coordinating the event have written the speeches and chosen the students who are speaking. The planning committee has also made sure the listening panel is composed of individuals in education, business, law enforcement and other such areas whose choices directly affect youth.

Speeches and student speakers are being accepted until February 6. For more information and to RSVP contact Bivings at Taylor Bivings 405-837-8893 or tbivings@gatewaytoprevention.org.