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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 32 - 3/12/2001
Why Are Kids Killing Kids?
And what can be done about it? Is violence so prevalent in societies today that it is inevitable that it will trickle down to our kids? What do you think are the causes of violence, uncivilly and alienation in today's world? What roles-if any-do you think the availability of guns, the 'cult of individuality,' the changing family structure or the fast pace of life play in these situations? Should schools keep the same hours as the workplace so those children are not alone for hours until the parents return from work? Are parents responsible? Should the right of all children to personal privacy be breached in order to curb the violence of some? Do Pagan philosophies offer any suggestions on how to help mitigate the problems facing a society in which violence is an almost daily occurrence?
| Reponses: There are 60 responses posted to this question.
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| My Message May Be A Short One But I Feel It To... ||Mar 20th. at 1:30:24 pm EST|
|Judy V (Alpharetta, Georgia US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
My message may be a short one but I feel it to be just as important as any other. I was, and still am, a victim of peer pressure.
Every year I have moved to a different school, and, ever since I was in the 1st grade I have been harassed, bullied, and many other things.
Frankly, it doesn't matter what religion you are these days, just your look or the people you hang out with makes you a target.
I learned about Wicca in the 6th grade but kept my beliefs to myself. I still had a lot of bullying and such because I always wore dark colors, I barely talked to anyone, and because of my race.
Yes, because I am half Chinese I have always had problems, my classmates, my teachers and even my principle have said cruel things _to_my_face_. The fact that I became Wiccan only increased the problem.
Others said I was casting spells on them, that I had a Hit List, etc...I have been given out of school suspension a few times because of this...
So, my life has been a hard one, I have thought of comitting suicide a few times but I know that it would never solve anything. I dare not try to kill any living person on this earth, it doesn't solve anything but, let's face it, people kill each other because the person firing the gun has had a rough life. The thing is, no one is doing anything about it! Yeah, you can put you kid on some drug to keep them from getting depressed but, it just doesn't work. People have to wake up and understand that kids aren't going on shooting sprees because of what's on tv or in videogames but what they have been taught growing up. If nothing is done to stop this then there will be even more deaths. Who will they blame in the future? Everyone but themselves.
| Somber Sigh> I Don't Know How Many Times I Have Been Asked... ||Mar 21st. at 12:19:41 pm EST|
|Rain Water (Seattle, Washington US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I don't know how many times I have been asked this question. I see all of the typical (though still thoughtful) answers represented here.
I personally think (in the case of the random school shootings) it's what many have already stated: hopelessness and delusion.
Hopelessness is the easy one. Most all of us have experienced it in some form. Delusion, in my humble opinion, arrives on the scene directly after the hopelessness has.
There is no reality when you're in a deep pit of despair. There is no compassion, no love, no consequences...one's thoughts are limited and march in single file through one's mind. Get the gun...quiet the noise...die.
In the case of gang violence and such, I believe it's hopelessness, directly followed by rage.
That rage comes (again, in my humble opinion) from a vague sense of something missing...something out of order...something lost. These children grow up without fathers, without mothers (though one or both may be present *physically*) and without guidance and love. They don't care about the person that they have just shanked in the back. The compassion has been eliminated from their beings (or very, very deeply buried) by the constant pressure of trying to live in a straight-walking world when you were raised by crooked-walkers.
I was bullied too -- and luckily my mother had taken the time to explain what could happen to me in school when I was very young, and that it wasn't about me -- it was about their own bitternesses and jealousies. It still hurt.
There was a girl, Erin, who hated me. Yes - hated. She was a white supremacist, and my being of mixed heritage (African-American and Caucasian) really upset her. She called me all sorts of nasty, angry, hateful names...and threw in "witch" for good measure. Pretty soon, the entire school was bubbling with rumors about me having a "death list" and casting spells on students I didn't like.
I was pretty miserable. Fortunately, we moved and I started attending another, more diverse and tolerant high school - although the memories of Erin (and her side-kick Macy) still haunted me.
Last year, I was flipping through some television channels late at night, and I saw her face. She was a guest on some talk show about addicts. She said that she needed help, because she had been addicted to heroin for years and had started selling herself for fixes.
The bullies and the bullied are all in the same boat...we all feel hopeless.
| And Another Child Is Sacrificed To Intolerance. I Think Children See Things... ||Mar 22nd. at 12:56:46 am EST|
|Autumn Rain (Austin, Texas US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
And another child is sacrificed to intolerance. I think children see things that we as adults either don't want to admit or don't want to accept. The children that have taken their own lives or the lives of their peers have all been the victims of having ideas or personalities that are not mainstream. They have come from all kinds of backgrounds, but they share a common thread. They were all unable to cope with intolerance, and it made them easy targets to her greed. And truly this shouldn't be too suprising to anyone. We promote compitition and assimilation to the point of violence in this society. If you don't fit the mold, you should change or go away. Why are we suprised when our children do exactly what we, as a society, tell them to do?
I remember all to well checking out a book about Wicca from the local library in the 6th grade. My mother had to sign a release saying she knew what I was reading. A "friend" caught wind of my interest in wicca and cornered me in a bathroom with some friends of hers, and proceeded to "pray over" me for me to see the errors of my ways. I asked her repeatedly to let me go. She said I was speaking with the tongue of Satan. I eventually freaked out and hit her to get her to let me go. I was sent to counciling for 6 wks to curb my anger, and nothing was done to the children that held me down in the bathroom.
I know that, for me anyway, the only reason I didn't go balistic was that my parents and family were understanding and compassionate. They gave me a since of worth and encouraged my intellectual interests, no matter how odd it seemed to them. I'm sure that some of the children that have taken lives had a similar support system to mine, but sometimes the pressure is just too much to bear.
| Kids Are Killing Kids Because Of Intolerance And A Lack Of Places... ||Mar 22nd. at 3:57:45 pm EST|
|Marcie Zylla (Placerville, California US) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Kids are killing kids because of intolerance and a lack of places to turn for help from the torments of other students and the stereotyping and prejudice of adults. Kids need someone to turn to to help them, and they need something or someone to show them that killing the people who torment them is not the way to stop these people from tormenting others in the future. There will always be people who refuse to try to understand those that are different, strange, not in the "in" crowd. Guns are not to blame for kids killing other kids. I, for one, have owned and known how to use a gun since I was about four. My father taught me that guns don't solve problems, they are something to be used to defend yourself or to go hunting with. I think that these kids who are killing other kids just need their parents in their lives more. They need someone to talk to, someone to stand up for them, someone to show them that these people know not what they say, and if they do know what they say, they know not how much it hurts. Parents are partially to blame for what their kids do, but they shouldn't be held resposible for their own shortsightedness. If they can't see how troubled their child is enough to stop them from killing other kids, then they aren't very good parents. Money and status don't have anything to do with this. Many poor/underprivelaged kids are richer than kids who have money because they are loved. They aren't just paid. Kids just need to be talked to. They need to be told that they are free to be who they want to be, and they need to have this proved to them. They need someone to talk to, to share their problems with without the fear of being rejected or tormented even more. My father taught me to always accept others, no matter how different they are or how weird they look. I think the kids of America just need to learn and accept this philosophy. Its not a hard one to understand, and its not hard to accept. Kids, actually everyone, just need someone to understand them and to keep them from going insane on other kids or other people in general.
| I Didn't Realize There Was More Than One Question This Week, Until... ||Mar 25th. at 9:02:17 pm EST|
|Lucinda-June (Elmira, New York US) ||Age: 48 - Email |
I didn't realize there was more than one question this week, until I started reading the "old" answers.
My daughter was eight years old when they were teasing her because we are Witches. Her teacher told me she couldn't be everywhere. I said, "I can" and I began homeschooling her. She is eleven and just finishe reading the Harry Potter series for the second time. She has decided to read "The Secret Garden"
To kids that think they are at the breaking point and think of shooting up the school or commiting suicide I say, "Homeschooling is legal every state."
If you are over 13 and can read well, read, "Teenage Liberation Handbook" by Grace Llewellyn ISBN 0-9629591-7-0. You can do it all yourself, except fill in the paperwork. Tell your parents, "you have three choices. I can commit suicide. I can shoot up the school. Or I can homeschool. If you love me I know what you will choose."
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