For all that is good and holy, why is there a sudden upsurge in deadly or potentially deadly violence against young children in this state? Just recently, a 12-year-old was shot to death in Northeast Georgia, a 9-year-old was stabbed to death in Tifton and two 12-year-olds were shot in broad daylight in a public park not too far from here.
It’s almost as if the proclivity toward violence infecting some adults has seeped down into younger generations. Question is, why?
In the most recent attack, a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed in a mobile home park in Clayton County. Police remained clueless Thursday over whatever confrontation occurred that ended in the death of the child and continued to investigate the lethal attack Oct. 16.
A week ago Oct. 16, two 12-year-old girls were walking in a public park in Savannah shortly after noon when accosted by two masked males in what police said was an attempted robbery. The two girls were shot, but the adult they were with was not. Fortunately, the bullet wounds were not life-threatening and the pair was treated at a hospital. The investigation is ongoing.
Unfortunately, the 9-year-old girl stabbed earlier this month was not so lucky. She died, and police have the suspected killer in custody — an 18-year-old man. The child’s mother found her lifeless body when she returned from work.
A lack of child care could play a role in some of these incidents. The preteens in Clayton County and in Tift County were apparently alone at home when killed.
Whatever the reason or reason, this is a wake up call. Communities must find a way to protect their young — all of their young.
If child care is an issue or one of the issues, perhaps the church community could step up and offer their services free.
Many have large congregations that include retired individuals who might have a little extra time on their hands. Parents with sons and daughters in school who are at home when their children return from a day of learning could play an important role here too. Their children could invite friends to accompany them to their safe environment.
More funding and resources could be invested in organizations like Boys and Girls clubs. Additional sites and supervisors could accommodate more children. Adults could even volunteer time.
Communities can no longer afford to stand around and wait for someone else to act. Children are dying.