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Overheard at the Playground

Serpent Mound

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the playground on the Jeff Davis neutral ground with my daughter. We approached Serpent Mound at the same time as a trio of kids in elementary school uniforms.

I noticed the youngest child, a girl with a withered arm, was crying. I asked if she was OK. One of the other children, a boy just a few years older, said, “I slapped her.”

“Why did you do that?”

“I’m her brother,” he said, as if that explained everything. Maybe it did.

The third child, who appeared to be the older sister, was picked up the younger girl and gave her some advice: “Grandma says if someone slaps you, you gotta slap them right back.” And she pushed her sister toward her brother, but she wouldn’t engage him.

Is this indicative of the deadly violence so deeply ingrained in our culture? Or is it just harmless playground fun?

Today is the Strike Against Crime organized by SilenceIsViolence. Please take a moment to “find some way to step outside your normal daily routine, to express the toll violence takes” on all of us.

Published inNeighborsNew OrleansPix


  1. Brooks Brooks

    That we’re a violent culture goes without saying. It’s also true that kids can be utter shits. (You couldn’t pay me enough to relive grades 1-9!)

  2. Robyn Robyn

    Sure, kids can be shits, but the more disturbing piece of the story, in my opinion, was the “Grandma said” part. Rather than learning to overwrite that natural instinct to slap (push, punch, shoot) back, those kids are being taught to keep it going.

    This is NOT harmless playground fun. . . at least not in my neighborhood.

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