Save the Children; Parents Sidestepping Parental Responsibilities
Byline: Deborah Simmons, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
This is another column that will probably draw e-mails calling me "hater" and "self-loathing." Some readers call me names when they think I'm writing from a "white" perspective. It is my duty as a journalist and my responsibility as a parent to challenge others like me when it comes to children and crime.
It was about 2:20 in the morning on Sunday. Lavelle Jones and two of his cousins were leaving a nightclub. Lavelle never made it - he never made it home that is. Someone in another car fired a shot. Lavelle was hit in the head. It was a mortal wound.
Lavelle's killing has drawn all manner of faces out of the woodwork - D.C. Mayor Tony Williams, former Mayor and current Council member Marion Barry, community leaders and other do-gooders. All are positioning themselves as close as possible to the cameras and microphones to lament what happened to Lavelle, an asipiring journalist.
See, Lavelle was only 16 years old.
He was the fourth student at Ballou High School to be killed in the last 14 months.
Four. At the same high school.
The media and the do-gooders are treating the death of Lavelle in precisely the same way they reacted to the death of that first student killed 14 months ago. (That boy was shot inside the school, by the way).
So here again it's lights, cameras and plenty of rhetoric.
Much has not changed in 14 months because much remains the same: Youths are gunned down in cold blood in the capital; the river that separates the haves from the have-nots - in this case, the Anacostia River - is divinely parted and official Washington waddles into Big Bad Southeast Washington; hugs make the rounds; prayers are spoken; promises are made; and quicker than you can say, "What was a 16-year-old doing on the streets at 2 o'clock in the morning?" everyone returns to their respective quadrant of the city.
Fellow students said Lavelle was a good friend with dreams and goals.
Lavelle's mom said he "was a good child. I never went to court for him. I never had to get him from the jail."
So what went wrong? …