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Advice for parents: Know who your kids run with

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JOHN CAPPS
Ellis County Press
Parents need to know who their children run with.

That's the seasoned advice of Tiny Lange, a veteran of six years in law enforcement and current director of Heartbeat Kids, an organization providing area youth with guidance and organized recreation.

'I recall two boys who went to a mall,' Lange said in illustrating her point. 'One boy stole some shoes, but his companion didn't know about the theft.

'They were apprehended together and taken to the police department,' she said. 'No amount of explaining could prevent the second boy from being charged with theft just like the first boy.'

Lange believes parents should play an active roll in advising and guiding our youth, but should use good sense about the matter.

'Just because kids have unusual hair styles or talk funny to us, please don't assume they are bad children,' she said. 'Well-groomed children get into trouble, too. Know the person under the hair and clothes.'

Lange recalls numerous incidents where companions drew children into a bad situation.

'I remember three boys about seven or eight years of age, who went fishing at a nearby creek, which sounds innocent enough,' she said. 'But they wandered too far and failed to return when they should.

'Before it was over, a full-fledged police search and rescue operation was in effect. The boys were returned safely, but the result could have been worse.'

Lange added: 'Just as parents should keep a close eye on children to keep them from being led astray and lost, they need to keep an eye on their acquaintances and actions. Know the people around them, the parents of the other kids, and where they go. All children deserve guidance and direction from a loving adult.'

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Nelson Propane

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