T.E.N. Editorial...Shield & Protect Our Children

If you are in any way up on the current events, you have heard of Shaniya Davis before.

Shaniya Nicole Davis was a 5 year old girl in North Carolina.

A beautiful child who was raised by her father, Bradley Lockhart, for a majority of her life.

After years of being raised by her father, Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Davis made a request that her daughter be allowed to live with her.

Feeling confident in the mother being gainfully employed for six months, Bradley allowed Shaniya to move home with Antoinette on October 9, 2009.

A month or so later, Shaniya is found dead on the side of a road.

Her mother is in pregnant again and in jail, charged with Felony Child Abuse and Human Trafficking. A man, Mario Andrette McNeill has been charged with kidnapping Shaniya after hotel surveillance showed him with her.

With all of those facts presented, one would pray that this is one big mistake and that a mother wouldn't sell her child...or allow her to be harmed. A friend of Shaniya's dad told the news that he warned Bradly against allowing her to stay with her mother. However, Bradley truly had faith that Antoinette would do right by Shaniya.

Nothing hurts my soul more than to see harm come to a child. It disgusts me to only imagine what the surveillance cameras didn't see. It bothers me that just a half an hour separated the mother's call to 911 from the time Mario carried Shaniya into that hotel elevator.

I have to say that this is one time that I hope there is a death penalty available for Antoinette. I cannot imagine how much money she wanted/needed to consider her daughter to be the perfect item for sale. If Shaniya was a burden, I'm sure that Bradley would have taken her back without hesitation. Instead, she allowed this angel to see harm.

There are of course other sides to this story and I'm certain that more will be revealed as time progresses. However, just looking at the facts presented to me, I am angry. I also took a visit to Youth Villages and I saw just what happens to the children who actually survive this type of abuse. Beautiful young girls like Shaniya, full of rage. Academically advanced young men being placed in safe areas because of their violent behavior. I think about the children I saw and wonder if a parent treated them as Antoinette treated Shaniya...like a commodity for sale to the highest bidder.

Then there's the 16 month old who was killed in Germantown. The baby was punched in the stomach by a parent. What the hell could that baby have done to deserve that? Then there was 10 month old little girl who was killed by the 16 year old daughter of the babysitter. What is going on? Have people become so tainted by evil that the life of a child means so little? I have to wonder if Shaniya's mom asked for her back in preparation to sell her in the first place. It's just a shame and a disgrace.

As I said in my status earlier, these children are scarred. They are hurting. They want a hug and a smile. They don't really ask for much. At Youth Villages, even the "hardest" of children light up at the sight of their favorite counselor. Sometimes it only takes a little attention and care to change a child's life. It's a shame that it isn't coming from the parents anymore.

Nobody said being a parent was easy. Some of us lucked out and have help to raise our Seeds. Hell, some of us are all they got. Nevertheless, if it's too much to handle, then just let that child go where they can be helped or loved. Let Grandma keep them. Give them to their father or aunt. Just let them live in a place with structure and love. If you have to pay child support, then pay it! I mean, you have to do what's best for the child at all times. I keep thinking that Shaniya wouldn't be a news story if only her mother could put her desires to the side and focus on her daughter.

I can't help but to also wonder if our future is getting bleaker and bleaker. We've been so worried about boys wearing belts. I guess in the midst of it all, we forgot to show concern about their minds and spirits.


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