Let­ters to the ed­i­tor

The Covington News - - Opinion - Car­letta Hol­land Cov­ing­ton

Where do I turn?

Dear Ed­i­tor: Many times we sit and watch our news pro­grams or read in our daily news­pa­per and see sto­ries of peo­ple go­ing on killing ram­pages or even turn­ing the gun on them­selves. To­day, I re­ally feel and un­der­stand that if not for the grace of God it would have been me.

I am a mother, a mother who cares about the well be­ing of her chil­dren, one who talks to them about all things and who steps in to help find so­lu­tions to prob­lems or av­enues for a greater good. But you see my now 17-year-old son is on a joy ride of his own choos­ing that we as a so­ci­ety have helped fuel. He’s out of con­trol, de­fi­ant and play­ing his game his way and with his boys. A mother’s love causes you to know your chil­dren so you re­al­ize when you see trou­ble brew­ing. I’ve been rec­og­niz­ing it for about three of four years now. I’ve been try­ing to get some in­ter­ven­tion in place by talk­ing to per­sons in po­si­tions with some say so— ed­u­ca­tional staff, law en­force­ment, judges and many oth­ers. Some do not see what I see and some want to help but their hands are tied. The jus­tice sys­tem, ju­ve­nile or adult, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and the men­tal health sys­tem in this county has brought me, a strong black wo­man who takes pride in car­ing for her chil­dren, to a place of de­feat. It has drained me of ev­ery ounce of fight I have. You back me into a wall and then placed an­other in front of me. I thought I could stand, but in this in­stance you’ve bro­ken me.

I’ve been told he’s too old to be young, but he’s too young to be an adult. His age leaves ev­ery­thing in a state of limbo and puts me be­tween a rock and a hard place. As a county we pro­vide no men­tal health ser­vices for ado­les­cents, and we are sent to Rock­dale County. Oh, but they take no private in­sur­ance so if you want to pay $140 or more, then you can be seen, and there is a cri­sis line that places you where your in­sur­ance will be taken but with grave re­stric­tions. There is no in­ter­ven­tion. Yes, we have our ath­letic de­part­ments, but not all chil­dren are ath­letic or care to par­tic­i­pate in ath­let­ics. There are no out­lets, no recre­ational rooms, no bowl­ing al­lies, no the­aters, no skat­ing rinks, noth­ing for them to get out those things that trou­ble them in a pos­i­tive way. We see no loi­ter­ing signs ev­ery­where, but where is there for them to go? So they meet at some­one’s home, gather in some­one’s yard, and be­cause there’s noth­ing to do, they cre­ate some­thing and some­times that some­thing is of no good to them or any­one else. Creative minds in a de­struc­tive mind set.

Al­though I might not have got­ten any res­o­lu­tions for my child, maybe through this let­ter to the lo­cal news­pa­per, state sen­a­tor and those rep­re­sent­ing us in the house of leg­is­la­ture I can get help for other par­ents go­ing through sim­i­lar is­sues. I’m speak­ing from a mother’s heart, but you, as a fa­ther, grand­par­ent, aunt, un­cle or other care­giver, let your voice be heard just as I have. If we don’t stand for some­thing, we’ll con­tinue to fall for any­thing. Yes, my fight might be gone but I refuse to roll over and play dead.

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