Ms. Graham on her son's reaction to seeing her: "He knew he was in trouble. He said, 'When I seen you,' he said, 'Ma, my instinct was to run.'"
Yesterday, we reported on one of the few indisputable heroes of the turbulence in Baltimore, MD over the past few days: Toya Graham, the mother who grabbed her 16-year-old son by his hoodie, smacked him upside the head, and yanked him away from a group of young troublemakers throwing rocks at the police. Ms. Graham does what she can to keep her son on the right path in Baltimore, not always an easy task.
"There's some days that I'll shield him in the house just so he won't go outside and I know that I can't do that for the rest of my life," Graham told CBS News. "I'm a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don't play that."
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The press she received has already led to a Toya Graham for Mayor page on Facebook, and although that's unlikely to materialize, I've heard of people getting elected for worse reasons than knocking sense into kids.
We don't normally condone corporal punishment, but a teen boy needs a smack on the head occasionally—that occasion being when he decides to impress his friends by accelerating a decline in law and order throughout the city by inciting crowds and police alike.
Ms. Graham hopes the message and her smacks got through to her son, "And by him seeing everything what's going on I just hope, I'm not sure, but I hope that he understands the seriousness of what was going on last night."
Ms. Graham's parenting skills also impressed the Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts, who said "I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight" in a conference where he said most of the violence in the city came from teenagers.