Stopping Youth Violence Essay

Youth Violence Essay

Violence in youth has increased drastically in children Canada since the 1980's; this is due to expectations, their status in society, and the media. Aggressive behavior and violent acts in youth has always existed. Over time acts of violence has not only increased but also the age of which violent behavior is beginning at a younger age. According to Peter J. Carrington crime is increasing and the offenders that are committing these crimes are beginning at the age sometimes as young as seven "in 1991, police- reported that youth crime in Canada has reached its highest level ever." (2001: 38) There are many answers as to why this is, however one of the main answers is the inequality of youth and the more they strive to be heard as years progress.

From when a child is born they are taught to listen to their parents until they are capable of being independent and supporting themselves. This places children beneath adults. Often this leads to children wanting to grow up, become independent and strive to be who their parents are. However, this is not possible because children are not equal to adults. Children are expected to obey parents and have a sense of independence. Society expects children to grow up faster and act like adults. However, not only do children adapt principles such as independence they as adapt behavior such as violence. They are expected to follow the principles of adult hood and parents only exact them to do the things that are good but when they act from the principles of adult hood and do the things that are bad it is not acceptable which causes conflict within the child. They are expected to behave like adults as long as they assume the responsibilities that will please their parents. When a child is unable to deal with the emotional conflict and not being able to deal with the every day stresses and expectations they may react in a violent way. The pressure of what is expected of them is too much. The expectations society has is that children will behave like adults but not the bad behavior this could become frustrating violence then becomes the answer to realize this anger and frustration. In the past children were expected to go to school and come home there were no demands for them to find jobs, and miss out on a huge part of their childhood. Acts of violence is a result of youth's lack of voice in today's society. The only way to be heard is to turn to drastic extremes. (add quotes)

The journal Children, Childhoods, and violence suggest that "Children absorb whichever culture they are born into by the simple experience of living it. Children in aggressive cultures become aggressive." (Korbin, Jill E; 2003: 437) Today youth are very much stereotyped by their culture, the...

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Surviving name-calling for being autistic, molestation, depression, death threats and even attempted suicide is just a glimpse of what students who are objects of bullying have to endure on a daily basis.

As part of a national campaign to stem bullying, Palm Beach County participated in the 2015 Do The Write Thing Challenge, which is part of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, and students wrote more than 27,000 essays and poems on the subject.

The challenge gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives through classroom discussions and writing.

Students communicate what they think should be done to reduce youth violence and make personal commitments to do something about the problem.

"The essays and poems written by the students were both heartbreaking regarding the physical abuse and mental anguish they experienced due to domestic violence and bullying, while at the same time inspiring to see how the students have positively addressed these challenges in their young lives and have committed themselves to helping others affected by violence and helping to prevent violence," said DTWT campaign chairman Bill Bone.

Two local students, Colby Guy, an eighth-grade student at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, and Maya Monson, an eighth-grade student at Independence Middle School in Jupiter, will represent Palm Beach County in Washington, D.C. during National DTWT Recognition Week July 11 to 15.

"Being an autistic boy growing up in the suburbs of Long Island, N.Y. and then later in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, violence has affected my life in many ways," Colby wrote in his essay.

"Ever since I was a 7-year-old second grader, I have been called names like gay, retarded and worthless just because I am different from everyone else, but December of last year, somebody took it way too far."

Colby received threatening anonymous messages on an online website, stating that if he did not commit suicide by Christmas, the person making the threats would come to his home and murder him.

They will present their views on youth violence to Congresswoman Lois Frankel and other members of Congress, the U.S. Secretary of Education, the Attorney General of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

On May 5, Colby and Maya, along with 10 finalists were honored at an awards ceremony at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

Annie Wu, an eighth-grade student at Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach, was fourth runner up in the girls category.

A first-generation Chinese American, Annie writes how she was bullied because of her ethnicity and as a result, ended up bullying two younger children in her family.

"I was in first grade when I was first called ugly," she wrote in her essay. "I never told my parents about it. Yet, from that point on, I felt myself becoming more and more self-conscious of myself."

"Slowly I felt myself become someone I was not," she wrote.

Annie loves science and one day hopes to work in the mental health field as a psychiatrist or psychologist.

She spends her free time reading, playing video games, practicing the trombone and creating origami.

After her own experience being bullied, Annie makes an effort to befriend what she terms the class "outlier."

"Sometimes their supposed reputation is nothing but a lie, and judging a book from its cover could possibly be preventing you from getting to know its content and character," she said in an email.

What advice does Annie have for other students in a similar situation?

"To find and achieve peace you must use peace itself," she said. "Most times bad outcomes come from bad actions. Also, no matter what others say, you are worth something."

"Don't tell yourself otherwise because the moment you do is the moment you are letting their negative thoughts tarnish that worth," Annie said. "I want people to understand that peace cannot be awarded from violence."


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