Sunday, February 1, 2015

Do You Know Where Your Children Are Or Who They Are?

When I was growing up, at 10 pm every night before the news came on, a ticking clock would show up on the screen and an announcer would say "It's 10 o'clock, do you know where you children are?" I'd  think to myself, who doesn't know where their children are? At the age of 11 or 12, I was naive and pretty well cared for, so being the child of careless parents was inconceivable to me. But the question, "Do you know where your children are?", has a much deeper meaning than the physical where abouts of your child. Do you know where your children are mentally? Do you know where your children are emotionally? Another question we might want to ask ourselves is, do we know who our children are?
A Wake County District Court judge here in Raleigh refused to lower a $75,000 bond for a 16-year-old girl accused of robbing twin sisters at a bus stop, saying she could face more charges.

Raleigh police arrested Jade Paulina Brown Thursday on serious charges, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Investigators are looking for possibly three other people in the alleged crime, which happened shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near the North Hills area of north Raleigh.

Twin sisters, age 15, reported they had just gotten off a school bus at the intersection of Hardimont Road and Sara Lawrence Court when three girls around their age approached them after getting out of a small dark car and robbed them of one of their cellphones.

An arrest warrant alleges that someone used a stun gun on one of the sisters and that another one pointed a gun at her before "the victims were ordered to 'give what you got.'"

"Jade's a nice girl, a sweet girl," her mother, Mansah Thompson, said, following her daughter's first court appearance Friday afternoon. "I don't know what happened, maybe the wrong crowd, but my daughter is a nice girl." Thompson obviously has no idea who her daughter is, and it's always easier to blame the ever popular "wrong crowd" when somebody acts like a fool. 

According to court records, police arrested Brown Jan. 7 at Knightdale High School on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and having a weapon on school grounds.  

A warrant in that case accuses the teen of pulling away from a police officer during an argument in the school cafeteria then having a box cutter and small can of pepper spray. 

Yep, she sure sounds like a sweet girl to me!

Brown was expected back in court yesterday on the misdemeanor charges. Although I have a tendency to be somewhat sarcastic, this story is really quite sad, for both the victims and Jade Brown because until her mother acknowledges that she's done something wrong and gets her the help she needs she will continue on a downward spiral. In a state like North Carolina in which the criminal justice system considers 15 to be the age of adulthood, a child's opportunities to mature and develop into a productive citizen are limited unless their parents quickly recognize that there is an issue at the first sign of trouble, and does whatever they have to do to save their children from both the system and themselves.


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