Waking Up the Wiregrass

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Lakeisha Jones is a mom to teenagers and remembers being one herself.

Jones said, “I remember being in high school and going through some things there, like bullying and fighting.”

But the Dothan Judicial Court says it's overwhelmed with young kids doing much worse.

Dothan Police Officer Michael Woodside said, “We're seeing younger children do many more serious crimes. We also see gang recruitment in our middle schools.”

So they're reaching out to parents for help with a program ‘Waking Up’ the Wiregrass.

Eunice Knight, works with Wake Up Wiregrass, said, “Within the 2011 year, we have lost students to gang violence and we are here to try to make sure the community is aware.”

Aware of a problem officers say they catch too late.

Officer Woodside said, “When we deal with them, it's usually after they’ve committed a crime.”

So the key is communication at home and watching out for signs of trouble.

Officer Woodside said, “They'll wear black, blue and white bandanas. Pay attention to who they're hanging out with.”

Jones says she's keeping her eyes and ears open...and hoping her kids will too.....

Jones said, “I want my children to take away from tonight the fact that this is not right. Bullying is not right and being in a gang is not cool. Being smart, getting good grades and passing it down to their young sister and brothers are what’s important.”

Passing it down and hopefully passing on the violence

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