Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is happening to our children?

When I was pregnant, I’d wake up at nights in a cold sweat from nightmares of my unborn daughter being the victim of random violence. I’d cry myself back to sleep, trying to put those awful visions out of my mind.

But as I read the local headlines over the last few days, I am reminded of those late-night panic attacks:

A $1 million bond has been set for the Shreveport teen arrested last week on charges he raped, robbed and beat an 81-year-old Caddo Heights woman.

A 15-year-old has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder in connection with a double shooting of two men.

The parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in the 1600 block of North Market Street in Shreveport turned into a crime scene Sunday morning following a shooting that left one teen dead and another in the hospital. The dead teen’s older brother is charged in connection with his death.

What is happening to our children?

I try to make sense out of it all but can’t.

I think back to my years in high school, and I can’t remember having seen a fight, let alone participated in one. Sure I heard about them, but they were primarily weekend fistfights in the shopping center parking lot where the “troublemakers” cruised. There were never guns, and I was never afraid to go to school.

Then, a few years later when I was in college, the high school installed metal detectors as gangs took over the hallways.

When I hear these stories, I can’t help but wonder what in those children’s lives led them astray.

My Ladybug is only 15-months-old, but each time I let the rules slide because I’m too tired to fight over it, or each time I leave for a full day of work, there’s a nagging voice in the back of my head: Am I doing the right thing?

I have plenty of time to figure that one out.

I just hope when I do, it’s not too late.


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