Region 8 Teen Cleaning Up The Streets

September 24, 2005-- Posted at 8:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--The streets of downtown Jonesboro are a little cleaner today thanks to a community improvement project.

"That wouldn't be the case at all, because I am here because of drugs and verbally abusing my parents," said street sweeper, Elizabeth Kemper.

As Elizabeth sweeps she wears signs telling passerbys what got her there. One sign says, "I abuse my parents" and the other side says, "I deal drugs in school."

"I feel really really embarrassed that people who don't even know me have to see me like this," said Kemper.

The punishment was the idea of a friend of Elizabeth's parents who she is living with until she corrects her behavior. The Barnes family is housing Elizabeth until she has changed.

"I told elizabeth, I love you and I care for you, I love your parents and for you to treat your parents that way is unacceptable," said Tom Barnes.

The unique punishment isn't just about the sweeping. It's also about the people who stop and stare at Elizabeth and offer advice.

"All this is giving her some time to think about what she has done give her some exercise and get some information from other people who say you need to straighten up," said Barnes.

Elizabeth has only been sweeping for two days, and will continue to be out there until she is ready to change.

"This may take another day or two if that spirit is a little tough this may take a week or two we have a lot of streets she has a lot of attititude, I believe we put the two of them together clean both of them up," said Barnes.