It's clear city authorities understand there is a problem and are attacking crime on multiple fronts. Last week's reports of a reduction in overall crime in Youngstown was welcome news. Furthermore, the city announced an anti-littering campaign that may be able to reduce crime. This is accomplished by reducing filthy environments that appear to accept crime as part of every day life.
New school superintendent Connie Hathorn is certainly making sure the Youngstown school system is doing everything it can to help students achieve success with specialty programs, such as the Rayen Early College Middle School, Youngstown Early College, Choffin Career and Technical Center and the Chaney Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and visual and performing arts programs. These programs are available to students and their families who want to succeed.
Jobs are also beginning to open up for those who are prepared. This is not to say unemployment could be reduced to zero but for those who have taken advantage of every chance to educate and train themselves, opportunities are beginning to appear.
So when we see three killings in a month, one has to wonder if enough personal responsibility is being taken to protect individuals.
- Are fathers in homes with mothers?
- Are parents making sure their children have a good role model?
- Are parents educating their teenagers about safe sex and how to prevent unwanted pregnancies?
- Are parents making sure their teenagers are indoors at a decent hour?
- Are parents keeping tabs on who their children's friends are?
- Are parents involved in their children's education?
These are hard questions but in the communities surrounding Youngstown this elevated homicide rate is not seen so what is the difference? Is it the structure of the family unit? Is it the level of education? Is it the refusal of neighbors to allow criminal activity without notifying police? What works in successful communities that isn't working in Youngstown? Those are the questions we need to ask.