Where Can Your Child Go Without Being Assaulted? Nowhere!

Philadelphia crime

If you’re a child, you can’t walk to the store or ride your bike.  You can’t sit on the steps or play in the yard.  You can’t roller-skate or practice your hoop shot in the park, or on the basketball court.   And you definitely can’t walk to school by yourself.  So exactly where, where can a child walk, ride, sit, play or stroll alone without being assaulted and dragged into an alleyway and raped?  NOWHERE!

It seems that these days, crime has become a lot worse, and there is nowhere that children or their parents can completely trust is safe. The terrible crime that recently happened in Philadelphia is almost beyond comprehension in its tragic nature. It is a story that is shocking and disturbing.

If you’re looking for something to turn your stomach and impel you to shadow every move that your child makes, this story will probably be just that.  In case you haven’t heard, the latest reprehensible crime to happen in the city of brotherly love, is that of a 12-year-old elementary school boy, who was sexually assaulted on Monday morning in West Philadelphia.

According to police, the incident happened between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., when the student was in route to school.  The young boy, whose name is being withheld by authorities; is a student at the Morton McMichael Elementary school located at 3549 Fairmount Street in the city’s Mantua section, where he has been a student for several years.

According to reports, as the boy was walking to school, he was grabbed from behind, dragged into an alleyway and raped. The assault happened in the 3900 block of Brown Street, just a few blocks from his school.  There were no passersby, no police officers; not even one student walked by while the boy’s worse nightmare was happening to him.

After the attack, the assailant ran one way, and the young victim made his way to school, where he reported the incident to school authorities, who then called police.

During his interview with police, the boy described his attacker as a young black male, 13 or 14 years old who wore blue pants and a red shirt, which he likened to the school’s uniform.

The Police took the boy to Children’s’ Hospital Of Philadelphia for treatment, where he was further interviewed by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit.  They concluded that the boy’s story was unfeigned.  Although no one has been arrested, the case is still under investigation

We make their lunches or give them lunch money.  We stand with them at the bus stop… shivering, sweating or getting wet, with umbrellas in one hand and coffee in the other.  But sometimes when we’re overly tired or running late for work, we let them make that school trek alone.  Maybe the school is 5 blocks away, or around the corner, or just up the street.  But on that one day when we didn’t go the extra mile, and stand with them, or walk them to school… may be the day that we will remember forever.

Written by DeBorah Heggs Alston

(op-ed)

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