I can normally defend the position I take on any subject because there’s usually a real life situation that helped to form it. I recall after my son was born prematurely, he hadn’t been home for two weeks when a nurse showed up at my front door. Cook County had a rule that any baby born prematurely needed to be checked on by a home visiting nurse. 

I was totally offended that this woman could come to my front door, demand to be let in, and give my house a once over, along with checking where my baby was sleeping and how prepared I was to deal with a premature child. It’s been well over 30 years ago that it happened, but the memory is still as fresh as the indignation I felt. 

With that in mind, I believe that Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has one really good idea that should be instituted immediately. I believe he should begin to send social workers in, especially when it involves young people who are misbehaving. That is when a responsible social worker, should be able to go into the household, and get 100% full access to everything. How they’re living and where they’re living. Household income and how the money is being utilized. What the child has to eat and where the child has to sleep. 

There should be no provisions for privacy when a child’s well-being is at stake. Because children are permitted to roam the streets unattended, creating havoc in their wake, and because of irresponsible parents, that irresponsibility should be met with the protection of responsible intervention of the social-worker kind.

I can guarantee that an intervention by someone else is not going to be a welcoming occasion. But irresponsible parenthood is the reason we have tons of kids going downtown acting a damn fool. And I bet the majority of them come from middle-class homes where the parents permit them to do whatever they want to do because they don’t want to be bothered by them. It was just a couple of years ago that parents were driving kids down to Millennium Park and dropping them off. Once there, the kids got to clowning and acting like fools. Just like this past weekend, shots were fired and someone was killed. Now Millennium Park doesn’t let them in on the weekends after 6 p.m. unescorted.

The social worker’s job should also be backed up with the threat of jail time should the “adult” decide they don’t want to be cooperative. I fully support holding them accountable and putting them in jail. Raising a child is more than just cute outfits and fashionable hairstyles. 

Brandon Johnson has made young people one of his platform’s immediate policies. However, his wants and desires for them will be hindered if he has to spend the entire summer dealing with them misbehaving all over the downtown area. As mayor, Brandon can be the tough-but-understanding father figure these children need. 

His agenda of investing in people just might need the investment of 48 hours or more in the County Jail to get folks to recognize the need to change and to be accountable. Let that reality flow across the social media networks and he can probably get the vast majority to change their ways quickly. 

For the recalcitrant others, lock the kid and the parent up in a cell, with one cot and one chair. Whoever gets to sleep on the cot, shows who runs that household.