Feeling like public enemy #1

The view from down here:

I saw in the last issue that the re-elected Mayor Kelley is encouraging the community to "take back the streets." Sadly, there are several hours during the day when my friends and I are prohibited from being on the streets near my house, so I don't know how I can help. I'm an honors student, have never been in trouble at school or with the police, and dedicate hours of my time entertaining the community in the Heights High Marching Band and Symphonic Winds. There are a few thousand middle and high school students in our community who are similarly good citizens, but are being punished for the actions of a few dozen. I don't want mobs, fights, or melees any more than the adults of the community, but I think there are much more proactive ways to prevent them. But we're kids, and you're adults, and it is easier to just push us around.

Maybe Mr. Kelley means that he wants to tackle the disturbing problem that adults seem to have in this community when it comes to drinking and driving. On any given week, there are more OVI, DUI, DWI, and public intoxication violations in the police blotter than there are assaults on the streets by teens. That was the case before the curfew as well, I'm sure. The number of injuries and deaths in this country that are caused by intoxicated adults far outnumbers the injuries and deaths caused by teen mobs. Perhaps Mr. Kelley plans to use the same strong-armed approach to combat this problem, as well. Maybe banning driving and the sale of alcohol on certain streets, during the hours when these violations occur in greatest number? Who am I kidding; that is a ridiculous idea! No citizen with the right to vote would allow a mayor to take away his or her right to drink and drive!

Dan Mesh

Dan Mesh is a Cleveland Heights resident with teenage children. This represents a compilation of perspectives Mesh has heard from youths in the community.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 1:54 PM, 02.28.2012