Bubbles bring attention to tough issue

Published 10:53 pm Monday, April 25, 2016

Cedar Park Elementary School second graders Jamiya Murphy and Ayanna James take turns blowing Bubbles of Love. The program was held to bring attention to children who have been alienated from their parents.

Cedar Park Elementary School second graders Jamiya Murphy and Ayanna James take turns blowing Bubbles of Love. The program was held to bring attention to children who have been alienated from their parents.

Cedar Park Elementary School students filled the sky Monday with Bubble of Love to bring attention to a difficult issue, children who are alienated from parents.

Continuing a three-year tradition, Councilwoman Angela Benjamin and Mayor George Evans brought packs of bubbles for students for Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

“The purpose is for our young people [to be] aware of the things in terms of broken homes and things like that,” Evans said. “Every school, every neighborhood — there’s a situation where children come out of broken environments.”

In 2015, Gov. Robert Bentley proclaimed April 19 – 25 as Parental Alienation Prevention Week and April 25 as Parental Alienation Awareness Day to increase the knowledge and understanding to fight abusive behavior.

“We put those bubbles in the air to let [children] know that they are still loved,” Benjamin said.

Students gathered in the school’s parking lot and within minutes were laughing and smiling from ear to ear as they watched the bubbles float high above the school’s roof.

“It’s an idea to get together to have fun and show love. It’s all about love and caring about each other,” Evans said. “I’m glad so see so many kids excited.”

According to the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO), parental alienation deprives children of a loving relationship with their parents and extended family.

Bentley’s proclamation stated approximately 40,000 Alabama children were subjected to child custody determinations in 2013 and that alienation is common within high-conflict divorces and not equal custody arrangements.

Second grader Jamiya Murphy said the bubbles were a good way to raise awareness.

“[It’s] to show love for other people,” Jamiya said.

Principal Doris Cureton said some of the children may not have completely understood the purpose of the bubbles, but she believes the novelty of the occasion will leave a lasting impression on the children.

“Not only will they remember it today to tell their parents, but they’re going to talk about it for days to come,” Cureton said.