By Jueseppi B.
Harlem activist Victoria Pannell, 13, has a formula for easing crime
Teen says good people must come together to take on the bad people in order for neighborhoods to be truly safe
BY VICTORIA PANNELL / FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2012, 9:38 PM
I am fortunate enough to have never lost a friend to gun violence.
I don’t know if it’s because most of my friends are involved in community-based programs and are always busy or if I have just been blessed.
My friends usually play in the backyard of a Harlem building where the New Breed Life Arts program is located. In the summer, we stay there until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. We always have at least three or four parents or martial arts instructors present. The parents of my friends are like my parents and vice versa. We are constantly supervised.
We don’t have the “no-snitching” rule. It’s the opposite. We tell our instructors if one of the 200-or-so kids in my program is doing something he or she is not supposed to be doing. If this works for my community-based martial arts program, I believe it could work for the community as a whole.
We have about 25 parents and instructors who watch us from the time we come from school until our parents are with us at night. If the parents or even the kids see something, they tell.
I do watch the news every evening, so I see what the gun violence is doing to the community. Members of the community play a key role in addressing crime.
Some adults get upset if a neighbor corrects their children. Some kids have no fear of elders or people of authority. Family and friends are covering up for suspects. If the people in the buildings and community band together, things could be different.
I also believe poverty has something to do with crime. A lot of kids do not have hope for the future. Kids are raising their brothers and sisters. They get frustrated and don’t know how to deal with it.
Some of the answers might be in juvenile detention centers. The people locked up there should be interviewed one by one. Ask them what led them to make the choices they made. This needs to be done in all jails and prisons. Ask what would have made them go in the right path. You might see a pattern and then we can get solutions.
We need to stop teenage pregnancy. Women who don’t have a husband or a steady partner should not keep having more kids by multiple men. Lack of men in the home definitely plays a part in the violence among youth. We need men to raise men. When kids feel they are part of something special, that makes them feel good. The better you feel about yourself and your life the less likely you will hurt someone.
Playgrounds have been taken over by adults and older teenagers. Our playgrounds are supposed to be for children, not a place to buy drugs, have gang meetings or get high. A parent of one of my friends had a suggestion: Install cameras at every playground and park with the live camera feed going to the police precincts. Have an officer at every precinct, 24 hours a day, monitoring the camera.
Cops need to get in the neighborhoods and become friendly with the young people. Children need role models they can look up to. Cops need to become people children trust.
It is a complicated problem with no easy answer. To sum it up, the good people have to come together and take on the bad people.
Victoria Pannell, 13 , is a youth activist based in Harlem.
I hope & pray I live to see this magnificent young woman become POTUS. I see her starting on the local lever as a State Senator, then a U.S. House Of Representative, next would be U.S. Senator and finally President Of The United States.
I read about her, and follow her on Twitter, and I know instantly she is destined for greatness, just as I knew Barack Hussein Obama would be POTUS as I listened to him speak in 2004. Miss Victoria Pannell, raised by a dynamic women, her mother, Ms. Mary Pannell.
Read about them both….. Victoria Pannell and Mary Pannell: Someone You Should Know
Like I said, two people you should know.
Filed under: Causes, Celebrity, Charity/Giving, Crime, Education, Good News, Gun Control, Gun Violence, News Tagged: | Barack Obama, Daily News, Gun Violence, Harlem, Mary Pannell, New York, President of the United States, United States, United States House of Representatives, Victoria Pannell