Bridging the Gap Brings Awareness to the Community

By Jacquie Miles

Last Thursday, Aug. 2, community leaders and guests gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to discuss the current state of our neighborhoods and how to establish a better communication between law enforcement and our community. Guest speakers for the event were Shawn Jackson  of the Jaxon Group and Attorney Daryl D. Parks.

“You’ve got to teach your children character,” said Shawn Jackson of the Jaxsun Group. “Character is what makes them walk away from a bad situation.  It’s their ability to stand alone and go against the crap.  You’ve got to communicate to them (the children) that they need character to walk away.”

“Once you teach them character then you communicate to them that they have choices and they won’t wind up in prison,” Jackson continued. “Then they can capitalize on going into the military or go to college. [Parents] are the gemologist and they are the coal in your hands.  You have the ability to shape them into gems so that they will shine.”

Jackson went on the talk about gang activity and how to recognize it.

“Graffiti, websites, Facebook are all part of ways gangs reach children,” Jackson said. “The primary reason children join gangs is because they have no safe-haven. Adults must provide safe-havens for their children.”

Attorney Daryl D. Parks, also a guest speaker for Bridging the Gap, stated we all want the same thing.

“The key … is education,” Parks said referring to success. “Our school system has a tremendous job. It does start at home, but the school is also the place that the child spends more time with his teacher than at home.”

“In your life you have to have some type of motivation,” Parks added. “It can be things that you do every day.  To the children in the audience, one of your long term goals should be to graduate from high school with the best GPA so that you can go on to college.  Everything else in your life is just a part of it.”

Some believe children will be children – and that means that they are bound, at some time or another, to get into mischief.
Lyndia Breaux-Davis, a Prevention Specialist for the Department of Juvenile Justice Center who spoke at Thursday’s summit, says new state revisions have helped lower juvenile delinquency in Florida.

“Over the past year juvenile delinquency has decreased, the number of referrals we get are kids that we see in our residential areas and kids that we see in detention,” said Breaux-Davis. “With the zero tolerance in the school system we were getting all kind of referrals. Now schools are handling that more in school with the revision of zero tolerance. So, now what can be handled in school, the schools are handling these behavior problems as opposed to a child being charged with a delinquent act.”

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