Amid the rise in teen violence, one must agree that our society’s most precious resource is endangered. Violence among teens seems to be a common theme in headline news. On June 11, 2014, a news report on the Today Show indicated that there were 74 school killings since the Sandy Hook Shootings. Enough is enough! I’m frustrated, angered, and enraged. What has occurred in our society that has led our teens astray and caused them to become violent individuals?
As future professional psychologists, how are we addressing this problem? I encourage your feedback, thoughts, and answers. Below are just a few news captions that are disturbing and should be a wakeup call for change to take place in our current system: “Brutal killing of teenage girl tied to suspects’ satanic ritual” (Rogers, 2014); “Colorado teen says he and his girlfriend killed grandparents for inheritance” (Associated Press, June, 2014); “Teen admits killing parents because they confiscated his iPod” (Best, 2014); “Twisted Twins: Teens confess to brutal murder of mother” (Beck, 2014); “Ottawa teen killed at prom after-party in alcohol-fueled brawl” (Hensley, 2014).
These headlines of killings were brutal and senseless. Who is at fault? Nowadays, the media seems to fault parents. But, is this a fair statement? Have parents given up on their children? Are parents afraid to chastise their kids in this day and age due to fear of imprisonment? Does government dictate how parents are to raise the kids of today? Our most precious resource is hurting and need a voice. Are we to take the attitude of “the new normal”–or will we rise to this challenge and find new and different ways to combat this problem?
Associated Press (June, 2014). Colorado teen says he and his girlfriend killed grandparents for inheritance. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/06/05/colorado-teen-says-and-his-girlfriend-killed-grandparents-for-inheritance.
Beck, C. (2014). Twisted twins: Teens confess to brutal murder of mother. Retrieved from http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/conyers/2014/05/14/jasmiyah-tasmiyah-whitehead-murder-case-part-3/9107451.
Best, J. (2014). Teen admits killing parents because they confiscated his iPod. Retrieved from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/teen-admits-killing-parents-because-3624833.
Hensley, N. (2014). Ottawa teen killed at prom after-party in alcohol-fueled brawl. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ottawa-teen-killed-prom-after-party-brawl-article-1.1821881.
Rogers, B. (2014). Brutal killing of teenage girl tied to suspects’ satanic ritual. Retrieved from http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/crime-courts/article/Brutal-killing-of-teenage-girl-tied-to-suspects-5226366.php.
David J. Wright, MA., MSW
WKPIC Doctoral Intern