Teen killed after girl sneaks him into home and her father mistakes him for intruder

Two families have been changed for the worst. Talk with your children about this article and ask “Is a few minutes of fun worth the risk?”

Following the family’s barking dog to the guest bedroom, Fulton warned that he was armed and asked Middleton to identify himself. That’s when Middleton tried to run out of the room.

Source: Teen killed after girl sneaks him into home and her father mistakes him for intruder

Victims’ advocates warn about new ‘Benadryl Cocktail’ rape drug

Our society has become desensitized to so many things, than things that we see don’t spark conversations.  I can recall three men in my neighborhood that were “weird.”  After my mother explained to me that those men wethe way they are because someone “spiked” their drink.  That lead to the conversation of never leaving your drink alone when at a party.  If you haven’t had that conversation with your child(teen or adult), do it today.   There predators out there.  Help them protect themselves.

Sexual predators have used a number of drugs to attack their victims. Now predators have begun using a common over the counter medicine to incapacitate both adults and children, prompting a warning from victims advocates.

Source: Victims’ advocates warn about new ‘Benadryl Cocktail’ rape drug | WREG.com

A Young Author's Journey: Because I am

I had no idea that my youngest daughter, Kerrigan, loved to write.  I learned when she presented me the draft of a trilogy she wrote over the summer.  As she finalizes her first installment, she told me that she wanted to start a blog.  Her first entry blew me away on so many levels.  I’m not going to spoil it for you, so check out her first blog Because I am.
Source: A Young Author’s Journey: Because I am

RESPECT… We Can't Continue Like This

respect Reflecting on my days of elementary school, I can recall the when I was in the CLUE program (Creative Learning in a Unique Environment). In this program we took many, many field trips. Since we were a small group, the program relied on parents to take us where we need to go. My mother and Mr. Bernal Smith, Sr. routinely volunteered. I think the most fun part of those trips was going and coming. We had lots of fun. Sometimes we got rowdy. But when either my mother or Mr. Smith told us we needed to settle down, we settled down. There was no “you’re not my mama” or “you’re not my daddy” back talk.  The children respected my mother and Mr. Smith.  It was a given.  If anyone showed disrespect, we had to deal with the CLUE teacher, our homeroom teacher, and then our parents.

                      After our elementary school CLUE days, Bernal, Jr and I would see each other in passing at different events.  Other than a brief clip on the news or newspaper article, I never saw his father again until Bernal and I both had children playing in the Olive Branch YMCA basketball league. Our reunion was short lived because during that season, Mr. Smith passed away. Although I had not seen him over 20 years, his death impacted me. I reminded Bernal about the CB radio that his father had his car and the day he got on the radio and talked to some people. I had no idea how involved Mr. Smith was in the Memphis community until after his death. That in itself is a tragedy. Men who rob, steal, kill, and don’t pay their child support tend to get more recognition than a good man who tried to make community a better place. Before that brief tangent, my point I’m trying to make is respect.  He was able to accomplish the things that he did because children had respect.   Children at one point were raised to respect adults regardless to whether not they shared your DNA or not.  That is why many intervention programs have very low success rates.

                    In order to teach someone a better way, they have to listen. If there is no respect, there is no listening. I hear many kids saying, “If you want respect, you have to give respect.”  Yet they’re disrespectful and demanding respect at the same time. That’s not how it works. Adults who are taking the time out to teach something and to help are worthy respect out the gate.

                      How do we recover? How do we undo the years of children being raised to not respect?  The answer is in the schools.  I can recall my days at Doubletree Elementary. The building engineer, Mr. Troy King garnered just as much respect as the principal or our teachers.  If he told you to do something, you did it.  If he thought you were thinking about being disrespectful, he went for his belt.  Did we run and tell the teacher? No.  Did we run and tell our mother?  Hell, no! We were held accountable for our behavior.  We weren’t given excuses. We were disciplined.

                 The state legislature needs to protect our teachers. There should be stiffer penalties for disorderly conduct on school property.  There should be felony charges for assaulting and/or threatening teachers.  Any crime that is committed on school property or during school events should have enhanced penalties.  Shelby County Juvenile court should adopt a “Zero Tolerance” policy on violence at school, especially when it’s directed at school personnel.

                     Most importantly, we need to return the Principal to the schools.  Eliminate administrators. I went through school under many well-known, well-respected principals.  All of which ran their schools.  Teachers taught and the principal handled discipline.  Teachers didn’t have to justify sending a child to the Principal’s office.

                         We can’t legislate parenting, but we can legislate our schools.  We can protect our teachers.  We can ensure that 180 days out of 252955_10150214810542980_8367064_nthe year, the adults that are trying to teach and guide students and do so without fear.  If children are taught respect in the schools and are held accountable for their actions, perhaps they can take that lesson home and we can break the cycle.  If we break the cycle, we can improve our community.  Maybe then, more men like Bernal Smith, Sr. will throw their hat into the ring and start rebuilding the moral fiber of Memphis.


Sometimes it Snows in April


            I was sitting in my living room watching a tribute to the late, great Prince Rogers Nelson Thursday evening.   Suddenly, I was struck with an epiphany. I finally understood the meaning of the song “Sometimes it Snows in April.” Many of you have heard speakers and ministers equate the seasons to the stages of life. The spring is the time of birth and growth. Everything is fresh, vibrant and beautiful. Spring represents youth. The summer is that stage in your life that’s fun. Sometimes the dog days of summer wear down on you, but your still manage good times. Summer represents early adulthood. Fall is the time when the leaves change color and things start to cool off. Fall represents late adulthood. You start to slow down. Your hair starts to turn gray. Winter is the time in life when, basically, the luster is gone. Things wither, die off and fade away. Winter represents the senior citizen phase of life.

          With the exception of the extreme northern states and Colorado, no one expects snow in April. An unexpected snow in April can kill the flowers that have bloomed and flourished in the spring sun and rain.   Sometimes the snow of life falls and takes away someone in his or her youth.

            I fell asleep thinking about this revelation Thursday night; however, at 3:42 AM the following morning I received a call from my best friend. Since he is on-call like me, for a split second I thought he rolled over on his phone. When I answered, he was on line.  When I heard him say, “Yo, B…”  I was not expecting him to tell me that his 21 year-old daughter had just passed away. His child, whom I’ve known since she was 10. His child who was 10 months older than my oldest daughter was gone in the blink of an eye. Without warning, the April snow fell on his family.

            Sometimes it seems like we are in a blizzard. Our young people are dying off rapidly. There are times that our children get caught in the snow and there is nothing that can be done about. Accidents happen. Our youth get sick and are consumed by the illness.  But in many instances, children are exposed to an April snow unnecessarily.

            As a society, we have got to do a better job at protecting the youth from the April snow. We are not doing children justice, by enabling them to brave the April snow. Enabling them by knowingly allow them to roam the streets late at night. Knowingly allow our children to engage in gang activity. Ignoring our daughter’s violent relationships with men. Refusing to confront our children when they are engaging in reckless behaviors such as promiscuity and social media exhibitionism.

           Last week, three young ladies drowned running from police in Florida driving a stolen car. Activist are overlooking the reckless behavior that exposed them to the April snow and focusing on pointing blame at law enforcement. Each of those girls averaged 8 prior auto thefts.  When children are doing wrong in school, parents go to the school with the intentions of attacking the faculty and staff, instead of focusing on the child’s behavior. Numerous teens have been shot by police after pointing weapons at them. Communities protest, ignoring the Facebook pictures of the teen holding enough weapons to launch an assault on a small town.  Their excuse is that he was just playing around with friends. Parents know their children have committed crimes and instead of making them face the consequences of their actions, they move them to another school or another state.

             Parents, its time to be parents. Stand strong and not allow your children to go out in the April snow. There is no guarantee they will come back to you. As a society, we have got to stop rationalizing why children are taken unnecessarily by the April snow by pointing the blame elsewhere. Take that child’s misfortune and use it to teach others so they don’t try brave the April blizzard.

             To the parents who have lost children to the April snow… If you know you did everything in your heart to protect your child from the April snow, don’t beat yourself up over it. The loss will never go away. However, the pain will not subside any faster blaming yourself. Parents have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, but their children still went out there.  They did not believe that the April snow is real.  You’re not to blame.  You train your children the way they should go, then pray that they will not part from it.

               To the youth of America… The April snow is real. You are not invincible. Take the lessons that your parents teach you and let them mold you so you will have a chance at enjoying the summer, fall, and hopefully winter of life. If you’re not receiving the proper guidance, find a responsible adult to give you guidance.

               My heart goes out to all of the parents, friends, and loved ones that have to endure the aftermath of an April snow. Some of these flowers can be protected. We have to bring them in.

KSLA : Mom claims foul after teenage son arrested on sexting-related charges

This is an article that every parent should read. Then talk to your child about sexting. Anyone under 18 years of age is a child. No one can possess nude photos/videos of a child. Some states will charge a child for taking nude photgraphs of themselves. This is not a black or white issue. Tell your children to not send photographs/videos of themselves. Tell your children if they receive such photos/videos to delete them immediately. This is academic. Children sexting is against the law.

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) – A local mother claims her son is being singled out and charged excessively after admitting to sexting a fellow teenager.But Bossier sheriff’s office officials

Source: KSLA : Mom claims foul after teenage son arrested on sexting-related charges

Irresponsible Journalism: A Nationwide Epidemic

A source told WZZM 13 four people had gunshot wounds and a fifth was assaulted.

The Muskegon, Mi interim Police Chief Dr. Charles Thomas called out a reporter for irresponsible journalism. Readers must understand the difference between fact, fiction, and hype. Examine the video and tell me what you think. Is the new generation of journalist sparking and fanning fires while ignoring the true story?

Source: Multiple people injured in shooting outside Muskegon Heights High School | WZZM13.com

5 Principles of Journalism – Is the Media Following These Principles?

Newspaper Reporter's Press Pass in Hat, White Background.

The relationship between the police and the African American is strained.  Most of this stress is caused by irresponsible journalism.   A vast majority of the people that write articles in the newspaper and appear on your television, took Journalism 101 or the equivalent.  Below you will find a link to the 5 Principles of Journalism.  It’ll change how you view your media sources.

Source: 5 Principles of Journalism – Ethical Journalism Network

Tempus Fugit: 30 Years Since the Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

Challenger’s legacy may have lost relevancy in a nation struggling to figure out the future of human spaceflight.

I remember like it was yesterday. My father and I were sitting on the sofa. The shuttle lifted off and then disappeared into a plume of smoke. I said, “Uh… That’s not good!” My father said, “Give it minute… You’ll see them come out the smoke.” They never came out. 30 years has passed.  Do you remember where you were? Comment and share.
Source: Lessons learned since Challenger disaster 30 years ago