Community Police & Fire

Op-Ed: I Have Some Concerns

I ran across a note on the NEWMA board (North End/Waterfront Mothers/Parents Association) from a well-known resident, Rebecca Griffin, who is not only a North End parent but also interacts with the youth community through NEMPAC. Her post hit a chord and she graciously agreed to my request to post it here. —MC

I have some concerns, and I want to share them.

I am around the neighborhood and I know a lot of the kids – if not by name, then by face.  I am very concerned for the increased numbers of young kids (ages say 10 to 14) that I suddenly see unsupervised.  I think the sudden increase is because of less homework, less organized activities between now and the end of school, and peer pressure to be out and about without supervision.  The kids I know personally aren’t doing anything wrong – but the kids who I don’t know are.  And the kids I know, are hanging out with the ones I don’t know.

More than once, I have seen very young kids who I know by face, ages maybe 12 or 13 smoking pot – pretty publicly.

I have heard that neighborhood kids are drinking (ages 11 & 12).

I have seen some very promiscuous behavior.

I have seen and heard some very rude, and disrespectful behavior, and language.

I have seen kids hanging around in areas that seem like they should be safe – but they aren’t necessarily wise enough to know what’s going on around them. You won’t even believe it, but yesterday, I called 911 from the Greenway because there was a homeless man pleasuring himself while watching kids running through the fountains.

What’s my point in all this?  I’m disturbed.  I am worried that parents are not aware of all that goes on.  I am worried that the kids whom I care about might find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I am worried that they may not be mature enough to walk away from their peers when faced with a sticky situation – or that they may not be mature enough to even recognize when they are in a sticky situation.

I am not writing this just to complain.  I love this neighborhood and I want it to be as safe and as great as possible.  Please know who your kids are hanging out with, and what they are doing.

I have cc’d Traci at the Eliot, Carl at the Nazzaro, and Jennifer at the Library – please feel free to pass along my concerns to anyone who might benefit from knowing them – kids or adults.

Thanks for reading,

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