Baltimore riots Mom : Hero or Did She go Too Far?

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If you have been following the news this week like I have, you probably know all about the riots in Baltimore.  Protesters, most of whom were between the ages of 14 and 17, looted stores, smashed windows, set fires and threw rocks and bricks at police. They did all of this out of anger over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, whose spinal chord was nearly severed while in the custody of the Baltimore police.  Monday night was the worst night of the riots due to the fact that the mayor of Baltimore told the police to stand down, which means they could not protect themselves and arrest the protesters throwing rocks at them.

Amids all this chaos a hero emerged.  A mother, Toya Graham.  What did Graham do that has gotten everyone excited?  Like most of us she was watching the live coverage of the riots on the news Monday night. That was when she recognized a young boy in a black hoodie throwing rocks at the police. Right away she knew it was her own son, so she ran out into the street and found him.

Her display of no-nonsense parenting was caught on video. She grabbed him, yelled at him and pulled him away from the crowd. The video also captured her slapping him in the head and ripping off his hoodie and mask.


Later we learned that Graham is a single mother of six children and the boy is her only son. She was just doing her job as a parent and wanted to make sure that her son did not grow up to become another Freddie Gray.

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I applaud this mother and wish that we had more like her.  If it were my son, I would have done the same thing. I wonder what the parents of the other kids hurling rocks at the Baltimore police were up to that night.  What were they doing? Why didn’t they show up and get their kids off of the street? We need to teach our children responsibility so they learn that there are consequences for their behaviors. Graham’s son could have and should have gone to jail for his behavior. Instead, the mayor of Baltimore allowed for all the crimes to take place on Monday night with few arrests.

It makes me sick when people make up excuses for when young kids break the law.  There are no excuses for this kind of behavior. It begins with the family and home life. If we as parents lay down the law at home and teach our kids about consequences, fewer young people will misbehave.

Our politicians have stated that parents have no power to control their children. This is completely false.  Character development and morals begins in the home. We are their first teachers. We must not tolerate excuses like, the child lives in a poor neighborhood and doesn’t have both parents at home or parents have too many problems of their own.

Our President made the mistake of accusing parents of not doing a good job because of their own problems. In a press conference on Tuesday with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, President Obama stated that, “parents (who) – often because of substance-abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education themselves — can’t do right by their kids.”

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He is wrong.  The mother of Dr. Ben Carson who became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was a single mother. Obviously, she did an excellent job raising her kids despite any personal challenges she might have had.  President Obama doesn’t understand just how much power and influence we have over our children.  Just like Graham we need to step up our parenting so our kids grow up to be model citizens.

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