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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| In The Movie Romeo Must Die, I Remember One Of The Characters... ||Mar 18th. at 8:48:45 am UTC|
|Quest Wolfsong (Toronto Area, Ontario CA) ||Age: 13 - Email |
In the movie Romeo Must Die, I remember one of the characters saying "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." And it's true. Guns usually won't fire unless someone pulls the trigger. They don't know or care whether the person holding it is 4 or 40. They don't know whether the bullet will be shot at a wall or a human being.
And it's not just teenage boys anymore. Just a couple weeks ago, a girl who went to a Catholic school brought in a gun and tried to shoot people.
I hate hearing about school shootings. They're not as simple as people like to think. There are no simple causes and no simple solutions. There comes a point when you've been bullied and harassed so much, you just want to get back at the people who hurt you, who've been treating you like crap for years. You think they deserve some kind of payback for all those times you've gone home crying, for everytime they've talked about you right in front of your face, called you names, hurt your feelings. There's nothing left when you feel so miserable, and there's no one to talk to.
I'm not saying it's justified, or appropriate, or that students shouldn't get the full penalty of the law. We need to look at the real causes of these shootings. It's not the TV, board games, video games, movies, magazines, and media. It's not wanting to be famous. It's getting revenge and attention. No one takes a second look at you because you have glasses, braces, bushy hair, you speak differently, you're too rich, you're too poor, you don't wear fashionable clothes. It's that desperation, thinking that no one cares, and that you're all alone in the world. You're going to kill yourself anyways, why not bring down your tormentors with you?
It's not just the fault of the NRA, parents, and teachers. It's all of society's problem. And we need to learn how to solve it.
| Why Are Kids Killing Kids? Its A Hard Question To Answer. I... ||Mar 17th. at 8:08:55 pm UTC|
|Aradia (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
Why are kids killing kids? Its a hard question to answer. I think many adults want to blame someone or something like media violence, and then censor it. But what they don't realize is, what actually goes on in our lives is much worse than what is seen on TV. In our day and age, its bad for boys to show emotions. You notice, many boys and girls go through the same things but it is the boys who strike out. Girls are encouraged to cry and be emotional. Boys must be strong men. In the past, at least, men had more of an outlet in their violence. But now they can't do that either. They are teased and hurt very badly, but they can't shoe it or they get teased and hurt even more, but the cycle never stops. Finally, they lash out. I think its inevitable. Depending on the person their anger comes out in diffrent ways. I think we need to encourage openness and empathy. There will always be people who are just violent and sick, but if we care we can stop this disease from infecting innocent children.
| You Know What. I'm In Quite A Bad Mood Now. I Just... ||Mar 17th. at 4:33:36 pm UTC|
|Shadow (miami, Florida US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
You know what. I'm in quite a bad mood now. I just hear about poor Tempest, and I just finished reading 52 opinions, half of which I had to re-check the web-address to make sure I wasn't on a Christian hate site. Has it ocurred to anyone that all these "children" that take such drastic measures happen to be the thinkers and phylosophers of their generation? A wise woman once told me to listen to little children whenever possible. They expect nothing and therefor see everything and usualy understand it. So the potentially great phylosophers of our younger generations end up killing themselves or a few hundred other children with the mentality of the common dairy cow. You ask what is wrong with those Kids. I ask you, what else did you expect to come from a society who hates and fears those who explore and learn more than what is already known? from a society that attempts to break the spirit of individuals and force them to fall in line with all the other cows? Shall we place the children at fault who are intelligent enough to see the mundane world for what it is? Shall we pollute and prostitute the memory of children who had the forsite to know that action must be taken? I expected as much from the leaders of the cows, but not from my kindred.
| Well, Personally, I Tire Of Blame Lying. Do I Think It Is... ||Mar 17th. at 2:36:16 am UTC|
|Fey (Hubbard, Ohio US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
Well, personally, I tire of blame lying. Do I think it is one set thing that has set this off? No. I think it is at its heart a communication proble, as well as a general desensitization of children. But I cannot blame tv or games...although soem of them are violent...if they are the total blame why do not mre children kill? And parents....well we are all working more but both me and my mate work and our kids do not lift gun or knife. So it is deeper than the things blamed in media. It is a total communication breakdown and desensitization that comes from society as a whole not just one singular thing.
For every statistic that is, ie broken homes bad kids...there are exceptions...I came from a broken home..i think so far I am fairly normal. So the statistics are no help...and I hear lots of discussion after the fact what they ( ppl or parents or friends) knew was wrong with the kid...where were they before it occured.
So to me whatever the reason I want to see intervention....I want to see prevention. Do not tell me this kid that shot his school used to build bombs and post death on the internet start screaming about it before he does it...even if he never did it prevention and caution never a bad thing. The price of lessons learned is becoming to damned high.
And the only clear truth I see is there is another dead child......again.
| Why Are Kids Killing Kids? The Media Which Has More Eyes And... ||Mar 17th. at 1:36:14 am UTC|
|Perrin (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 24 |
Why Are Kids Killing Kids? The MEDIA which has more eyes and mouths than any mythological creature ever thought of having, & is in nearly every home in the world. What the Media says goes all around the world, & if a child killer gets in the paper, guess what he/she is an overnight celebrity. I saw the Columbine tragedy as it was happening, & have no doubt that if the media had not filmed earlier sceens, that this might have been avoided.
I did read the other article related to this, and can only state that I'm sorry for what happened, but as long as "Christian" rights are driven into our children & schools, things like this will keep happening.
| I Am Posting This Before Reading Any Of The Other Responses So... ||Mar 15th. at 10:20:33 pm UTC|
|Loyalty LionRose (Shreveport, Louisiana US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I am posting this before reading any of the other responses so that my opinion wont be affected by the comments of others. So why DO kids kill kids? Is it a result of teasing? Music? Movies? I dont think that we can choose any one thing and say "Yes, thats it! Its ALL ____'s fault and we must be rid of that to save our children!" I do think that the taunting from peers is a major part of it. I dont personally put much stock in the movies, music, media theory. In my opinion, ANY of these things, even the teasing, will not have such an adverse affect on anyone who is not already mentally or emotionally unstable. I was teased myself all through school, and I have yet to kill anyone else or myself. But this does leave me with a bitter after-taste of sorts... I still dont trust a lot of my peers, especially those I knew in high school. And it leaves me wanting to believe that all it would take is special attention in our schools by teachers and faculty to avert future disasters. I want to say that all we need is to teach our children tolerance from an early age. I like to think of myself as an idealist. But truthfully, my friends, this situation seems to be getting nothing but worse, despite the attention weve been giving it. Or perhaps because of it... some kids may only be in it for the fame, who knows? I suppose the point of this rambling is this: I dont know what to do. I feel helpless, and Im sure Im not the only one.
| Because Their Amount Of Copeing Resources Isn't Equal To The Amount Of... ||Mar 15th. at 4:07:42 pm UTC|
|angel (Madison, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
because their amount of copeing resources isn't equal to the amount of pain. they are kids, and although society is continually telling them they have to reason, think and behave like adults, they minds have not had enough experiences to grow into an adult mind. for everyone of the kids who breaksdown and either kills others or kills themselves, their are plenty of other students teased, harrassed, abused, be-littled and degraded just as much. killing is not the only option, but many, thinking as children besieged with only partial ideas of adult scenarios think it is.
we need to teach children that while yes they are children, and are allowed to have those experiences (8 year old should not be worrying about how to keep the family together, for example), that they are humans, and need to both treat others with tolerance and respect, and that if they are not recieveing this treatment, they need to speak up until someone listens. too many times when the adult they choose to tell doesn't "get it", they assume that no adult will help, and they have to figure out how to cope on their own. trying to actualize that copeing robs them of their childhood, and sometimes pushes them too far.
the behavior needs to change, in how we all treat each other, but exspecially how children are treated since they can't cope and deal as well. and the thinking needs to change- instead of 'oh, its no big deal, i got picked on/beaten up/abused/tortured too when i was a kid' we need to think along lines of tolerance and understanding and respect...basic human rights.
| Because No One Says Anymore: Don't Do That. It Is Wrong. People... ||Mar 15th. at 3:14:41 pm UTC|
|Scott Peterson (Columbus, Indiana US) ||Age: 39 |
Because no one says anymore: Don't do that. It is WRONG. People are so paralyzed by trying not to be "controlling" or "judgemental" that kids, when (Note I do not say "if") they push the limits, find no boundaries. And pagans have to stop seeing "wrong" as being a four-letter word.
| Parents Are Responsible Only As Far As How They Relate Or Fail... ||Mar 15th. at 10:00:57 am UTC|
|Stephanie Long (Terre Haute, Indiana US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
Parents are responsible only as far as how they relate or fail to relate to their own children. Acceptance is key. Of others and of ones own self. We have lived in shadow for too long and those of us who are pagan need to become ivolved in our local communities to educate and support otheres so that the children do not feel so alone. Not all are comfortable with the idea but we have to stand in the light. Too many myths surround and abound. Darkness has no place in the life of pagans and shall find no succor. Frear is a powerful thing and knowledege is power. Not all can start a support group that is visible for whatever reson although i belive it is key to help not just the children but those older ones just finding the path to the Goddess. If we do not stand we will surely fall. Goddess blessing to all. Light and Love.
| I Believe That Kids Are Killing Other Kids Because Thay Have Not... ||Mar 14th. at 8:59:31 pm UTC|
|WillowDragon (Weatherford, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 23 |
I believe that kids are killing other kids because thay have not been taught how to rid themselves of aggression and frustration. They have not been loved, disciplined, or paid attention to by adults. When some parents or guardians are on the ball about these things, others do not teach common decency and respect for fellow man. The kids doing these things are often taunted by the other kids to the point where they feel this is the only way to stop it. If not these reasons, then perhaps because of the attention given to those before them who have done the same. Perhaps, for whatever reason, they feel it is the only way to be heard.
| Youthful Imaginations Are Wonderful Things, Often Fruitful And Bearing Fantastic Ideas. Children... ||Mar 14th. at 12:57:31 pm UTC|
|Meara Skye (Worcester, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Youthful imaginations are wonderful things, often fruitful and bearing fantastic ideas. Children imagine all sorts of scenarios; those of happiness, of fun, and of joy. I do not remember in my childhood having violent fantasies of watching my peers writhing around in exruciating pain. I do not remember feeling the need to extract revenge on those who hated me.
I was always the oddball. People feared me because I was very mature and reasonably intelligent from day one. I refused to be like my peers, so caught up in their own superficial and insignificant lives that the world began to revolve around their circle of friends. I was therefore shut out, cut off, ostracized, harrassed, teased, and dare I say it - hated.
Indeed, I dreamt of revenge. I dreamt of writing novels with my persecutors as the villains, receiving their due reward - but by being exposed as the self-centered frauds that they are. I dreamt of my own successes which I could throw in their faces and say, "Look at where I am now." Never once did I wish death upon any of them, nor did I ever wish to inflict bodily harm on them personally. (I admit, I may have requested acts of the divine periodically to sew their mouths shut, but nothing worse than that.)
Now we read statistics that the average eight year old has seen several hundred deaths in their short lifetime. Children's games have moved beyond the old standard "Cops and Robbers" or "Cowboys and Indians." Now children construct complicated scenarios involving machine guns and Matrix-esque martial arts. Children are robbed of their innocence at a terribly young age by the single largest malignment-factory in the world: the mass media.
I cannot blame the media for pushing what sells. Unfortunately, the things we as a society buy now are sex, violence, and gore. The media knows how to make anything sell, and when the adult themes in adult movies, shows, and songs are often embodied by young adults, children see them as accessible. Children want to be adults. They look up to adults. And it is adults who are pushing terrible things upon them - things that are far beyond the average child's ability to grasp.
Violence in the schools is primarily caused by the insensitivity of children. Insensitivity is another thing taught by the media. Collapsing family lives do not combat it; they intensify it. When compounded with the ideas of violent, gory revenge suggested by any R-rated movie or "TV-MA" television program, the young, immature mind reacts explosively. Children lash out, not realizing the dire consequences of their actions. And worse, they often believe that those wounded or dead "deserved it, " for their actions toward the perpetrator were somehow worse or more devastating than their payment.
The adults of this country need a good swift kick in the ass. Children need examples of how to live as human beings, not human animals. Perhaps they are a viable market, but at what cost? How many more children need to die before somebody realizes that we, as a society, need to move away from this obsession with destruction and violence?
| I Think That A Serious Look Needs To Be Taken At How... ||Mar 14th. at 10:25:50 am UTC|
|Silver (Calgary, Alberta CA) ||Age: 20 |
I think that a serious look needs to be taken at how kids are treating other kids. Also, how are the parents of those kids who are bullies treating their children? What are they teaching them? I was a victim of bullies all through school, and I did not often get much reprieve. I was very different from others, and I didn't often like to participate in games with the other children because I was quite shy. But, I only remember one or two instances where a teacher stepped in and stopped the bullying from happening. Those teachers will forever stick out in my mind as ones who cared. I have read that teachers often do not know what is happening, and that they cannot do anything about bullying unless it happens right in front of them (from articles in the Calgary Herald about the shooting in San Diego). Though I realize that teachers can't be everywhere, it isn't hard to notice a child who is being bullied. They are often quieter, hang around by themselves, and just generally skittish.
I don't think that workplaces should have the same hours as school (or vice versa), but I do think that corporations need to have more flexible hours so that parents can be home with their children more often.
I think that all children have a right to personal privacy, and I don't think that privacy should be violated. In the case of Brandi Blackbear, the school administration took her writing notebooks and she got in trouble because of a story that had a boy with a gun on a schoolbus in it, which she was trying to write like Stephen King. I think that administrators often overreact to things, and read threats where there are none, where there is just imagination.
I think that Pagan philosophies offer a great number of suggestions for violence. They promote respect for all, and responsibility for one's actions. They do not support any kind of bullying, or one-up-manship that seems to be so prevalent. They show that every person is valuable, and none more valuable than others.
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