The violence in New Orleans is getting extremely out of hand. Recently, stray bullets meant for a heroin possessor hit a 4-year-old child, Kyle Romain, and his 2-year-old brother, Jamal Romain. Kyle is now permanently blind, and Jamal has serious brain damage.

Before Hurricane Katrina, there were peaceful neighborhoods in New Orleans. Of course there was crime, but it was nothing compared to the present day. There has to be a stop.

It’s coming to a point now where parents have to think twice before letting their child play outside. Citizens of New Orleans should feel safe in their neighborhoods. However, it has become a war zone, which puts residents in a protective mindset. Something must be done.

Fifteen-year-old Corey Martin, of New Orleans, was shot to death by stray bullets early in August.

There is not a possible way to stop it completely. However, there are ways to reduce it. Citizens should not have to worry about their child’s life while standing at the bus stop waiting to go to school, or while playing with the other children in the neighborhood. You cannot keep your child sheltered away from life forever. They must go outside for a few hours daily to stay in great health. It is unhealthy for a child to sit inside all day playing video games. Lack of sunlight can deplete their vitamin D level, which can cause health problems eventually. Also, sitting inside means little to no physical activity. This can lead to the increased rate of obese children.

What can be the solution? The police should patrol these areas more often. There should be an abundance of them scattered around the New Orleans area. There also needs to be more neighborhood activities, such as park ball teams. This could decrease the crime tremendously considering that the perpetrators and victims of these crimes are becoming younger and younger.

Extracurricular activities would not only take their minds off street life, but it would give them a chance to show their talent and be known in a positive way. It can possibly get them scholarships to play for high school teams. Eventually, they can become interested in playing college sports, and so on.

Now we see, just by implementing more extracurricular activities in neighborhoods, we have reduced the crime rates, increase the high school and college athlete rate, and made our neighborhoods safer to reside in.

Maya Esteves

LSU student

New Orleans