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Teen Violence Essay, Research Paper
Teen Violence has become an appalling problem in the US today. Statistics show that teen homicides have gone up 300% in the last 30 years. Suicide rate for 15 to 19 year olds has tripled to 10 per 100,000 in the past 30 years. Firearm death rate for 15 to 19 year olds has gone up 43% between 1984 to 1988. What seems to be our problem? Volcanic anger due to kids constantly picking on each other. Maybe teens just don?t have any skills to vent the anger. Could it be that there are no trusted adults to turn to? Possibly, the easy access to firearms. The results of these issues are dead and wounded students, faculty, and staff at schools in all parts of our nation.
In school violence is just one of the many branches of teen violence, but it is one of the most important and most prevalent at this time. At any rate, it is unwarranted, intolerable, and needs to be stopped. ?If present trends continue, American schools, colleges, and universities will be increasingly unsafe. More resources will have to be allocated to campus security and crime prevention.? (The editors 6) Contrary to what many people may think the most extreme forms of violence are rare. The most important issue here is that students need a safe place to learn, and teachers and staff need a safe working environment. Personal security may become a major factor when students, especially women students, select their college. Minor issues or daily pressures are what causes kids to snap. This violence may eventually cause kids to be scared away from school programs like after school activities, and may also cause students to leave in fear every day.
Who exactly is to blame for this out-lashing? Some say teachers are the problem. They say that teachers put to much pressure on students, and some times even pick on students. Could this be? Are teachers too hard on kids? Do they single certain students out and pick on them? Others will say that all of the blame should be put on parents. ?It?s the parents fault, they don?t know how to raise their kids.? That statement has been said many times when discussing the issue of teen violence. If it is the parents fault then what can we do to fix that? Take their kids away from them? Many say that it?s constant pressure and teasing from peers. Kids are teased in school. That is a fact and it has always been a fact. Kids have teased each other since the beginning of time, so why is this all of a sudden a major issue today? Kids didn?t shoot each other in the 1920s. So why blame it on teasing? While I disagree with teasing, it just does not seem to be a great reason to shoot someone. Could it just be the communities kids are being raised in now? Do we expose our teens to too much violence and street life? Maybe we should look to the communities and how they are trying to solve the violence issues. Our kids don?t play stickball in the street anymore, or go down to the local baseball diamond to hit some balls or play a game of baseball. Instead they go to clubs and do drugs, or hang out on the streets with friends doing nothing constructive, or they just sit in the house all day doing nothing but playing on the computer because they don?t have friends or choose to not socialize. What are we so afraid of? Being a normal civilized person and talking out our problems? Meeting new people and doing something to further our well being? Who knows? All we know is that something needs to change.
How can our issue of teen violence be prevented, one way is programs. Programs that teach teens how to cope with problems in a non-violent way. Programs that allow kids to have a mentor or a mediator. Another solution would be to keep guns out of kids hands. Lock them up in cabinets, and use child safety locks. There is no need to ban guns completely. We have had guns since our country started and we never had a problem with shootings until now, so there is no reason to jump to the extreme and completely take away the right to bear firearms given to us by our fore fathers. Everyone must pitch in. This isn?t a problem settled by just one person. Everyone must know the signs, we have to put on more positive TV shows, and provide healthy environments for our teens.
How can you help? Parents can help by following these few steps: Do some research, lock up your guns, and use child safety locks. Get others to discuss the signs with your children, they will not want to discuss the signs with you. If you notice a problem get help as soon as possible. Teach that guns and other weapons kill and hurt. Show children how to settle an argument with out resorting to violence. Everyone that interacts with your child including relatives, siblings, teachers, and baby-sitters need to set a positive example. You can also look for other ways other than guns to protect yourself for instance: locks, jamming devices, a dog, security systems, or self-defense classes. Get the community to help by asking them to follow some simple steps also. Ask them to provide safe places for children. An active mentor program could provide a lost child with a role model. Have them provide positive events like carnivals, or circuses. A paid public class could help with coping. If you recognize the signs in
someone else?s child try to help. The neighborhood could launch public education programs to raise awareness. Allowing a place for someone to report a stolen weapon anonymously would help. Everyone needs to participate in the neighborhood watch. Everyone must know the facts! In a school situation, a positive environment is imperative. A peer mediation program must be offered along with support during major problems. Schools need to encourage students to report any citing that could lead to violent situations. Show students how to deal with problems with out violence. Start groups against the issue that include student participation. All of these things will not work with out youth empowerment. Kids need to want to help themselves, you can?t just tell a teen what he or she wants or feels. Positive actions, feelings, etc. are needed. We need to limit the amount of violence on TV along with limiting negative actions towards teens. Without knowledge nothing will persevere. If you don?t know what your trying to fix then you won?t be able to fix it.
In conclusion, teen violence has become and appalling problem in our society today. The blame shouldn?t be put on one group or one person. This problem is a joint effect of American culture and society today. Contrary to what people think the issue hasn?t become to extreme yet, but it will if we don?t do something about it. Everyone must help to stop this problem, because not just one person can fix it. Know the facts and try to help. A chain is only as strong as its links, and without knowledge and self motivations we have a very weak chain and our problem will never be fixed.
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