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Hazlehurst Spared Dangers In Other Cities

When summer comes and school is out, unsupervised teens can sometimes cause problems.
Most of those problems are minor and mostly seen as the difficulties of growing up and maturing.
But in some small Georgia cities, the problems have lately been escalating to the level of violence …. lethal violence.
In Emanuel County, the City of Swainsboro implemented a curfew for teenagers about two weeks ago. That came on the heels of a shooting involving juveniles.
In the past two weeks, Burke County had two shootings, both involving juveniles. A 16-year-old died from a shooting in Sardis and a 17-year-old has been charged with murder.
On July 4th, a shooting at Waynesboro’s Briarwood Apartments left a 19-year-old in critical condition.
And in Hall County, a Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed by a 17-year-old who was shot by deputies and is in critical condition in a Gainesville hospital. Three other 17-year-olds were arrested in connection with the shooting.
Following the second shooting in Burke County, the City of Waynesboro implemented a juvenile curfew of its own.
Both Augusta and Grovetown in east Georgia also have turned to curfews to curb teen violence.
Fortunately, Hazlehurst hasn’t experienced such violent juvenile behavior this summer.
“No, sir,” Hazlehurst Police Chief Ken Williams responded quickly when asked whether or not local teen behavior has resulted in such violence.
“Oh, we have had some juveniles walking around at night,” he added. “It’s always happening around the summer.”
There have been some minor juvenile type vandalism around the high school baseball field and football practice field.
Williams described what the youths had done in the area saying, “It’s was minor juvenile stuff. And we know who did it. You’re going to have that when there’s no supervision.”
And that’s the problem, lack of supervision. As Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams told the Augusta Chronicle, “We just need to keep these kids under control. It is the parent’s responsibility to do that, not the government’s.”
Commenting on curfews for the Foundation for Economic Education in 2016, journalist Bill Wirtz wrote: “We should strive to teach our children the values of freedom – that doing whatever we want while not hurting anyone else is liberating, that taking responsibility for our actions is a virtue, and that dealing with these responsibilities is part of growing up.”

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