Discipline, respect are the pillars of RCSD at-risk program - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Discipline, respect are the pillars of RCSD at-risk program

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There's a new tough program that hopes to get some of the worst behaved teens on the straight and narrow that's wrapping up in the Midlands on Tuesday.

For three days, about 30 boys from around the state are enrolled in Camp Lott, which stands for "Leading Our Troubled Teens".

Jerome McGill and his wife, Rosalind, say their 13-year-old son steals and he doesn't listen.

"You have to be able to love your child, love them unconditionally and willing to sacrifice in order to see a change in their life," said Rosalind.

They drove from the Lowcountry to give their child a chance to hear from a different voice.

"They think they can do their own thing and this camp is designed to show them how to listen when they're given instruction," said Richland County Sgt. Gerard Walls.

"The worst thing that can ever happen is a parent or grandparent reaches for help and there's nobody there," said Sheriff Leon Lott. "We're here."

Ena Dacosta says she couldn't do it without help.

"They give me my strength," said Dacosta. "I take my home back."

Dacosta says her son is a straight-A student, but lies, steals, and connives to get what he wants. A few weeks ago, he stole her checkbook and forged her name.

"I took the television out of his room. I took the bed out of his room and let him sleep on the floor. I give him his 3 meals everyday but no snacks. I took all his computer games from him," said Dacosta.

Dacosta says she won't stop until she sees change.

"If there's no changes in the three days, I'll sign him up for longer term until we break him," said Dacosta.

Danielle Turner drove from Charleston for the same thing.

"My son has a very bad attitude," said Turner. "I want him to be a productive member of society -- is my ultimate goal. There's nothing I won't do to save my son."

The teens spend three days on a military base exercising and being mentored.

"It's intimidating," said Sheriff Lott. "And that's what we want it to be. That's part of the process. It's to intimidate them and give them the confidence to know they can be successful."

James Kirk says he and his wife have done everything they can for their son.

"I don't know whether it has to do with being a 12-year-old or being a pre-teen but the light has to come on," said Kirk. "I've seen where kids go down the bad road and where it ends up and I'm not going to have that for my boy."

Kirk says he'll keep signing his son up for more programs until the light comes on.

"I really hope he gets it," said Kirk "I really do. I'm really worried for his future. I really am."

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