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Teen debates return Jan. 27
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The Great Teen Debates are back at the Barksdale Boys and Girls Club on Friday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m., with several candidates for elected office serving as panelists.

The panelists are: Phinia Aten, Democratic candidate for Magistrate Court Chief Judge, Gary Washington, candidate for Superior Court Judge, Brian Jenkins, Democratic candidate for County Commission Chairman, Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington, who is running for reelection, and DeKalb County Fire Chief Eric Jackson.

Organizer Connie Alsobrook, of the Good News Notebook, explained "The panelists come in and ask a question of the teens. The teens will get together in groups and discuss for two minutes." A representative from each group then presents their answer to the question posed by the panelists.

The panelists also face questions from the teens. "They go back and forth," said Alsobrook.

She started organizing the debates in 2008 to give teens a place to feel comfortable. "Kids don’t have a place to speak their voice; typically they are told to hush at school," she told the News previously. "Many teens have told me they don’t have a place to talk without being judged and they just want to express themselves." Alsobrook is the founder of the Good News Note Book online magazine.

The Barksdale Boys and Girls Club is located at 1015 O'Kelly Street, behind the Conyers Post Office on Green Street.

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