KC mayor welcomes Park Hill input

Park Hill High School and its students got the opportunity to play host to some big city politics Monday morning when Kansas City Mayor Sly James presented his annual state of the city address at the school.  James spoke for about an hour on City projects, new initiatives launched by his office and the importance of youth involvement. Five Park Hill students got some personal time with the mayor when they were selected by Principal Dr. Brad Kincheloe to ask James questions after his speech. The students participated in a town hall meeting moderated by Nick Haines of KCPT’s Kansas City Week in Review. The event was broadcast live on the KCPT website as well. Students asked James about the Republican National Convention, the role of women in Kansas City government, the disturbances at the Country Club Plaza last year and possible changes to the “stand your ground” gun laws. “Homeowners would have to retreat into their homes before they could shoot their attackers,” Park Hill senior Joey Cation said. “How do you feel this would affect our murder rates, which are still among the highest in the country?” James said he wasn’t sure it would affect the murder rate, but that it could have an effect on “common sense.” He said he believes people have the right to defend themselves in their own home, but he could see a potential for blurring of the lines when someone may go out of the home and not attempt to avoid potentially deadly situations. “There is a toll that is taken not only on the people who are killed, or who kill somebody, even if it’s justified,” James said.