[QOTW] Are parents paying enough attention to their children? [Written by Shae McCoy]

Image Source: Chicago Tribune/ Getty

How many parents are we going to have to see grieve publicly before safety for our youth is taken more seriously?

19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in a walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois. It was about 12:30 am. She was reported missing a day before the gruesome discovery. Most of us were informed about Kenneka’s death on social media with a video of her assumed friends smoking and drinking. It appeared as if they were having a good time, but various Facebook users started to dissect the video , speaking of screams being heard and sinful conversations being had. All assumptions. Police say that the investigation is still ongoing so it is not 100 percent clear of how Kenneka ended up dead that morning. Up to 12 people are said to be involved.

*Update

According to CBS News, Kenneka was seen on surveillance footage walking in to the freezer alone. This observation would eliminate the theory surrounding her friends murdering her. This information was provided by Chicago crisis responder, Andrew Holmes, who allegedly saw the surveillance.

After analyzing the information that we do have and the speculations that came about, one has to question why was Kenneka there in the first place and not at home? Were there drugs and alcohol involved? A lot of us have ventured in to drinking and smoking as teens, but that doesn’t make it ok.

Most teens claim adulthood after they hit the 18 year mark, but are we really able to fend for ourselves in a world that is much more cruel than it was a decade or more ago? There was a time where parents really took the initiative to keep their children away from harm. My mom always sniffed out the bad apples in my friend groups and tried to keep me away from them. What can we do as a collective to keep the youth out of harm’s way? Do you think parents are doing enough to ensure that their children are making the right choices?

3 responses to “[QOTW] Are parents paying enough attention to their children? [Written by Shae McCoy]

  1. I don’t like to speak on deaths like this bc I haven’t a clue. I leave that to the conspiracy theorists.
    BUT BOY DO I HAVE A STORY TO TELL!!!!
    There is a little girl(9 y.o.) that lives directly across the alley from me and she plays with my daughter. She spent the night at my place alot on the weekends until one weekend I had her from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening and her mom was no where to be found (I no longer allow her to spend the night). Fast forward, last weekend my dad comes over to watch my kids while I go out. I went out around 8pm, alley girl is outside playing with my daughter when I leave. I get home after 1am my dad says “that girl is still here.” I’m confused because 1. I’ve told her that she can no longer spend the night 2. She was sneaky bc she asked my dad what time does she have to go home. My dad assumed and told her, ‘your mom will come and get you when its time.’ End of story: her mother NEVER communicated anything with my dad, no calls to me or wife, nothing. From where I stand, she had no idea of the welfare of her child.
    While there is no real answer for such a blanketed question, many parents do need to pay more attention to their children. Hopefully a lot of parents will learn from this sad story and use it as a cautionary alert to pay more attention to their child and the people they are friends with. While my oldest is a preteen and I want to give her more privacy and freedom, I still check her phone, scout places she likes to hang out (so far just a playground in the neighborhood), and become familiar with her friends. Whike Kenneka was 19, I know its more difficult to be aware of her day to day as a parent. I pray my children use better judgement by the advice and teachings I offer them now and until then.

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