How Alexis Crawford’s Death Affects The College Conversation We Have With Our Children.

Over a week ago, 21 year old Alexis Crawford was reported missing. Only a few short days later, the Clark Atlanta University student was found dead – her body stuffed into a plastic bin and dumped in a Decatur park just miles away from her home. The internet responded to the incident in complete terror as it was revealed that the vicious crime had been committed by none other than Crawford’s best friend and roommate, Jordyn Jones, 21, and Jones’ boyfriend, Barron Brantley, 21.

Details were released that claimed that Alexis had reported a sexual assault by her roommate’s boyfriend, Barron Brantley to the police just days before her murder on Halloween night. Her braveness to come forward was met with anger from her roommate, Jordyn Jones, which ultimately led to a fight between the two students. Barron Brantley jumped in and strangled Alexis to death.

Malice Murder Versus Felony Murder

It is important to note the charges filed against Jordyn Jones and Barron Brantley. Felony murder is when someone is murdered during the commission of a felony. Malice murder is defined as the intentional commission of murder where the circumstances show that killing took place and the guilty individual showed an abandoned and malignant heart. Some could classify malice murder as an act of pure evil.


An Eye Opening Conversation

As more details began to emerge about this case, young women started to come forward with their own stories from their college years and roommates.

Women talked about the revolving door of men their roommates kept around. They shared stories of uncomfortable run ins with their roommate’s boyfriends while the roommate was not home and there are even stories about keys that have been given to men that they did not know – all because of a roommate. Like many young women in these situations, most of us never spoke up.

Watch The Company You Keep

For most parents, sending their children off to college normally involves conversations about staying focused on schoolwork, not partying too hard, and making it to class on time. Rarely are we sitting our children down to speak with them in detail about the company they keep. Unfortunately, it took the death of Alexis Crawford for many parents to realize the importance of teaching our children about setting real boundaries in their young friendships with other women. During such an impressionable time as those formative college years, this conversation could save their life.

What Does That Conversation Really Look Like?

This conversation looks like a sit down, face to face, serious talk on boundaries. Let your daughters know that they are not required to live with someone who allows men to enter and leave their home at their leisure. Our girls need to know the power in speaking up at the first sign of danger and not the fear of being seen as dramatic or jealous for not wanting their roommate’s boyfriend in their home. This conversation looks like a talk on the friends your children keep in their life as they cross the threshold of young adulthood. The reality is, most parents have no idea who their children are hanging out with in college. It is just assumed that these are people are safe – simply because they all attend college together. Jordyn Jones proved us all wrong.

Be As Involved In The Emotional Wellbeing Of Your Child As You Are In Their GPA

Social life in college is a whirlwind of parties, sorority pledging, and joining clubs. In order to fit in with their peers, many young girls have not yet found their voice to stand up against those mean girl friendships. While they may not be as apt to have that conversation candidly with their parents, start asking more directed questions about their social settings. Ask the name of their friends, what clubs they are apart of, and ask details about their emotional wellbeing when it comes to these friendships.

Questions like:

  • Do you feel anxiety around certain friends?
  • Do you feel that you can use your voice to express your needs in this particular friendship?
  • Does your friend make you feel safe?
  • How are you handling the social pressure to fit in?
  • Are you being forced to be around men because they are associated with your roommate?
  • How can we help make this situation better for you?

Our hearts are with the family of Alexis Crawford. A visitation will be open to the public from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hill Chapel Baptist Church, located at 1692 W. Hancock Avenue in Athens, GA.