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Kids Living In Fear Need Mentors

Posted 06/16/2010

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Kids living in fear need mentors
June 16, 2010
 
I APPLAUD Kevin Cullen for calling attention to the ripple effect caused by violence in our city (“Held captive by violence,’’ Metro, June 8). In the face of the horrific acts of violence, it is easy to overlook the issues associated with it.
 
What are the implications for the children who aren’t victims of this violence? Girls waiting for a Big Sister frequently say they just want someone who will take them out of the house.
 
People have said Jaewon Martin, the boy who was shot on the basketball court at the Bromley-Heath development, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wasn’t in the wrong place. He was exactly where a 14-year-old boy should be — outside, being active.
 
But with this increasing violence comes increasing fear, as with the mother on Creston Street who was “in for the night’’ at 2 p.m.
 
There is no simple solution to ending the violence, but there is a long-term option for diminishing its effect on the community: become a mentor. As mentors, we can give children a chance to be free of the fear, isolation, and captivity. Reserve the prison sentence for those who perpetrate the violence, not those simply trying to live through it.
 
Deborah Re
Chief executive
Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
 
 
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