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Fayetteville hopes film will help stem youth violence

Posted September 16, 2014

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— Seventh and ninth graders in Cumberland County Schools will soon watch a movie that law enforcement and school officials hope will help reduce the amount of youth violence in the city.

While the film comes as the city continues to grapple with the issue, including an incident where a teenager who spoke out against violence was shot and killed as gang members exchanged bullets, only a few dozen parents watched a screening of “Decision Points” at Douglas Byrd High School Tuesday night.

The film details the story of a young man who makes a series of bad choices with devastating consequences. The movie also highlights the problems cell phones and social media can create when teenagers spread the word about an upcoming party.

Officials wanted parents to understand how technology plays a role in community violence.

Fayetteville police say that’s often how gatherings get out of hand.

It was at a house party in June where gang members exchanged at least 70 shots. At least one of those bullets struck Ravon Detrail Jordan, 19. He died the next day.

Just weeks before his death, Jordan spoke out during a Fayetteville city council meeting about violence at a troubled apartment complex where his best friend and her boyfriend were killed.

Investigators do not believe Jordan’s killing was in revenge for speaking out.

Hundreds gathered outside the Cumberland County Courthouse the next month to call for an end to youth violence in the city. At that point, out of the city’s 34 homicides since the beginning of 2013, 17 of those charged were between ages 14 and 26, as noted in the Fayetteville Observer’s Seeking Safety series.

But violence involving young people has continued since. A 23-year-old man was shot and killed Sept. 9 in what police believe was an attempted robbery. That same day, a 23-year-old wanted for three shootings was captured after he was found hiding in a clothes dryer inside a Cumberland County home.

Authorities hopes the movie’s messages of making better decisions and not resorting to violence will catch on with students.

“They're very impressionable at that age,” said Lisa Jayne, Operation Ceasefire program coordinator for the Fayetteville Police Department. “In this school system, it's the year they can try out for sports and kind of get into their group of friends they may keep until they graduate.”

Karen Wells was one of the few parents who attended Tuesday’s screening. She wanted to know the things her daughter may experience in school.

“We can't keep turning a blind eye to it,” she said. “It's a sad story. It could be our child. And I think more people need to get involved.”

14 Comments

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  • lec02572 Sep 17, 2014

    A film alone will change nothing. How about: 1. Having two parents in the home; 2. Parents who provide their children with values; 3. Parents who will discipline their children; 4. Parents who lead by example; and 5. Know who your kids friends are and where they live.

  • housemanagercary Sep 17, 2014

    The people who care are the same people whose kids don't act like that. Maybe we need a law stating that if you child is involved in a crime that you the parent have to serve identical time. That would be a slight deterrent at least.

  • rschleich Sep 17, 2014

    I would be willing to bet that the parents that did attend the screening are already involved in their childrens lives... Their kids are already successful. The ones that need to be there either won't or can't. The ones that can't are struggling in a system that is designed to have them fail. The ones that won't are either satisfied with the status quot, or are so jaded by failed attempts that they have just given up.

  • Confucius say Sep 17, 2014

    Now, we all know that a majority of the violence is committed by minorities. Look at the people at the viewing...almost all white. Where are the parents of the minorities?

  • Confucius say Sep 17, 2014

    They should require the parents to watch a movie that promotes a family structure because that is the underlying problem. Maybe showing the challenges that mothers face trying to raise multiple kids with no fathers around, and the challenges of youth growing up without a father showing them how to grow up to be a man. A father making a son a man is better than a gun making him a man.

  • 68_dodge_polara Sep 17, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Unfortunately as you can see from the attendance that the parents of the entended targets don't care and we've all seen that when the parents don't care neither do their children.

  • Vincent Vega Sep 17, 2014

    That's the best they can do? I wonder if this will be like the alarm system companies commercials, that show whites doing home invasions. Very realistic.

  • carrboroyouth Sep 17, 2014

    View quoted thread


    That was the screening, not the middle school-showing.

  • sunshine1040 Sep 17, 2014

    Maybe a better idea would be to have parents attend with their children or better yet make parents come to school daily with unruly children and dicipline parent every time their child backtalks or talks while a teacher is or falls asleep in class.

  • sunshine1040 Sep 17, 2014

    Maybe a better idea would be to have parents attend with their children or better yet make parents come to school daily with unruly children and dicipline parent every time their child backtalks or talks while a teacher is or falls asleep in class.

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