The prayers and well-wishes continue to come in for a Bronx girl who was severely burned with boiling water by another girl. Activists and psychologists say parents should pay close attention to this case to stop similar tragedies. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
The horrible story NY1 was the first to report this week about Jamoneisha Merritt shocked the city and country. The 11-year-old had boiling water poured over her face and body by a 12-year-old while at a sleepover in the Bronx.
"We are seeing children participate in violent behavior, younger and younger," said Iesha Sekou, the founder of Street Corner Resources, a crisis response organization in Harlem.
Sekou has been assisting Jamoneisha's family as the girl recovers at Harlem Hospital. But she says the other girl now needs lots of help as well.
"I'm quite sure the young girl who committed this act did not think about the consequences. Because at that age, they don't have consequential thinking. So we know young people have to be taught that there are consequences," Sekou said.
Those consequences, pain and suffering for both families and police did arrest the 12-year-old. Published reports say that girl's mother says the girl has now tried to kill herself.
Jamoneisha's mother Ebony thinks the incident was part of what is called the hot water challenge, where kids and teens do pranks or dares using boiling water and post them on the internet.
In March, 8-year-old Kiara Pope, who lived in Florida, died after drinking boiling water. Relatives say a cousin dared her.
Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere says parents need to know what their children are watching on the internet and social media, especially if they have mental health and behavioral issues.
"I think it is always better, of course, if you set the ground rules with your kid," Gardere said. "So that they know that you will be checking their phones. So you don't have to do it in a clandestine manner."
The mother and family of Jamoneisha have been angry, like other parents would be.
"No matter how angry you get, you must stay calm," Sekou said. "This is not about hurting another person, This is about healing the community, the families, and healing Jamoneisha. We do not want any more violence."