To the editor:
For all of us in this community, it's time to face the truth - you cannot make a city beautiful on the outside, and have ugly on the inside. This town needs healing, I know, but a lot of the problems here are self-inflicted.
I'd like to say first, to Royal Mayo, shame on you. Anyone, who blames a rape victim for being raped has a real problem, and I would like for Jane Doe to know we all do not feel that way. I am sorry that this happened to you, and I truly feel you were drug through the mud, because the parents don't want to take responsibility for their children's actions -shame on them.
Now moving forward, we have to take the approach it takes a village to raise a child. Here are three ideas: First, we need a teen center, not a recreation center, a teen haven where children are separated by age groups, junior high and high school. If we can put $3 million to widen Third Street, then we can use a building that's in good condition, get quality people to help give them arts, music, computers and have retired police, or off-duty officers, help us keep it gang free. Second, fine the parents. I live on Maryland Avenue, and last spring and summer I had to call the police more than 50 times to come chase the teens away from the street so I can have my grandchild here. So, if we make the guardians, parents, or whoever is raising these children responsible, then maybe, they'd do the right thing. They do in the big city. If children skip school, smoke, etc., the parents get a warning, then a ticket to appear with the child, and then juvenile detention, for those who still will not comply. Third, we need a scared straight program. The police officers and Jefferson County Sheriff''s Department can work together and, at the sixth-grade level, every single child should have to take this mandatory class where they stay a night in juvenile, or the time of one school day, so they can see what it is like behind bars. I think if we can save one child, then we have accomplished something.
By forcing parents to be responsible for the actions of their children, I bet if parents had to pay a fine, every time their child got in trouble, we would not have so many kids, in trouble. And one last thing - I saw, 12-year-old children out at 1 a.m. and beyond. Enforce a curfew, don't just say there is a curfew, and make the parents responsible if curfew is violated.
Well, those are my ideas. At least I hope someone listens - we have to do something. I believe it's all of our responsibility to participate in this community. What do you think?