Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Protect kids, parents told

After-school activities canceled after slaying

By Michael D. Clark and Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SILVERTON — Early Monday, after the gruesome discovery over the weekend of a third-grade student's body in a nearby park, Silverton Paideia officials canceled after-school activities and warned neighborhood parents to protect their children.

        Monday night, the child's mother, DeMarlo Hayes, 26, was charged with murder. The body of 9-year-old Diarro Lavon Hayes was discovered Saturday morning in Daniel Drake Park, about two miles from his Kennedy Heights home but near the school at 6829 Stewart Road.

        Silverton Principal Henri Bradshaw sent a letter home to parents announcing the end of after-school activities and urging them to take precautions in monitoring their children's whereabouts.

        “We will no longer allow children to call home to go to someone else's home at the end of the day,” Mr. Bradshaw said in a letter to parents. “If your child is going over to a friend's house ... once they arrive home please have them travel in groups of children and have them call you when they arrive at the destination.”

        He said school staff and students were in tears after hearing the news of Diarro's death.

        The school held two assemblies Monday morning for primary and intermediate students and Mr. Bradshaw gave them as many facts as he knew then: “I attempted to prepare them for the worst.”

        A crisis team of psychologists from Cincinnati Public Schools will be at the school today, as well as a pastor.

        “I think children need to be a little more watched, as opposed to having the freedom they have,” the principal said.

        Cincinnati Police Sgt. John Newsom agreed, saying “in this day and age you have to use common sense in protecting your kids.”

        Neighbors from Diarro's Kennedy Heights community said they were shocked by the brutal nature of the boy's death.

        “This is really a nice neighborhood and kids play outside all the time,” said one Kennedy Heights' mother who asked not to be identified.


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