SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – A public forum on teen driving and the use of alcohol will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of South Orange, 103 Valley St.
The forum was prompted by the crash that claimed the lives of Maplewood’s Tamir Harry, 16, and Kervin Noel, 21, and injured Tahsir Harry, 20, and Rodney Lovius, 21, when their vehicle was struck by Harrison Allen, 20, who has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. “Caring for Our Teens and Our Community” will feature guest speakers on a range of topics including prevention, communication and grief counseling.
First Baptist Church’s Reverend Dr. Terry Richardson organized the event and has invited members of the South Orange Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and local therapists to speak to community members about steps to take in the healing process and how to avoid future tragedies like this one.
Grief counselors from the church will be on hand to provide free service to family members and friends of the victims. Family therapist Nancy Kislin, who has written for TheAlternativePress.com about speaking with children in the wake of tragedy (http://thealternativepress.com/articles/conversation-starters-how-to-talk-to-your-kids) will address that topic.
“Respect your child's feelings. Acknowledge their fear, sadness and their struggle to make sense out of this tragedy,” Kislin said in that earlier piece. “Tune into their mood. Look for signs such as trouble falling asleep, nightmares, escalation of fears, loss of appetite and even a constant need to know where you are.”
The public is invited to attend.