BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - When a crime hits close to home, it can give you a different perspective.
Her daughter in junior high rode the bus with the victim. Her high school senior son knew the five people who have been charged with capital murder.
Being the parent of teenagers has taken on a new meaning for Danielle Bradley.
“It’s hard as parents with teenagers that are out there, doing stuff and you don’t know how to control it. It’s very hard. They can say they’re going somewhere, you can know the parent, identify the parent, have the parent’s phone number and they can be there for 30 minutes,” Bradley said. "But as a busy parent, a whole two hours can go by and they can done been at 17 different people’s homes, you know, doing whatever.
As principal of the Harrison County Alternative School, Regina Watts Lewis sees the struggle between parents and teens every day.
“Teenagers...what I suggest first of all is they need to check their child’s social media. Social media is the devil with these teenagers and young kids,” she said.
Watts Lewis said parents need to be aware and be prepared to help if their teen gets involved with drugs and alcohol.
“A lot of them do come for drugs and alcohol, and it’s one thing to say ‘don’t, don’t do it.’ It’s another thing to try to provide those interventions and help in order to keep them away from things like that that would be detrimental,” Watts Lewis said.
With all the influences on her children, Bradley said she will continue to steer them in the right direction, but she will ask for help.
“You just hope and pray for the best. It’s all you can do,” Bradley said.
Watts Lewis is also praying for her students and hoping to deter them from a life of crime. The principal took 70 students from the alternative school to Harrison County Jail on Wednesday so they could see what life behind bars would be like.