Redline: Kids in Crisis, Part 3

A Meridian mother of eight says she knows first-hand about juveniles becoming involved in crime.

"I work every day. I'm a waitress. I don't smoke. I don't use any drugs," said Latoria Brown. "I don't steal. I make an honest living."

Brown lives in what many call the East End side of Meridian. The single mom has eight children ranging in age from 19 to 4. The oldest is now in his first year of college, thanks to a $60,000 scholarship. Six of the others are active in sports, with several on the honor roll. However, over the past few years, Brown says her 16-year-old chose a different path and has had brushes with the law.

"He'll say, 'Mom, I don't know why I do what I do'. But I know that it's peer pressure, trying to be popular," Brown said.

Child psychologist, Dr. Lee Lee Marlow says often this is the case.

"Adolescence is a very unique time frame for us as people," said Marlow. "It tends to be in those early adolescent years that we establish who we are going to belong to."

Dr. Marlow says choosing friends wisely is so important because people who exude negative behavior often prey on young people who have low self-esteem and are searching to 'belong'.

"The parents, the siblings and that structure has to be strong enough to give them that sense of belonging, so that when they're among their peers, they can have friends, but they belong to their family." Marlow said.

Brown says she's happy to share that her 16-year-old is starting to make better choices.

"I've been going through this three to four years, and I'm finally seeing the light, and I'm able to help my friends," said Brown.

To resolve the issue of kids who are in crisis, Dr. Marlow says offering a helping hand is key.

"We've got to take under our wing the people who are raising and responsible for these kids, because a lot of times their decision-making is not much better than the children," said Marlow. "Number one, it's the parents' responsibility to get that training, but I think it's our responsibility, just as a society, for those of us who have those skills to mentor not just these children but their parents."

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  • by REAL on Nov 8, 2011 at 07:10 AM
    "Been there, done that," is a COWARD!! One of those people who only talk when no one knows who they are, or can see their face! COWARD!! You speak on what you were taught, and what's embedded into your tiny mindset! But you don't speak the truth! Your one of those people who's mad because our president is BLACK!! It's ashame! But we all know racism is still alive, they just conceal it! Kind of like your concealing your identity! You don't know her story, and I'm pretty sure if you were to walk in her shoes one day, you wouldn't last, but shes obviously stronger than you mentally! But to you respectfully I'll say, have a bless day!
  • by Tax Payer Location: Meridian on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:49 AM
    How much financial support do these "fathers" provide?
  • by mother Location: east end on Nov 5, 2011 at 03:39 AM
    Been There,done that!Who in the ____ are YOU PEOPLES.
  • by chris Location: meridian on Nov 5, 2011 at 03:10 AM
    Where all this black and white talk come from I thought we was talking bout the crisis these kids are in. Looks like the jokes on everybody that made comments bc its nothing to do with what's going on.
  • by Shock on Nov 4, 2011 at 08:45 AM
    OMG!! Racism stills exist. "You people." YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO CATCH A STRAY BULLET THAN I AM JUST BECAUSE OF YOUR COLOR. HAHAHAHA..." Be careful what you say...Mr. or Ms. Been there, Done that!!! It just might come back to haunt you. May I add, you are absurd for even posting a comment like this.
  • by Mother Location: Meridian on Nov 4, 2011 at 07:56 AM
    First off I would like to say I am ashamed of some of the comments. Children read this stuff also. I would hate to think my kids would use this as their current event at school. I lived on redline for over 20 years. The things that people are just being made aware of have been going on a many years. I would hate to think that just because it has spilled over in other neighborhoods that all of a sudden there is a big problem. The good people of Redline have complained for years only to be bullied, houses broken into, cursed out, car vandalized, or worse of all their children being bullied or threatened. Believe me, we have called the police and complained to the previous Mayor to no avail. I am not just a "you people", I am a person who works hard and have never been on any assistance. I have a husband with his two biological kids. I don't appreciate being classified for the neighborhood I lived in even when I tried to be a solution with many other residence of that area. I guess finally since it is not just affecting what you want to call "You People" we may just be able to live and enjoy our front porches again. Finally the "Others" have to pay attention because our problem has become theirs as well. My Husband and Myself moved out of the redline area because I did not want my children to be affected by what has gone on for a long time, but I still have relatives that have owned their homes for over 40 years and should be able to live peacefully. Don't you think it's time we just become people and put our heads together to come to a solution we all can live in peace with?
  • by Charles Foster Offdensen Location: Meridian on Nov 3, 2011 at 11:00 PM
    Would have liked to see more information about this lady. Are all her 8 children by different men as one of the commentors has intimated? Was she never educated about birth control? Its nice that she has a job and most of her children have turned out well but her situation is very common in the black communities. One parent to watch over that many children while also working a full time job cannot devote much time to each one individually to instill morals. Where is the father or fathers? That was a good question posed by one of the commentors. And to the uneducated person who commented calling others idiots and fools, you give all rednecks a bad name. If you had picked up a paper or watched the news lately you would know full well that the crime spree our area is in the midst of is NOT black on black crime. Most of the victims Ive seen are white. The lady who was kidnapped and left for dead, the elderly man who was robbed, etc. Many of the ones caught for these crimes were white also. The burglary ring that ended with the dead young man being found in philidelphia, those young men were all white. I can think of quite a few other white criminals being caught recently. The smith guy who our locals couldnt catch and revenge arrested his elderly mom and teen daughters, he looked white to me. Nothing but ignorance in your comment.
  • by Mack on Nov 3, 2011 at 09:35 PM
    Why all the hate??
  • by So sad Location: Meridian on Nov 3, 2011 at 07:10 PM
    The comments that have been posted are not very nice. This lady has 8 children...who cares how many of them have the same father OR if she is getting government assistance?! She is at least trying to work AND encouraging her children to do the right thing. The purpose of this segment wasn't to bash the people who talked and said what they thought was wrong with the community....the purpose was to try to encourage people to help turn things around- that is going to be almost impossible with people like you!! I think that it is time to move past the racial comments and the color talk...get over it...I know plenty of white women with many children and on government assistance. I think this lady deserves praise for raising 8 children and working!! I know I couldn't do it! I barely survive with one child!!!
  • by neighbor on Nov 3, 2011 at 06:28 PM
    You ask where are the fathers? Fathers are men who raise there kids and try to guide them in the right direction. Many men are not fathers they are simply sperm donors who get women pregnant and leave to the mother to raise the kids. Men who will not take responsibility for their actions and raise the children are no better than animals.
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