Lumbee people must reach out and save our children

To the Editor,

Unmarried Lumbee children are having children. Lumbee teenagers are waving guns around on Facebook. Our kids are buying drugs across the street from school. Twenty-year-olds are telling the Lumbee to abandon religion and farming as parts of Lumbee culture.

Our communities are concerned that HUD funded Lumbee culture classes are Tuscarora-based curriculum. Children ages 10 to 30 shame themselves and our Tribe in their speech, dress and social interaction.

In Robeson County, school personnel approximate 90 percent of classrooms have less than five students in stable working families. Ninety percent of families are on Medicaid or have no insurance.

When you look at our Lumbee society, our children are lost, hurting and angry. They choose their role models on the street. They mistake lust for love. They rebel against a world that they hold responsible for their lives because they have never learned responsibility.

Unmanageable children are unteachable and become irresponsible adults. In North Carolina we spend $5,000 annually on each public school student and $30,000 annually on each prisoner. Our children are paying the price and costing us all a treasure beyond measure.

What can we do? The village has to help the families, churches, schools and employers to raise each child. Don’t be afraid to lend a hand, literally. Be afraid if you don’t.

Eric R. Locklear


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