ROME, N.Y. – The Rev. James Richardson, of the Kingdom Harvest Church in Rome, says its important to talk to have conversations with children about what’s going on across the country.
With local students out of school for the remainder of the year, they may not have the resources they normal would to answer questions about George Floyd, racism and protests.
Richardson says it’s important to address these topics with kids, and see how they feel about what’s happening.
“You have to be aware, you certainly have to be sensitive, depending on the age of the child. But by asking questions and feeling out and finding out what they think, asking what do you think, what do you think about that and give them time to process. It's important to reach our children because they are the future,” he said.
When it comes to George Floyd’s death, Richardson says the incident must be discussed “very carefully, very cautiously. You have to be very sensitive because such a gruesome and horrendous act, which now has been shown and exposed over and over on television, so to see that, it's very hard to process even as an adult.”
While it can be difficult to explain to children that police officers, who they are taught to trust, can also commit crimes, it is important that they understand each person is responsible for their own actions.
“It is very important to be sensitive and to do it in a manner that will help them to understand that what was done, was totally wrong. This is not the way that the whole embodiment of the police. This is not everybody, it is one individual's act. And so, you have to deal with it and break it down and certainly again to the ability of the child to process at the age,” said Richardson.
Citizen Action of New York’s Central New York chapter is holding a peaceful protest Fort Stanwix in downtown Rome on Saturday, June 6, from 7 to 9 p.m.