Cotton speaks to crowd

Paris, Texas – 15 year old Shaquanda Cotton spoke before a crowd at a Town Meeting in Paris Sunday. The meeting was held at the New Salem Missionary Baptists Church. Cotton, who was released from a Texas Youth Commission facility March 31st after national attention of her case spurred several protests in Paris, thanked the gathering for efforts on her behalf.

Cotton said her 12-month stay was traumatic and she kept mostly to her room. She missed the funeral for her father, who died two weeks before she released. She also said she was now going to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer so she could help other kids.

Cotton was originally jailed for up to seven years for shoving a teacher's aide.