Youth conference draws small crowd

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yvonne Bee has no idea how to cut down on crime, but she knowshow to cut down on criminals – raise children right in the firstplace.

The 67-year-old grandmother from Bude knows a thing or two aboutraising up children.

She’s raised five of her own and taken in and supported othersin need throughout her life. She knows how to urge them to succeed,and she knows how to keep them from doing wrong – discipline.

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“The Bible says I chastise those I love,” Bee said Saturday,speaking to children at a youth conference called by the CommunityAction Group of Brookhaven. “I beat you because I love you, and Ilove you more when I beat you.

“Parents, if your child does wrong, it’s OK to sit down and talkto them, but if your child needs to be spanked, you need to dothat,” she continued.

Bee was one of several speakers for the conference aimed atencouraging youth to become productive citizens.

CAG President Roy Smith called Saturday’s meeting in response torecent crime outbreaks across the city, hoping to bring electedleaders, law enforcement and parents and children together to beginworking out a plan to prevent today’s kids from becoming tomorrow’scriminals. However, attendance at the event was small, and Smithcriticized those leaders for not attending, saying something needsto be done about Brookhaven’s crime — and soon.

“It doesn’t just affect the blacks, it’s affecting the whites,too,” Smith said. “It’s starting to spill over across the tracks,and we saw that just a few weeks ago with the incident thathappened at Fred’s.”

Smith was referring to the April 24 midday robbery and shootingof 86-year-old Eva Pullen in downtown Brookhaven. Brothers Quincyand David Walker, both of Brookhaven, were arrested and chargedwith armed robbery and aggravated assault in the incident thatsparked alarm and concerns across the city.