Troubled Youth – gun violence Elsik High School
“O My Gosh!” cried half of the students in the cafeteria while the other half cried, “Get her, beat her up real good!” While screaming, they witnessed a girl being attacked by both males and females. From being pushed and pulled into a crowd of hatred, the girl was abused beyond recognition. Because of this injustice, the spectators of the fight rallied and caused more frustration for the adult faculty trying to break up the fight. On the same day, gun threats were issued by some of the students in the school and the other students in the school feared for their lives even though they heard the threats by word of mouth. The outbreak of numerous fights and threats all account for the beginning of a typical day at Elsik High School. Is this a typical day for many teens in the United States? The crime rate of youth in general is on the increase. The government needs to enforce stern punishment for the youth even if it is not a popular decision, educate inner city schools where there is likely to be more violence, and provide counseling or intervention for young kids who are troubled.
In order for the youth crime rate to drop, the government needs to inflict stronger and harsher punishment. “In May, an 11-year-old boy brought a loaded .357 Magnum handgun to West Zephyrhills Elementary School. Police charged an 8-year-old in Tampa this year with raping a 6-year-old girl,” (Krueger). If children at young ages can start causing harm to those around them, then it is time to make the punishments more severe in order to stop them from continuing. In a court case, a teen named James murdered another youth and severely wounded another by a gun: he was convicted on both accounts, but the punishment was overturned because of the exclusionary rule which basically is the evidence that police collect when they arrested a person for probable cause can not be used in court (The Oyez Project). If the verdict was not overturned, James would have been spending life in prison. This can be applied to all youth crimes that get involved with the taking of another’s life or anything that involves serious harm to others. Youth need to understand that the law should not be simplified and fastidious just because the individual is an adolescent. “If you have no conscience at 14, the chances are you are not going to have a conscience at 40,” (Kaczor). Youth need a firm and justified hand. If the parents are not going to give it to them, then let the government do it because they will not discriminate against any crime or individual.
Educating inner city kids or schools can encourage that subgroup of kids need to stay away from crime and get involved in activities that benefit the kids instead of getting involved in crime. Some individuals believe that teens get their idea of violence from “violent video games, TV, caffeine, R-rated movies, unfiltered Internet porn, raves, gangstas, Marilyn Manson, baggy pants, or unmonitored free time agreed new Democrats and Republicans,” (Males). Some schools have the D.A.R.E. program, but the problem with this is that the program is only given to certain schools and taught to elementary or middle school students even though most kids will forget the lessons being taught. Even though the program will be ineffective in a high school, the program should be taught to high school students because the students will be cognizant about the crimes around them and it will educate them into understanding that education is the best way to having a bright future. If the program does not work, students should be enrolled in after school activities. If the youth were to be enrolled by parents into after school activities like football or debate, kids would not have the time to think about joining the life of crime. The government should spend money for violence prevention programs and let these programs be free for kids that can not afford them. Not only should they create more programs, but they should censor certain areas of the media that influence kids to get involved in crime or suggest it. The parents need to get more involved in kids’ lives because the kids that are in gangs are the ones who do not get attention or love from their parents so they need to get it elsewhere.
Counseling troubled kids can be a success in figuring out the root of the kids’ problems. “Multisystemic Therapy has cut recidivism rates of chronic juvenile offenders by 25 to 70 percent in a series of rigorous clinical trials… Functional Family Therapy has also reduced the recidivism rates of delinquent youth by 25 to 80 percent in repeated trials,” (Mendel). The intervention or counseling is for the benefit of the delinquent because, as the quote above says about the percentage of youth crime dropping, they are able to have opportunities of bettering themselves and talking to someone about what they are going through instead of going back to their violent ways. Kids are faced with different issues in their lives daily and some kids turn to violence because that is the only way to express the way they feel or that is the only way to acceptance of what they are. If kids were to start to get counseling after their first crime, then kids would probably understand why they have the urge to commit violence in the first place. Parents should also participate in counseling because it will help them understand what their kids are going through and the reason why their kid started becoming violent. Counseling can help kids even if kids do not believe they need the counseling. The government should assist families with kids into crime because counseling is expensive. All delinquents should go through some sort of counseling or intervention funded by the government because counseling will help them see themselves for what their true potential in society is. Counseling should be extended to some sort of camps in order to help them. The movie “Gridiron Gang,” which is based on a true story, is a great example of teen delinquents being counseled. The story is about a group of teenage boys who committed crimes and all of them have been sent to a detention center and the leader of the detention center, Sean Porter, (acted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) wanted to establish a football team for the center to decrease the returning rate. At the end of the movie, the teens in the center spent more time in school and less time getting in trouble. This movie can be an example to kids getting counseling or kids being influenced to get into an activity that will get their minds off being into violence.
The world’s violence is on the increase. The kids are growing up too fast and doing things that adults usually have problems with such as abuse, gangs, pregnancy, etc. and the tactics used so far to reduce teen crime have worked, but not fast enough and not in great amounts. The government needs to take action in order to reduce the cycle of violence in this society. The youth need sterner punishment for them even if they do not like it, education for inner city kids or schools where their violence mostly occurs in, and provide counseling or intervention for those who are troubled. If the youth does not get these changes, then the youth crime rate will continue to increase and worsen and kids will even start being into violence at even younger ages.
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