Palmer Munroe Center Coming Back... For Teens?

** FILE ** In this May 22, 2008 file photo, parents listen to a seminar conducted by Connecticut State Police Sgt. Jim Smith of the state police cybercrimes unit in Windsor Locks, Conn. Teenagers' increasingly common habit of distributing nude self-portraits electronically _ often called "sexting" if it's done by cell phone _ has parents and school administrators worried. And some prosecutors have begun charging teens who send and receive such images with child pornography and other serious felonies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, file)
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The recent Tallahassee shootings are on the minds of folks who are trying to re-open a community center located in the same section of town.
Although many folks want the Palmer-Munroe Center up and running again, they don't have the same vision for its future.
The Palmer-Munroe Community Center didn't shut down without a fight. People tried to save it from the chopping block during the Tallahassee budget process in August and September...
"The kids are home there. A lot of them it is their place where they go to be safe," says Anne Munroe-Vinson, the daughter of the late Palmer Munroe for whom the center is named.
But it was just too costly for the city, and it closed on October 1st. But that doesn't keep young folks from using its outdoor basketball court. The closed Palmer Munroe still attracts people even though it's in the same southwest area of town where three shootings rang out in the last two days. And that's one reason why some local and state officials are trying to turn it into a teen center.
"Yes, we need to do everything we can do to curb the violent and criminal activity in this community but we also have to target those young people who are just vulnerable to that kind of activity," explains Tallahassee Commissioner Andrew Gillum, who has been working to establish a teen center at Palmer Munroe.
Some funding could come from the state and it would be Tallahassee's only teen center focusing on 13 to 19 year olds. But not everyone agrees with that.
"What you're doing is isolating an age group and when you do that, then you leave out another age group or two for that matter," says Alloydice Gaines, a community activist.
So Gaines is trying to get people to fight for the Palmer Munroe again... not just to re-open it... but to keep it open for all ages.
A community forum on the future of the Palmer-Munroe Center is set for Thursday night. It starts at 6:30 at the Palmer Munroe Center on Jackson Bluff and everyone is invited to attend.

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