News 2 Tackles Triad's Youth Issues

11:11 PM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Here's what we've been dealing with:
-Back in April, a man in Reedy Fork said teens spray painted derogatory words on his garage door. 

-In June, Winston-Salem Police arrested a mom who hosted a block party at her house. 400 young people showed up. 13 were charged with underage drinking and three face drug charges. 
 
-On July 4, more than a thousand teenagers started fights in Greensboro's Center City Park and Police used tear gas to break it up.

So News 2 wants to dig deeper into what's wrong to get answers to help our kids. And if you don't have kids, don't think for a moment this doesn't affect you. Lieutenant Danny Watts with the Winston-Salem Police Department said breaking up crowds of rowdy teens doesn't cripple their service, but it *is* a distraction and takes other units from doing their jobs. 

And do you enjoy spending time out in your city's downtown?
That's where these teenagers are spending a lot more time. The owner of a pizza joint told us they're closing early after repeated problems with young people who just want to hang out, tampering with the salt shakers and littering the place.
You don't want a lot of that, or you won't want to go downtown, especially if businesses aren't open!

So we focused on a plan already in place, what the community can do, and what parents can do to help their children. 

News 2's Frank Mickens spoke with Tony Walker, with Greensboro's "Hope Project" - which helps organize midnight basketball. Walker said summer means bored and unsupervised teenagers, more burglaries, more fights, and the midnight basketball program has been successful in curbing that problem. He also said it's not just an inner city challenge and taking the time is key for all of us regardless of whether we have kids.

When it comes to the role parents play, Dr. David Gutterman, Child Psychologist with LeBauer Healthcare touched on techniques for parents who don't think they have a problem controlling their teen. Gutterman also said evidence of deviant behavior could start at a young age and mentioned some of the signs to look out for.

And when it comes to raising teenagers, he said there are certain things parents should be teaching their kids, no matter what:

-Call Home and I Will Pick You Up

-You Can Always Say No

-Follow Your Instincts

Click play in the video window for more of their discussion.

WFMY News 2

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