Two Jasper Co. students propose bills to improve their county - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Two Jasper Co. students propose bills to improve their county

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Ja'Len Beacher-Orr, left, and Charrae Priester took part in the Senators for a Day Program. Ja'Len Beacher-Orr, left, and Charrae Priester took part in the Senators for a Day Program.
JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) -

Jasper County residents are asking for a change.

They said they're tired of the crime in the county and the image of failure following their school district, and so are the children.

Charrae Priester and Ja'Len Beacher-Orr are two local high school students who are putting action to their words.

They've written two bills they say can help their county and South Carolina. The bills were written as part of the Senator for a Day program, which both students were chosen to be a part of.

Beacher-Orr's No more Tears bill focuses on crime, which is personal to him.

"My cousin was murdered on December 14, 2011, and his murder remains unsolved," he said.

Priester's Reaching a Hand out into Success bill is about improving education.

"Education is really important to me because my grandma," she said. "When she was in school she didn't go to regular school, and when she went to school she traded sweet potatoes in order for her to get an education."

Beacher-Orr said his bill will hold local law enforcement accountable for out of control crime.

He said if there are more than 80 unsolved murders in a county or city, then SLED will automatically be called in to investigate the sheriff's office or police department.

"If investigators find that law enforcement and detectives are not doing everything in their power to ensure the safety of the community and its local citizens, then the employees will have to be reassigned, or maybe even dismissed," he said.

Priester's education bill will prepare eighth graders for high school before their freshman year by making them take a high school 101 course. The course will cover 18 core objectives, which students will have to meet before moving on.

"We need to prepare our students while they're in the beginning," she said. "Often times students be like, 'if only I can go back to my freshman year. I could have done things differently'. If we can start them in the beginning with successful habits, they can be successful throughout their high school career and on."

Priester said her bill is ambitious, but it's not impossible because Jasper County Schools are improving.  

Both students will present their bills to state legislators next month, and perhaps they may become law.

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