Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is Kyra . We are here tonight to discuss with you a problem that is plaguing our nations' youth. Violence among youth, especially in schools is one of American society's most pressing concerns. It has become a source of controversy also.
To begin our brief presentation I would like to present a scenario that will hopefully open your eyes and give you a sense of how extremely troublesome violence is among our children.
Please picture this: A 14 year old boy has moved to a new city in the middle of his school year. He is very upset because he has left all his friends behind and he disregards the fact that he could probably meet new friends if he would only try.
He is in the 8th grade and he feels afraid of the other boys at his new school. He acts tough and has been in two fights in the last week. Because he is getting a reputation for as a (quote) "tough kid" he thinks that carrying a knife will make him safer. You are a student in his class. You two sit next to each other and sometimes talk during break. The boy feels he can trust you to keep a secret. He tells you of how he intends to take care of some boys intimidating him. Also being a 14 year old, how do you handle this situation?
This is not an uncommon situation for children anymore. Crime frequents in and around schools and is threatening the well-being of the students, school staff and communities.
Parents send their children off to school everyday all over America and they worry everyday if their children will return. As a parent you worry about your children becoming victims of violence. Parents want their children to be safe from crime. Teenagers want the same for themselves. No one ever chooses to become a victim of violence. Did you know teenagers experience more than double the rates of violence compared to the total population?
Most teenagers do not want to fight. They are content with their non-aggressive lifestyles. They still believe that conflict can be handled in a decent, non violent manner. These children still search for the good side of each individual. Yet, there are still some teens who enjoy fighting and bullying.
Very violent teens seem to think that the world is this hostile and dangerous place filled with victims and bullies. They think violence is the only way to solve a conflict. This attitude becomes the human nature they understand. Violent teenagers do not ask questions or seek compromises. In their minds they have already prepared for the worst. They tend to hold all their emotions in until they explode and act impulsively when faced with a conflict. They see themselves as victims of conflict and do not really feel responsible for their actions.
Teenagers are neither purely violent or non violent. Any normal teen can lose his head in an argument. The most non violent child can be pushed to a level where they too can act irrational and even end up in a fight. The majority of very violent teenagers would want to solve conflict non violently if they only knew how. Teens need to realize that if they use conflict to solve problems more than half the time someone loses. If they could learn to use their frustrations in a more constructive way more than half the time both sides can win.
Here to tell you about some of the reasons teenagers resort to violence is Louise.
REASONS FOR TEENAGE VIOLENCE
Teenage violence is an increasing problem in today's society. I will try to show some of the reasons for this mutiny.
Things are different for today's teenagers compared to a generation ago. Teenagers are exposed to massive amounts of violence in the media. Violent acts are glorified in the media. Children are subjected to a relentless stream of violent acts on prime time television, news and movies. They begin to see violence as an acceptable solution to their complex problems. Exposure to violence in the media is increasing. Teenagers are watching more television instead of spending time with family and friends. For some teens television becomes their social life.
Even Saturday morning cartoons are impressing messages upon our children. They seem to illustrate that if you are a reasonable person, you must use violence if you are dealing with someone who is threatening to hurt you in anyway. Reason and compromise never work, you can only be safe and protect your friends if you are violent. After all, superheroes such as Batman, Superman, and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers handle a bad situation by terminating the threatening source.
What ever happened to turning the other cheek. "Who are the good guys really"? This are questions to ask yourself when you see a child admiring someone such as the so-called heroes mentioned above. Some would probably say that is taking things to seriously but something is provoking this violence and its time to look at every aspect.
Secondly teenagers are exposed to guns more easily without being taught to respect them and handle them properly and safely. Another thing to ask yourself is how can a teenager acquire a gun so easily despite our gun control laws? An angry fight that would be a fist fight for an earlier generation can become deadly if one of the participants has a gun. Teenagers will still get angry and may fight if they are harassed, bullied, feel disrespected, called names or feel they must defend their friends and family. The media's message that "fighting is the best way to solve conflict" is setting out youth up for disaster, especially when 14 years olds are carrying guns.
"It is the most horrible example yet of a nation that allows its children unimaginable access to guns." Sarah Brady, wife of former White House Press Secretary James Brady who was seriously wounded in the attempt on President Reagan's life, acknowledges that numerous social and psychological factors contribute to youth gun violence, but insists that America's obsession with firearms is just as much to blame. "A nation that glorifies guns should not be shocked when children act out their darkest fantasies with those very same weapons" Brady adds.
Life experiences shape a teenagers beliefs about the world and how they should act . If a teenager is physically, sexually or emotionally abused at home, or witness other family members being abused, they are being taught that violent behavior is acceptable and a way of survival.
Substance abuse is also a cause of teenage violence. Alcohol and drugs can easily be obtained by teenagers. Ask any teenagers where you can get drugs, even if they don't use them, they know where and how to obtain them. The substances alter the way they see themselves and the world. Even a non-violent teen can become violent if they abuse drugs and alcohol. A lot of teenagers are afraid to say no to their peers when offered drugs and alcohol.
There seems to be an increase in anger in teenagers, which causes more violence. Teenagers often feel threatened and feel they must use violence to protect themselves.
Mental illness can be another cause for teenage violence. They may have a chemical imbalance which causes them to act in a ...