Posted Monday, May 10, 2010
Fatal violence doesn't limit itself to the inner city. A recent high profile trial involved college students from the suburbs, a small town campus and a deadly brawl. Ending violence--or at least altering the cycle of violence that many victims fall into--involves more than just an anti-gang task force or tougher sentencing guidelines. Monday morning at 9 we talk with victims of violence from Northeast Ohio and others about importance of individual action and why listening can be as important as the law.
Health, Children's Health, Other, Community/Human Interest, Courts/Crime - Fire/Law Enforcement, Parenting/Child Care
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I think a large part of the problem is that the kids don’t have anything else to do. Sporting events are so overpriced, amusement parks, science center even the zoo is too expensive. It seems if they could participate in the community more, then they would feel they have a purpose. Why can’t the Cavs or the Indians open their venues to have practice sessions be free and the kids can earn community points for doing good things and cash those points in for an actual game. Give them a goal and a purpose.
What efforts are being made to inform youth, through schools or media to educate young people on how to be safe this summer? Know the first and last names of your friends and associates. Know where they live. Don’t go to loud parties or distubances. If you are there, then leave. Don’t ride in cars with punched out ignitions dashboards. If someone around you is carrying a gun, leave. Make up an excuse, but leave. To often we adults talk about these problems, but if parents are not having these talks...or are enabling the problems, then society must.
I remember hearing about an urban parent training program in Chicago that promoted something along the following lines: 1) Never ever hit your kids, ever. 2) Read them a book every night. They gave parents extensive support - a hotline they could call if they ever had the instinct to hit their kid; accepting, non-judgmental counseling. Just those aims: never hit your kid, read one book every night.
The end result was that years later, those kids had, for their neighborhood, statistically abnormal success rates in schools and lower rates of violence.
So… is that an answer? A step in the right direction? What was that program called anyhow?
From my (a male’s) point of view, a lot of these issues have to do with pride. I think that people need the opportunity to prove themselves to themselves and other people. As an unorthodox suggestion, what if high schools made, say, boxing or kick boxing clubs available? I’m talking about adult supervised, high-contact physical activities with helmets and pads and all of that. I don’t think that it’s realistic to think we can abolish violence altogether but perhaps we can find a more productive or safe channel for all of it go.
We can’t expect our young people to not be violent when they are fed a constant diet of sex and violence through the media. Add to that the lack of parenting (and in many cases, parents who ENCOURAGE this behavior) and we as a society have lost. As a parent, I do NOT allow hip hop, pop and r&b;music in my home. The themes that are portrayed in that music are NOT what I want my four-year-old daughter to internalize. I agree with your guest Shantay Barnes, parenting classes in our schools would be a step in the right direction but I fear it’s too late. We’ve let pop culture descend into an abyss of utter amorality and have in turn allowed it to permeate our values as a society, now look around and see the destruction in it’s wake.
I think the lack of corporate citizens taking an active role also has to do with violence. I’m a small business owner and would love to take a small group of at-risk youth and teach them computer programming. Shouldn’t our corporate citizens help as well?
My Last Word to that wonderful program would be to mention the importance of creativity in a child’s sense of self-worth. Katherine Chilcote, for example, is an artist who teaches high schoolers to paint murals, at Cleveland Public Library we have had a summer program for building robots, anything we do to create prevents feelings of depression & inadequacy. Hopefully these programs, faith-based or otherwise, might succeed better if they provide opportunities and materials for arts or creative work.
Hello! Very interesting topic. As a mother of two young boys, it’s an issue I think about often. Our three-year-old is about to enter school and even at this age, I notice bullying from both boys and girls. I was somewhat bullied and have always wished my parents had taught me how to stickup for myself. How do I address this with my children without telling them to fight back, a.k.a. contributing to the violence? How do I encourage them to stand up for other kids? There has to be a way to address the positive behavior.
I feel that there also needs to be along with parenting classes in schools, is legistlation mandatory reporting of all violent acts in schools, and have the task force investigate to find out where the violence is coming from via, lack of parenting, promoting it in the homes, or where it is stemmed from and make the determination in the needed to steps to get this problem under control…