Last Friday, according to Press-Telegram, 11-year-old Joanna Ramos died after a playground fight. The incident happened in Long Beach, Calif. She walked away after the fight, which lasted just one minute. Joanna complained of a headache and went home to lay down. Several hours later, her mother rushed her to the hospital. It was too late for her to be saved. How can you keep kids from fighting at school? You can start by talking about Joanna and other children like her.
Some lessons are not learned lightly. If any good can come out of this tragedy, it will be the harsh lesson learned by Joanna’s fellow students and peers. Even if your children didn’t know Joanna, her story might help them to see the seriousness of playground fights and violent behavior in general. This sweet little girl lost her life fighting over a small matter. Talking to your kids about her story might save them from the same fate.
Approach the subject with care. Remember the innocence of your kids. They likely haven’t been exposed to this type of incident before. It can be a great shock to learn people their age can die too. Still, talking to your kids and presenting stories like this can be helpful in persuading them to stay away from playground fights and other violent acts.
What else can you do to prevent after school violence?
Pick your child up from school. This fight was held after school hours in a nearby alley. Young children need to be supervised when walking home or picked up by their parents. If you haven’t the availability to pick your child up from school, make sure someone responsible is there to do it for you. If an adult had been there to escort Joanna home safely from her after school program, she’d still be alive and well.
I’m not condemning Joanna’s mother. She’s certainly going through enough without having their parenting tactics questioned. Still we can all learn a valuable lesson here. In today’s busy world, there simply isn’t as much supervision of children as there once was. Kids under the age of 13 should be supervised at all times. Older kids whereabouts should be closely monitored. Playground fights aren’t the only concern. There are a lot of dangerous people out there, just looking for unsupervised kids to cross their paths. Don’t let those kids be yours. Young children, like little Joanna, should be within the sight of a responsible adult at all times.
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