Local College, Middle School Student In The Headlines

Deputies and actress inside doorway of a home.
“A still frame from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge video shows Meliyah Davis holding on to a sheriff’s deputy played by Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kalin England.”

(Northwest Georgia) – Nearing 11 million views alone on Facebook in less than two weeks, the nationwide craze of police forces taking part in the “Lip Sync Challenge” has caught everyone’s attention. However, the most popular production appears to have been done right here in the Northwest Georgia mountains. And, it has the students of one college taking notice.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves nearly 30 high schools across nine counties in Northwest Georgia. It’s a college which is fairly well known among the teens in the region. An institution which teaches Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Georgia Northwestern makes an unexpected appearance in a viral video setting a serious tone in social media. It’s a production that has put domestic violence in the spotlight this month.

 

Young girl posing for picture outdoors. She's wearing a pink bow and pink t-shirt.
“Meliyah Davis starred in a viral video production of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge. The video focused on the serious issue of domestic violence.”

 

It’s all in the wardrobe of 12-year-old Teasley Middle School student Meliyah Davis. When Meliyah begins school this week in Canton, Georgia, she may end up being a very noticeable face. Meliyah’s aunt, Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Christine Hedmann, actually recruited her for the filming. A Field Training Officer for the department, Hedmann also makes in appearance in the now famous video.

In Meliyah’s scenes in the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge Video, she is wearing a Georgia Northwestern Technical College t-shirt. “I liked the color and design of the shirt,” said Meliyah on why she wore the shirt. “I really want to be a police officer, though. I want to work in the jail.”

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus and the Criminal Justice program every semester on the Gordon County Campus, Walker County Campus and Whitfield Murray Campus.

“What these law enforcement professionals did with this video is important in helping bring the issue to light,” said Law Enforcement Academy Director James Pledger. “Domestic violence knows no social-economic boundaries. Men, women, and children can be victims. It’s a continuous cycle that is hard to break. We take this very serious and train on it diligently at the (GNTC) academy.”

With domestic violence on the rise in the United States, there couldn’t be a better time to take advantage of a viral trend. “One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”

 

Girl sitting on wooden floor in a bedroom; leaning against a wall.
“A still frame from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge video shows Meliyah Davis sitting in the floor. She plays the daughter of a family dealing with an abusive parent in the home.”

 

In the video, Meliyah plays the daughter of a family dealing with an abusive parent in the home.  “I think that people shouldn’t be abusive,” said Meliyah. “The victims should call for help.” Hedmann, Meliyah’s aunt, is the deputy driving the squad car in the online hit. She and her partner are responding to a call about possible domestic violence coming from a home.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Their website is TheHotline.org. The website offers an around-the-clock chat option. Or, you can also call the hotline at 1−800−799−7233. The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

So, what do Meliyah’s friends and family think of her overnight stardom? “My best friend, Sanai, thought it was awesome,” said Meliyah. “My family is proud and thinks I did a great job.” Meliyah’s grandmother, Sharon Davis, works in the Financial Aid department at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus and the Criminal Justice program every semester on the Gordon County Campus, Walker County Campus and Whitfield Murray Campus. To learn more about these programs, you can call 866-983-4682 or visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.