How the clashes with police affect children in Ferguson


by Ruella Rouf / Staff

Posted on August 14, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 14 at 10:44 PM

FERGUSON, Mo. ( – Protests in the streets of Ferguson are pushing for justice, but days of clashes with police may have unintended consequences on the residents, specifically the children.

Schools in Ferguson have been closed, and the protests are leaving lasting images on the children. 5-year-old London Hawkins lives close enough to the site of the protests and can hear it at night.

“I was crying,” Hawkins said. “There was fighting last night, and then I missed school,” she said, despondent that she missed her first day of kindergarten.

“I’m kind of scared ‘cause it could get close to home,” said one child. She said she hears yelling, screaming and the sounds of gunshots.

Other kids want the riots to stop and are upset about missing the first day of school

At night, the kids hear what they say is “a big noise that’s scary.” Mother Lakisha Bender said she has been doing all that she can to help her children cope.

“Every night she’s sleeping with me [these] past couple of days. And when she hears a boom, it’s ‘mommy, they’re getting closer,’” said Bender.

Another parent said “I’m telling my children this too shall pass. We as a community will get through this.”

Teens in the area are also frightened. 16-year-old James Dickson hopes it will all end soon.

“I would like to see peace in my community and everybody get together in the community,” said Dickson.