TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – We heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but the message from the Toledo Community is: If we don’t start building a village for our children, we’ll go theirs Keep digging graves.
A 17-year-old was arrested and charged on Monday in connection with a double homicide in March. A week later, a 16-year-old was shot dead on Elliott Avenue while standing in front of an abandoned house. Around the same time, police said a 15-year-old shot a person while shooting at police officers who were making a suspicious stop at a gas station.
Also in March of that year, a 17-year-old was found guilty of the murder of a woman in 2019 at an afternoon house party in Dexter and Chestnut.
These are just a few of the incidents teenagers have been involved in over the past few months. Now parents and local leaders are coming together to talk about how to stop the violence. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced a series of summer programs on Monday to keep the children busy and off the streets. The Coalition of Adults for the Improvement of Youth (CABY) wants to go further.
“Too many die, there are too many funerals,” says June Boyd, former Toledo councilor and presenter of CABY. She brought people together Wednesday night to discuss how to save Toledo’s children from violence.
“The most worrying thing is that young people, minors, are being killed and are being killed,” she says.
But children are also pulling the trigger, an issue the coalition wants to address. They are calling for tougher penalties for adults who allow guns to fall into the hands of children. City guides were invited to take part in the discussion. Nobody showed up.
“I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they had other commitments,” says Boyd.
Mark Vaughn has been running the Chico Vaughn basketball camp since the 1970s. Now that the city is investing in youth programs, he hopes to expand so that every child in every neighborhood has access to a basketball program.
“There are so many things that could be done programming for the youth here in Toledo because there is nothing for them, there is nothing at all,” says Vaughn.
John Kro♀ny, a member of the Sylvania Baháʼí Community, would like more opportunities for mentoring in Toledo so that young people can learn constructive ways to solve their problems.
“For the violence to end in shooting and death, this is the ultimate betrayal of humanity,” he says.
The coalition also unveiled a new film from Grindworks Media calling for an end to the violence.
“We have too many monuments. We have to start building places where they can relax instead of having monuments, ”Boyd says in the film.
A city spokesman made the following statement to 13abc to explain the government’s absence from the meeting:
“Unfortunately, neither the mayor nor senior executives knew about the meeting. I know there were other meetings tonight, but we would have loved to have attended this meeting. It has always been the mayor’s practice to meet with residents on a regular basis. “
Boyd has vowed to contact the local government.
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