Judge brings young at-risk teens to tears: 'Stop acting like you're trash'

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A Georgia judge brought a room full of at-risk teens to tears when she described to them what would happen if they decided to continually break the law.

The speech was part of Bibb County Sheriff’s Department’s “Consider the Consequences” program, which was meant to help kids get back on the right path.

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“What do you want to do? That’s the question you have to ask yourself: what do you want to do?” Judge Verda Colvin said to the group of kids, who were between the ages of 9 and 17.

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“You can have the ultimate experience; you can be in this body bag,” she said, using a large white bag as a prop. “Listen to me; the way you’re going, you will go to jail or you will end up in this body bag. The only way someone will know you are in here is by this tag with your name on it. Stop acting like you’re trash.”

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She took it a step further, saying she was tired of seeing kids of color in court.

“I am sick and tired of seeing people who look like you and I (black) come in my courtroom, and I have to sentence them to prison,” she said. “And then you hear them fussing on TV about African Americans being in the prison system. Well, guess what, if you don’t do what it takes to go there, you won’t be a part of it.”

But beyond her scare tactics, Colvin seemed determined to also show the kids that they mattered.

“Who thinks they’re better than nothing?” she asked.

When several of the kids seemed reluctant to raise their hands, she said, “You were slow raising your hands. Let me tell you both something. You are special. And you are uniquely made and nobody else can do what you’re supposed to do in this world. Nobody else! And if you don’t do it, we won’t have it.”