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Motivating Youth center reopens with parent support after spanking

JASON VORHEES/THE TELEGRAPH Macon, GA, 08/12/2015: 
 Juquetta Milner walks out of the the Motivating Youth Foundation with her children Aviyon Farley, 7 and Jayla Brown, 2, Wednesday afternoon.
JASON VORHEES/THE TELEGRAPH Macon, GA, 08/12/2015: Juquetta Milner walks out of the the Motivating Youth Foundation with her children Aviyon Farley, 7 and Jayla Brown, 2, Wednesday afternoon. jvorhees@macon.com

The Motivating Youth Foundation was back in action Wednesday, and it drew support from parents.

The program, which offers after-school programs for children, had been closed since May after founder Roger Jackson was accused of spanking an 8-year-old girl.

Parents who brought their children to the east Macon center Wednesday afternoon did not seem concerned with the recent revelations.

“I’m happy it’s open,” said parent Juquetta Milner. “This is where they need to be.”

A staff member at the facility declined comment, pointing to a sign on the door bearing the message, “No media allowed.” She said the directive came straight from Jackson.

The former NFL player was charged with spanking a girl with a belt in April. Afterward, similar reports surfaced involving other children. The center was allowed to reopen under an agreement that Jackson would have limited contact with the children.

The allegations didn’t bother Barbara Moffett, who dropped off three children at the center Wednesday and said she’s done so for four or five years.

“And I don’t think it was as bad as they said it was,” she said of the spanking.

Another parent, Jakeisha Rozier, said she was aware of the episode involving Jackson. Not only was that not a major concern for Rozier, but she said many of the children who might not have solid role models at home often need correction.

“Kids these days, they do need discipline,” she said. “I think it went too far with the spanking, but our kids do need discipline.”

She also noted that the staff had her permission to discipline her children -- 7-year-old Elijah and 5-year-old Jeremiah.

“I told them to do what they’ve got to do with mine,” she said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331 or find him on Twitter@MTJTimm.

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