17
Jan
08

How do you get teen gangs off the streets?

Hello. I was driving home from the shops yesterday when Helen Newlove began a press conference. When it finished the presenter read a number of text messages from people saying they were in tears and furious at the same time.

She and her family live in the north of England, and in August last year her husband Gary was kicked to death after remonstrating with some teenagers who were vandalising cars in their street. Yesterday three people were convicted of his murder.

Whether you agreed with the action she was calling for, it was impossible not to be moved by her situation and by the passion and eloquence with which she spoke.

Her comments have been reported worldwide and have prompted passionate discussions about how to stop teenage anti-social behaviour.

DO YOU FEEL INTIMIDATED BY TEENAGERS IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?

If it is a problem, is enough done about it? What else should be done?

Do you think this is a problem that is exaggerated and that perception of crime doesn’t match the crime statistics?

Is it the responsibility of the authorities or parents to keep these people on track?


119 Responses to “How do you get teen gangs off the streets?”


  1. January 17, 2008 at 14:07

    Ros and WHYS,

    To fix the problem in the immediate future we need improve the educational system and create and enforce tougher laws. The long term solution is that we need to improve the economy and education system. We also need to rid our system of policies that encourage growth of the poorer and uneducated sector of our economy. Namely we need to phase out welfare and clamp down on illegal immigration.

    This is one of those problems that have many inputs, many causes, and many faces. It is one that needs both an immediate and a long term solution. The key to answering “how to get teenage gangs off the streets” is to first ask what makes this their best option to begin with.

    Traveling around this country I have noted that there is not a “gang” problem in small affluent towns with decent educational, sports, and other recreational options. I have also noted that there is absolutely no problem with gangs in rural farming communities. With problem isolation a solution becomes easier to find. It also becomes evident as to why this question has been asked without resolution for more then 40 years?

    Children in poor communities with less then adequate educational systems get hopeless and bored. They group together for various social reasons including protection, interaction, and (very key to the gang problem) self worth. Many find importance and status with in a gang structure.

  2. 2 Brett
    January 17, 2008 at 14:19

    While my neighborhood is far from great, I don’t think I particularly feel intimidated by teenagers in my neighborhood. Although it is interesting that this topic has come up, as last night while I was walking one of my dogs in my area, a comment was barked by two teenagers who were passing me in the opposite direction. I did not catch all of it, but what I did hear did not seem amaible in the least. I’m not even sure it was directed towards me, I paid no attention to them. Although I have had a few instances similar to this with teenagers, throughout the city over the years I have lived here. No more though than run-ins with adults who are either drunk and leaving city bars or feel the need to comment on my mohawk, as that seems to be a popular thing to comment on.

    There are ALOT of teenagers in my neighborhood and also a high level of crime in areas surrounding mine. I would not want either of the girls I live with walking around at night, nor would I really want to do so without one of my dogs, who are both quite large, present. I would not attribute that caution though to only teenagers.

    Law enforcement seems to do quite a bit, they are constantly patroling my area and the surrounding neighborhoods, often times, unfortunately, rushing past my house with lights and sirens on though.

    In my opinion parents need to do much more in controling their children and facilitating healthy social behavior. This may be a bit easy for me to say though as I have no children.

    My neighborhood is certainly mixed though. I live right next to a wonderful family whom one of their sons is a teenager and has to be one of the nicest most respectful young men I have ever seen. Then there are delinquents who show themselves from time to time, doing stupid things and end up sitting in the back of squad cars. It all varies.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  3. 3 rosatkins
    January 17, 2008 at 14:28

    Hi Ros,

    As you know, we don’t have a “neighbourhood” where this could be a problem, but generally in Namibia there isn’t a problem, because for the most part people are taught from a very early age to RESPECT THEIR ELDERS.

    Where there are problems, I don’t know how you can ask if it’s the responsibility of the authorities or parents to keep these people on track. The problem begins when parents just don’t teach their children of three and four years old the difference between right and wrong. OF COURSE it’s the responsibility of parents. But if you create a “namby pamby” society like that in UK, what on earth do you expect? This is the result, and innocent people now have to live (or die!) with it. This kind of behaviour just gets worse when corporal punishment in schools is banned, when the victim is treated like the criminal, when the criminal is given everything and the victim nothing, and “do-gooders” reign OK.

    Chris in Namibia

  4. 4 steve
    January 17, 2008 at 14:33

    it all falls on parenting. You need better parenting. I don’t care how poor you are, how “discriminated” against you are, if you work hard in school, you can get a good education and improve your lot in life. My great grant parents came to the US from eastern europe in the 1890s, and my great grandfather would collect garbage on the streets. His son, my grandfather, was pushed to work and study hard and he became a successful lawyer rather than a steet thug spending time in jail. Sure, would i sometimes out being have fun rather than study? Sure, but instant gratification is a pretty serious problem then and now. You need to work hard in life, life isn’t easy.

  5. 5 rosatkins
    January 17, 2008 at 14:44

    Hi Ros,

    This topic has just come at the right when here in my county in Germany the court has just passed judgement on teenage who battered an elderly by sending to Siberia. It might sound hard but maybe it can help to reduce crime. Also that now its federal state elections many politicians have talked about the high of crime by teen gangsters. Two incidents have happened here in Germany one on the xmas eve and another one in the first week of January. On Xmas eve a pensioner was beaten up at a train station (Bahnhof) in Munich, later also at the Frankfurt main station. Luckily they were filmed and a number of arrests have been made. Unfortunately, however the problem of these crimes has been associated to youths with foreign backgrounds.

    Reading Mrs NewloveŽs press statement I ran tears down my face. Iam sorrowful and sad to hear this that the three daughters and their mother have to lose the breadwinner in such brutal manner which might have been prevented.

    I wished of the days when I was growing up, we used to do some sports activities to keep us busy once we were not in school. Keeping us busy made us to be responsible citizens. Society today lack such initiatives under a guardance of both parents and the whole community. We to redress our old guardian principles an effective instrument to fight crime. Presentative measures are better than passing sentences after crime has been committeed. Both parents, teachers and the society at large must monitor the activities of the modern youths i.e. to know where they are, what they are doing, with who they in contact? Youths need guidance especially during their teenage years.

    Preventative measures can strech from sport, social responsibilities, same education chances, giving back the parents their rights to parenting their children. Moreover there is need to more security wings involvement. Those who will committee still committee related crimes must be given hard punishments.

    Remember we were only born and live once

    Isaac Mulongo

  6. 6 safia
    January 17, 2008 at 14:55

    How do we get teen gangs off the streets?

    In the UK, a great place to begin, would be the re-introduction of discipline and the right of parents to actually apply it.

    Over 40+ years rights of parents to discipline their offspring has been eroded to the point where it is marginal at best and non existent at worst.

    While there are large numbers of the most amazing young people – in whom we must hope for a better future – there are those who live life on the very bottom rung of their particular ladder. They have no respect for others, property, each other and even themselves. They view ‘life’ from some hazy, blurred prism of drug and alcohol induced stupor – believing themselves to be all-important – each deciding that they will ‘rule’ their streets.

    For the adult population that delude themselves into thinking this is nor really a problem – or that the scale is not as portrayed by news of daily murders – then we are, as a nation, truly destined for disasters untold in this dis-United Kingdom.

    A part of good parenting skills is the ability to administer discipline [by which, no reference is intended to physical punishment or abuse]. Return parental rights to discipline – for it is their right and duty – not a school’s. In tandem with this, government MUST begin a new and healthy investment in quality leisure-time activities and services for children and youth – together with improved educational facilities, on a variety of levels, FOR ALL.

    If as much time, effort and finance was invested in humanity, as is squandered in the corporate sector, the world would be a more pleasant place to inhabit – and who knows – in time we might even get to like each other !

    Safia
    UK

  7. 7 safia
    January 17, 2008 at 14:56

    How do we get teen gangs off the streets?

    In the UK, a great place to begin, would be the re-introduction of discipline and the right of parents to actually apply it.

    Over 40+ years rights of parents to discipline their offspring has been eroded to the point where it is marginal at best and non existent at worst.

    While there are large numbers of the most amazing young people – in whom we must hope for a better future – there are those who live life on the very bottom rung of their particular ladder. They have no respect for others, property, each other and even themselves. They view ‘life’ from some hazy, blurred prism of drug and alcohol induced stupor – believing themselves to be all-important – each deciding that they will ‘rule’ their streets.

    For the adult population that delude themselves into thinking this is not really a problem – or that the scale is not as portrayed by news of daily murders – then we are, as a nation, truly destined for disasters untold in this dis-United Kingdom.

    A part of good parenting skills is the ability to administer discipline [by which, no reference is intended to physical punishment or abuse]. Return parental rights to discipline – for it is their right and duty – not a school’s. In tandem with this, government MUST begin a new and healthy investment in quality leisure-time activities and services for children and youth – together with improved educational facilities, on a variety of levels, FOR ALL.

    If as much time, effort and finance was invested in humanity, as is squandered in the corporate sector, the world would be a more pleasant place to inhabit – and who knows – in time we might even get to like each other !

    Safia
    UK

  8. 8 sickOFitALL
    January 17, 2008 at 15:07

    The majority of these kids aren’t born because the parents wanted them, they were born as a result of unprotected sex or because the parent wanted a flat/house(given todays property prices a viable/only option for some people) or government money(have a baby/babies or get a job). Why would these people waste their time (you don’t get any extra money for being a good parent) teaching their offspring how to behave in a civilised society or right from wrong when they don’t even no themselves???

  9. 9 Gordon Roxby
    January 17, 2008 at 15:22

    Hi Ros
    One answer is to ‘Flood the streets with adults and families.’
    The question ‘How do you get teen gangs off the streets?’ should be replaced with the question ‘How do you get adults and families back on to the streets?’
    The problem mainly exists where adults have abandoned the streets, leaving the streets empty except for a few teenagers. This produces adult free zones for some teenagers to behave as they wish. In England these empty streets mean that an unofficial curfew exists for women who dare not walk out after dark.
    Eighty years ago the streets were full of adults and families both during the daytime and in the evenings going for evening strolls, going to the cinema etc.. Many shops were open. Any bad behaviour was modified by the shear number of people.
    When television and cars arrived, the adults and families abandoned the streets. In a few places, Where adults still throng the streets e.g. Lordship Lane in East Dulwich SE London then there is no fear as many people of all ages stroll around or visit the pubs, cafes, restaurants, and the shops. Adults – leave your TVs computers and cars and go for an evening walk

    Gordon in the North of Engalnd

  10. 10 Dolapo Aina
    January 17, 2008 at 15:24

    Hi WHYS,
    About gangstars being off the streets. In lagos, the teenagers on the streetts are riff rafss and those who don’t have a place to call home. Majority of them are from poor broken homes where their next meal isnt certain. To survive majority of the street kids join gangs or better still join street urchin groups popularly referred to as AREA BOYS.
    These areas boys are a bunch of hyperactive youngmen who show off their maruading tendencies occassionally and are sometimes used for political functions.
    In lagos, streets gangs can be found in ghettos and impoversihed areas mainly. Areas that lack basic amenities and are prone to violence. Succinctly put, the major reason for street gangs all over the world is the lack of educational and other facilities in such areas.
    The solution to the problem which is a global problem is affordable education which would allow such youngsters t oenrol into these institutions. This is paramount because education presently is quite expensive. Also, is it puzzling that street gangstars arent found in affluent areas?
    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  11. 11 Brett
    January 17, 2008 at 15:35

    I have taken part in the debate of this topic countless times in high school, college, and beyond. Everyone has wonderful ideas of what to do differently, parenting, parenting, parenting… Start the kid on the right track and it all falls in line right?

    Well what of this generation we speak of now? What do we do about the millions of youth who are 16, 17, 18 years old and on the verge of becomming legal adults? Do we just forget them and start over focusing all out attention on doing it right next time? Something needs to be done with the current younger generation, not only through parenting (which arguably has less of an affect on an older teen than a child), but socially to bring these youngsters back to being able to live in harmony with their community.
    I personally believe, that aside from people having children who are not in the position to be a capable and functioning parent, that it needs to be a social responsibility of us all to welcome these children into society and the community. If children are more active in the community, in sports, and social activities, perhaps the fact that they have inept parents will have a lessened impact on them (And this is not to assume that all delinquents have inept parents, but most perhaps?).
    Society seems to alienate these youth and blame their dysfunction on their parents while doing nothing to solve the problem themselves except trying to punish the youth and degrade the parents. These youth are part of your society, you have to live with them, they are here whether you like it or not. People need to take a stake in these youth and encourage and facilitate community events, community ideals that engage these youth in a social and communal atmosphere.
    In addition to society as a whole needing to take part in fixing this problem through social means, education is VERY important, as are goals.

    Just a few more of many thoughts,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  12. 12 Chris Clarke-Williams
    January 17, 2008 at 15:45

    I think a real key to anti social behaviour is to be sociable. Its not easy, it takes time which we all feel we do not have and David Cameron was lambasted for saying hug a hoodie but if we want people to feel included we have to try and include them. That means giving them something of ourselves. Teenagers are inherently a bit flighty even I was but I’m sure more of them would feel they were part of society if society behaved as if it wanted them.

    Unfortunately for many reasons we seem to be going the other way. People who try to talk to children like the fellow human beings they are seem to be regarded with some suspicion. If normal people are scared off by this we will end up with an even wider generation gap and perverts of various sorts being the only people that teenagers are ever spoken to by other than those paid to talk to them.

    Teenage Gangs are also not the only or even the main instigators of vandalism, drunken adults who really should know better are far worse!

    There is of course no excuse for anyone to attack someone else in the street and beat them to death!

  13. 13 John D. Anthony
    January 17, 2008 at 15:49

    Parents need to be held financially accountable for the social costs of neglecting to discipline their children and if it takes a night in jail to make the point then so be it.
    We could also institute a military-style draft system that draws on repeat offenders for two year stints of community service on a national need level.

    John in Salem

  14. 14 keith
    January 17, 2008 at 16:01

    Unfortunately, I think the problem is cultural and much deeper than anything that law enforcement or neighborhood groups can do anything about. I agree with Steve that it is in part about parenting. I live in a small city with the usual issues of drugs and violence and quite a few aimless teenagers, some harmless and belligerent, some potentially violent. My suspicion and impression is that there is very little active parenting going on with most of these kids. They are “finding their own way” from far too young an age. They learn from bigger kids who sell drugs and intimidate people, and look to them as role models instead of the absent parents. Who knows how we address this core issue, but I think the whole discussion of teenagers is really just a discussion of symptoms, which perhaps could be treated but the cure is a multi-generational change of values and understanding.

  15. 15 Anthony
    January 17, 2008 at 16:16

    In my town we had a bad problem. You can’t ask these peoples parents to do anything, because they are worse than the kids. It took a whole generate of teens to make the gang population go down, but here are some things that were done:

    -School classes / school propaganda showing that gang members were losers. (Showing a violent lifestyle didn’t seem to matter).
    -Opening skate parks. (Now we have a bunch of skaters, but that’s better than gangsters.)
    -School rules: Dress codes and 0 tolerance for fighting/drugs/weapons. Kick them out of school, and they can’t recruit.

    It does take a while, but that’s the only thing that worked in my town. We used to have murders/stabbings/rapes all the time. They still happen, but not even close to what we used to have.

    -Anthony Estrada, Los Angeles (Whittier), California

  16. 16 rosatkins
    January 17, 2008 at 16:24

    My husband and I go frequently to the movie theatre later at night to avoid the squalling babies, but we are more and more imposed upon by teenagers who are merely dropped off by the parents to hang out at the theatre and are left there for hours. They are in fairly large packs and, like feral dogs, the more there are, the more bold and obnoxious they become. They have an entitled, pushy attitude about them, and they often ruin the film for everyone with their noise and gadgets. They are confrontational and outright rude with adults when they are spoken to about it, and ultimately receive no discipline or consequences for their horrible public behaviour. They strut about cockily dominating the area until mom & dad, who are happily unperturbed, pick them up and take them home. The issue is that parents are becoming increasingly distracted by their own lives, and are leaving their teens to fend for themselves, imposing them on an unsuspecting public. The parents are not held accountable for their lackadaisical parenting. It shouldn’t fall upon the public to discipline other peoples’ children when they go too far.
    Stephanie in America

  17. 17 VictorK
    January 17, 2008 at 16:26

    I’ve lost count over the years of the stories reported in the UK of the following kind: an eighteen year old has won a place at Oxford/Cambridge after arriving only x years ago in Britain as a refugee from war-torn Y, speaking only two words of English: ‘please’ and ‘help.’

    Any teenager of ability in Britain who wants to make something of himself can. The opportunities in this country are unrivalled. The ‘alienated’, ‘disaffected’ etc youth we often hear about are better described as feckless, lazy, brutish, and unsocialised – all by choice. Society owes them nothing. They live in a land of opportunity and have only their own folly to blame for making nothing of those opportunities.

    You get teen gangs of the streets by giving them an incentive to behave: hefty fines (in the thousands of pounds, payable by families) and custodial sentences (for years at a time) for gang-related anti-social activity will do the trick better than anything else.

  18. 18 keith
    January 17, 2008 at 17:11

    I don’t know how the overall picture differs or compares between the U.S. and the UK, but I have to say that when I was on tour in the UK with my band about a year ago, I was stunned at the masses of young teenagers who were drinking heavily, exercising absolutely no respect or deference for anyone, etc. etc. I just kept thinking, “where are their parents? And do they know or care how their kids are spending their time?” I think the theme that’s coming out here from all the comments is that it comes back to parenting to a large degree and their is an epidemic (at least in the west) of poor or complacent parenting. I agree with the suggestion that part of it has to with parents being wrapped up in their own lives. I think this goes to an even deeper cultural issue of progressively deepening narcissism and “me, me, me” attitudes. If being a parent is too hard or too much of a hassle for some people, or cramps their style after a decade or so…perhaps people should just come to terms with their selfishness and not procreate!

  19. January 17, 2008 at 17:46

    Rochelle, Roseville, California (email)

    To get gangs off the streets, you need to give control back to the parents. Let us discipline our children! When we can discipline our kids without the government getting involved, we will gain control over our children and raise them to be better citizens. Parents should be encouraged to participate in their child’s life. Volunteer at the child’s school. Get into their lives. As a parent, we don’t have to just be “the bad guy”, but the kind of person they want to grow up to be like, knowing the positive and negative parts of the job.

    As far as getting current gangs off the streets, you need to instill shame on the member. Our societies do not have shame anymore. That is unfortunate. Without shame, how can you know ridicule, regret, or repentance.

  20. January 17, 2008 at 17:46

    Teenage horrendous crimes are relatively rare in Morocco. Teenage football hooliganism is getting worse, especially in Moroccan biggest city Casablanca. Teenagers get on rampage, damaging properties, especially vehicles (cars and city buses) and also shops. So when there is a big match in this city between the major local teams WAC (Widad) and RAC (Raja), this becomes a nightmare for the security forces who become overwhelmed by the uncontrollable rage of the fans. These links shows the growing severity of hooliganism in some Moroccan cities: http://www.map.ma/eng/sections/sport/27__hooligans__arres/view , http://www.afriquenligne.fr/news/daily-news/more-than-50-youths-arrested-in-fresh-upsurge-of-football-hooliganism-2008011515013/

    The other problem facing Moroccan teenagers of different social categories, poor and rich, is drug use. Apart from this, there are also the problems of other crimes like theft and prostitution.

    But on the whole, teenagers in Morocco are peaceful. They aren’t as threatening as it can be in some societies. There are rare cases of murder among them. There aren’t armed gangs causing havoc in their neighbourhood, although they practise their misdeeds in other areas. Teenagers can be rowdy but usually outside their neighbourhood. This has to do with the relations between parents who still have some influence on their children. There is still a somewhat kind of neighbourship.

    In Morocco, at least, violent teenagers are predominantly from poor areas with poor education and poor or non-existent social services like clubs or equipped open spaces in their neighbourhoods that should absorb their energy.

    But as in every society, teenagers need orientation from their surroundings, especially their families. When parents, each according to their role, fulfil their responsibilities towards their children and the local authorities provide them with the means to constructively vent their energy, teenagers won’t think of violence as a means of expression or imposing their identity. It’s the void and the sense of loss that make teenagers consider their violent deeds as a normal thing to do in the absence of the care from those who are older than them. If adults know how to guide teenagers without making them feel under their authority, they can be peaceful people. Leaving them exposed to bad trends, through what they see on the media or in the street, will make them just copycats whose actions can throw them in total loss, at least in this critical period of their lives.

  21. 21 Jon
    January 17, 2008 at 17:48

    The government should do what it can to encourage family unity and cohesion. Far from being morally dictatorial, the government must recognize that the preservation of domestic order, over the long term, relies on the family’s ability to function well toward the ends of raising responsible citizens. Try as it may, the government will never be an adiquite substitute for parents. Instead, the state should concentrate on reducing the cost of living which forces many parents to spend more time away from home in attempts to make ends meet.

  22. 22 Vikram
    January 17, 2008 at 17:51

    Teens gone bad are a reflection on today’s society. It stems mostly from the fact that most people should not be having kids, as they are unable to devote enough time to raise them or have no idea how to discipline kids. In today’s world of political correctness parents have almost given up on disciplining their kids as it is considered wrong. Kids need structure and discipline in their lives, they need to be taught right from wrong and they need more time than money from their parents; but with both parents working and bad role models such Britney Spears/Paris Hilton the kids are under pressure to keep up with the bad image. It’s time parents are held responsible for their kids actions, may be every to be parent should undergo some sort of training on how to properly raise a child.

  23. January 17, 2008 at 17:59

    Andrew, Australia (email)

    Do you feel intimidated by teenagers in the neighbourhood? Yep, sure do. Not just in the neighbourhood, but in society in general. I don’t know if it is worse in western society, but news reports tend to highlight this problem quite a bit. Teens these days have it all to easy (yes they do compared to even a decade or so ago) and are smothered by good intention and over protective family and the wider community when they run amok.

    There seems to be little consequence attached to younger people, with the well worn they’re only kids trotted out as some sort of blanket excuse. Sure there are decent kids around who were raised to have some respect for others, but that seems to be passé and not in vogue, more about you as the affected party having something wrong with them when you cannot accept having your grandmother beaten or child attacked. A recent event in Melbourne which went round the world and provided a great deal of notoriety for the 16 year old in question was that of a teen whose parents were on holiday. The boy invited about 500 people to a house party which ended with a lot of police attending to break up the out of control party and many neighbours threatened by drunken and aggressive mobs of teens. This kid felt no remorse and could not see what he had done wrong or why the fuss especially by neighbours who had property damaged and by the police who are deciding what charges to lay for the tumult and consider a $20,000 bill for damaged police cruisers and the like. He certainly lapped up the media attention. A letter to a major broadsheet was published suggesting this kid was just that a kid who went on to have fun and the rest of us should give him a break. I don’t see that attacking police officers, destruction of property is a behaviour that should be dismissed or excused in any circumstance. But if teens have such little regard for decency and the rule of law, then what hope for further generations. At last report police were investigating the incident and are making allegations of child pornography having been produced at this event. Does that go under letting off steam and having a good time? But people will continue to defend such behaviour and with the law basically giving teens the benefit of the doubt and quite frankly impotent when dealing with underage individuals is it any wonder they feel they can get away with anything?

    We had just gotten over a scandal where a group of private school (public school in the UK) kids lead away a younger intellectually handicapped girl, forced her to perform sex acts with the group, was urinated on and had her hair set on fire, while being filmed – which was then reproduced and sold around the school for fun and profit. These kids basically got away with nothing more than good behaviour bonds. Society is becoming more violent and decent, honest people are on the receiving end. Scant regard is given to the victims it seems with many coming to the aid and defence of the wrong doers. It just takes a moment for a teen or group of teens, as is usually the case, to possibly permanently maim someone and have their life ruined, yet those found guilty giving the excuse that they were just young, or had some difficult upbringing, or should not have their lives ruined with and severe sanction. Ultimately parents often do not care as they feel it is up to authorities to raise their children, yet bleat about the nanny state when they actually try to intervene. As for authorities, they are often hamstrung and unable to do little more than wag a finger at those who transgress. It is up to parents to raise their children, who else, in a manner befitting the desires of society and for the authorities to step in when they run amok.

    Besides, how many out there had a tough upbringing and grew up to be decent members of society without a need to reek havoc. It is not simply about a tough background, it comes down to individual choices and being held accountable for them.

  24. 24 Tommy C.
    January 17, 2008 at 18:05

    In the past few years in Canada, teen violence has been on the rise. You can’t visit a library anymore without being intimidated. Just this week a man was almost killed by trying to break up a teen fight outside a restaraunt. These teens know that they will not be punished, so they do what they like. We need much stiffer penalties to deal with these issues. I would like to see all teens treated like adults under the law.

  25. January 17, 2008 at 18:06

    In every society, teenagers need orientation from their surroundings, especially their families. When parents, each according to their role, fulfil their responsibilities towards their children and the local authorities provide them with the means to constructively vent their energy, teenagers won’t think of violence as a means of expression or imposing their identity. It’s the void and the sense of loss that make teenagers consider their violent deeds as a normal thing to do in the absence of the care from those who are older than them.

    If adults know how to guide teenagers without making them feel under their authority, they can be peaceful people. Leaving them exposed to bad trends, through what they see on the media or in the street, will make them just copycats whose actions can throw them in total loss, at least in this critical period of their lives.

  26. January 17, 2008 at 18:09

    To say that parents are going to change the situation and expect the kids to find their motivation from that is completely erroneous. First off kids most often have only 1 parent and that parent usually is caught up with more problems they can deal with.

  27. 27 sean
    January 17, 2008 at 18:14

    They should be aressted and treated as adults. or put in the Army. stop all the Politically correct garbage, and deal with aberrant behavior.

  28. January 17, 2008 at 18:15

    I’m curious: wasn’t there always a problem with youths “rebelling” in one form or another against the established adult world? I mean, rock’n’roll was shocking in its heyday, ditto for long hair, trashy jeans etc.

    Mind you, I am in no way condoning violent youth gangs. I’m just arguing that these are an extreme, and rather rare occurrence. What is deemed as antisocial behavior is a pretty common form of teenage rebellion, however, and I’m yet to be convinced that this is entirely a bad thing. After all, protesting against the Vietnam War was once seen as antisocial too.

  29. January 17, 2008 at 18:18

    Art is the solution. The only activity that inspires kids more is allowing for artistic creativity. Even sports can fill that role but it still must be creative. The attraction to violence is the same attraction to the creative process – adrenalin rush.

    When a kid discovers a talent for art they can only get better no matter what they do to themselves. If they find that their talent level goes up when they get high but their expression goes down than they have to get sober again to really complete the expression. This is the one process that mirrors the reaction of violence and furthermore the cycle of artistic creation allows for increased expression as opposed to the cycle of violence.

  30. January 17, 2008 at 18:21

    Media, videogames and lack of consistant family time is to blame. Today, Youth play violent video games for hours, TV is constantly promoting rape and murder and they’re basiclly raising themselves.
    Change needs to begin with the family – there needs to be consistant family time. Crack down on the amount of TV a child is allowed to have and get rid on the video games – play board games and go for walks.
    Do not treat the youth as criminals…they are abandoned human beings who are hurting inside and its the responsibility of the family and community to show the youth that their life is worth something.

    Daniel
    San Francisco

  31. 31 Anthony
    January 17, 2008 at 18:25

    Everything that I have read and heard so far is irrelevant (over in California that is). I’m 27, and used to hang out with people like this. We need to question why people do the things they do. The reason is its empowering, its fun, its glamorous, its cool, and you get girls (the tramps), or at least in their eyes it is. Take away these factors, or at least some of them, and they will stop.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 32 Mark
    January 17, 2008 at 18:27

    American cities have grappled with this problem for many decades and there are countless studies on different approaches. I think the carrot and stick approach works best.

    The carrots are enforcement of tough truancy laws to keep children in school during school hours, availability of after school programs such as organized sports, scouting, and other hobby type clubs and organizations such as WMCA programs, and parental involvement making parents accountable for their childrens’ behavior. The goal is to get chidren past the dangerous teen years by conditioning them to have full rich lives with schedules and responsibilities as well as many positive social interactions as possible.

    The stick should have a wide range of measures applied with increasing severity until they achieve a level that gets results. At the lowest level, strict curfews and suspension of recreatioinal priveleges by their parents for a suitable period depending on the offense. Beyond that, there should be suspension and expulsion from regular schools with alternative “reform schools” which sadly have been largely abolished in the US. These schools were public schools which continued normal educatiion with a taste of a prison like institutuional setting where youths could understand what kind of life might face them if they don’t change. When all else fails, there is the criminal justice system which includes a juvenile detention system for younger offenders and those whose crimes are less serious. For the worst and most incouragable offenders, there is treatment as adults in the criminal justice system including hard jail time and even the death penalty for murder. Liberals and minorities will rail against these proposals as being unjustly discriminatory but they offer no other effective alternative to protect society from uncontrolled gangs terrorizing entire neighborhoods.

    A strong police presence on the street, tough courts, and school guidance councelors also help. So far, nobody has found a magic bullet but if you cannot alter the behavior of some youths, society cannot abrogate its primary responsibility to make the streets safe for ordinary people going about their daily business. The alternative is for people to live in constant fear afraid to leave their homes or vigilantism where citizens take the law into their own hands because government has failed. This is one incentive for government to fulfill its function in a nation where all adult citizens have the right to bear arms and use them to protect themselves and their families when that is their only option.

  33. January 17, 2008 at 18:27

    I was a teen in Liverpool in the 80s and i am part of a generation that left a blighted city with epidemic levels of unemployment. Sure we hung on the street but there was respect for the Bobby. If they showed up you moved on, there was certainly no concept of confrontation as there is now. I was also part of generation where respect was shown to adults and teachers.
    I left england 20 years ago so i do not understand what has caused the transformation.
    I certainly believe that the threats from authority and the punishments i sometimes received helped to stop me from going to prison as i might have if i had no respect for authority.
    I now live in Costa Rica and while some issues exist with teens here, there is still a significant amount of respect for elders and even for the relatively ineffective police force we have here.
    I agree with the consensus i am hearing on the show right now.
    That without the tag teaming of teachers and parents in not allowing you to get with away anything there is a shift in the power and responsibility of society in general

  34. January 17, 2008 at 18:27

    kalypso-vienna,austria (email)

    thanks to God, i feel quite safe here in Vienna.
    but still there are too many youths here who behave in an unsocial, unaccable way.
    i believe the main problem is education. children are not taught values such as acting in a social and responsible way, and they are not taught to discuss things instead of beating up people.

  35. January 17, 2008 at 18:27

    Steve, Virginia (email)

    I used to live in the UK in 1996, and I went to Bath for a weekend, and I went to a fish and chips place, and was talking to the owner, and he basically said if you go out at night you’ll get harassed and beat by the youths (I took what he said with a grain of salt because he made some claim like that he toured with the Beetles). I personally didn’t see that, but he went on and on about how dangerous it was then, 12 years ago. Are things worse now? I heard the same thing in France when I visited my friend who lives in Strasbourg. She said basically you had to avoid any young people you see on the streets. I live in the Washington, DC area, and where I go, you never see any problems. But I avoid the places where problems might likely occur, and I really have no real reason to go to those places anyways.

  36. January 17, 2008 at 18:29

    Kieran, Dublin, Ireland (email)

    The problem is society in general. Because real communities of active and concerned citizens have ceased to exist, there is no effective force to counteract antisocial behavior. We have to rely on third party systems such as the police and that is not an effective way to deal with antisocial behaviour. The way western societies in general have developed [individualualistic societies], means people can do what they want.

  37. January 17, 2008 at 18:31

    Farag,Cairo, Egypt and,Seattle, WA USA (email)

    On the streets of Cairo you constantly observe young teens socializing and sometimes causing ruckus. The one thing you will rarely see is a disrespect for their elders. This stems from the society’s strong belief in family, a value that has hardly changed in the last century.

  38. 38 keith
    January 17, 2008 at 18:33

    Anthony, that’s a little arrogant of you. Everything is irrelevant except for your opinion? Wow. Could we try to participate in conversation instead of making declarative statements that disparrage other people’s opinions? Thanks.

  39. January 17, 2008 at 18:36

    Dear WHYS,
    I just hear parents commenting and complaining about the lack of discipline of teenagers and the lack of authorities to discipline them …

    Well, for one thing, we all should know that violence only causes more violence.
    Secondly, I’m 42 years now and living a happy, drug-free and peaceful life, but that wasn’t always so. I was very different as a teenager. I was taking almost any drug I could get hold of then. And in retrospect, one of the reasons was that my parents and all adults around them lived the most boring lives I could think of then … I would then never have thought of what “role models” I should have had and would have liked …. that’s much too intellectual, or would have been then ….. “inspiration” was all I was looking for …. the inspiration to focus on something, something like the teenager from east-London said earlier ….. nothing happens out of the blue …. and you don’t inspire anyone by just sitting in front of the tv ….. or by disciplining them.

    Best wishes,
    Carol
    from Berlin

  40. January 17, 2008 at 18:37

    It is not hard to get good kids involved in good activities.
    For example, science contest teams and sports teams at the local high school limit how many kids may participate.
    There is plenty of kid interest in having more teams, but the adult supervisors are spread thin.
    However, it is nearly unheard of for parents or other community members to volunteer.

    Keep the good kids on a good path,
    and open the path for any kid who will enter.
    The kids will supply the peer pressure.

    Rik Smoody, Oregon

  41. 41 Jase
    January 17, 2008 at 18:37

    I’m originally from Australia now living in the USA, common ideologies between the two countries is the removal of parent’s rights to ‘spank ‘their children. I have a 3 year old son whom I have rarely spanked but I’m quite frightened if I do I’ll go to prison. I recognize that punitive punishments are needed to show him that there are consequences that are more of a deterrent than timeouts or removal of access from toys etc.

  42. 42 peterpan16
    January 17, 2008 at 18:37

    I don’t think parents are entirely to blame for this. The older a teenager gets the less control the parents have over him or her.

    I come from Singapore, and while teen crime was a serious problem about 10 years ago, the police force has done a smashing job curbing it. We have adopted a three-prong solution.

    1) Intensive education efforts on the consequences of teen crime is carried out in all schools jointly with the police, which compulsorily takes all students to jail visits and shows them graphic pictures highlighting the dangers of gang violence.

    2) We have a real police presence. Living in the UK today, the difference is palpable. Whilst police might be more visible in london as compared to Singapore, they don’t give the impression of proper coverage and safety. This encourages teens to be braver

    3) Teens suffer serious consequences for any misdemeanour. Short of trying them as adults, we also have a comprehensive ‘boys home’ and ‘girls home’, which incarcerates problem youths in a youth facility with the primary aim of rehabilitation

    All of this seem to be lacking in the UK, where the government seems less interested in your problem youth.

  43. January 17, 2008 at 18:38

    Melissa, (email)

    I remember seeing a news report where someone in a town in England had developed a certain device which created a sound which teenagers would find extremely piercing and unbearable because of the frequency. They had put that device at certain locations where teens used to gather. I am interested to know how that turned out – it would be a good idea for other communities to adopt that.

  44. 44 Jeff
    January 17, 2008 at 18:38

    Although our little town in Oregon doesn’t have an outright “gang” problem, a highschool boy was shot in the head several times two blocks from our house after being beaten by several of his classmates.

    Putting parents in prison for their children’s violent behavior is not a good idea because it is likely that the child already has a poor relationship with their parents. While their parents are away in jail, they’d reek havoc. Then their parents would get out of jail and beat them more. I can’t see how anyone would benefit from it.

    They need good old fashioned love and strong discipline.

    My wife says at her old middle school, it was the females who were the most violent.

  45. January 17, 2008 at 18:38

    Jeremiah Chienda, Blantyre, Malawi (email)

    Today, many parents feel that sitting their children down and getting involved in their personal lives is an infringment to their rights, ‘dragging’ them to church and ‘whipping’ them when they do something ‘stupid’ is something of the past… Here are the consequences!

  46. January 17, 2008 at 18:39

    Dear People,

    Why does no one directly mention that the main problem of teen-age/ young adult crime and misbehavior is boys?! It’s the underlying
    context of most of your callers/writers, but is not addressed.
    Testosterone poisoning is the root cause of most violence, from war on done.

    Nancy
    San Francisco, California

  47. January 17, 2008 at 18:39

    By email…

    Iam a living example in malawi who has met youth gangster twice in my life in 2003 and 2007. Three panga knives on my neck by three youths and I was undressed of my shoes and my expensive and beautiful wrist watch, the police tape but luckily enough they didn’t find my MWK5,000 in my back pocket. I think they were after mobile phone of which by then I was not possessing. And this sort of thing happened 100 metres away from my home. This happened at an awkward hour of 12:00am. Just last year I met my second fate close to where I live at the junction to the residential area. This time two boys with a bottle of our popular beer, carlsberg green was ready to be pushed into my fresh. They went away with my nigerian dvd of osita and chinedu

  48. 48 viola anderson
    January 17, 2008 at 18:41

    Requiring parents to bear all the responsibility and all the costs of the delinquent behavior of young men running amok is a tempting but unfair and impractical solution. Sometimes such a tactic would be justified, sometimes not, depending on the circumstances. Parents must play their role, as must society at large through laws, interventions, and a healthy, accessible educational system and means of making a living. The period of time between childhood and adulthood called the teenage years or young adulthood is a difficult transition to make for the most advantaged. How much more difficult must it be for those lacking such advantages? Often, the only thing the parents want is for the child to get out on his own so they are no longer responsible for or affected by the child’s bad behavior. Other parents with the resources and the will to do so will try to get the kind of help the child needs, such as a stay in an institution that evaluates the child and his problems and attempts to provide whatever kind of intervention the child needs. Sometimes nothing helps and the parents are advised to stop helping the child so that he will learn to deal with his problems on his own. Ultimately, as any member of Al-Anon or AA will tell you about alcoholics, the helping individuals (parents in this case) have to understand that cleaning up another person’s mess (even your own child’s in cases of delinquency) allows that person to continue with his bad behavior with no fear of consequences. And wouldn’t putting parents in jail or fining them or finding them guilty if their child participates in a gang beating that causes a death reinforce that child’s feeling that he will never have to face up to the consequences of his own action?

    I was intrigued by Gordon Roxby’s suggestion that the real problem is how to get parents back on the streets. That shows real promise.

  49. January 17, 2008 at 18:41

    Nick in Florida (email)

    Here in Florida, a Father got a phone call from his son teacher that his son was misbehaving in class over and over. The Father went to the school and disciplined his son in front of the teacher and the principal, however another faculty member saw what was occurring and called the police on the Father. Fortunately, the judge sided with the parent.

  50. January 17, 2008 at 18:42

    I’d like to correct what a listener in Texas said earlier. The teens who killed Garry Newlove could NOT have been sentenced to death in Texas or any other state in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2004 that it is unconstitutional to sentence to death any defendant who was a minor at the time of his or her crime. (Roper v. Simmons).

    Jennifer in Ohio

  51. January 17, 2008 at 18:43

    I grew up in the 50’s in a small village in Africa.
    If I did something anywhere in that village, someone would have seen me, reprimanded me, and my parents would have known about it before I got home, the get a second punishment.

    Today, “mind your own business” would be the response from parents. This phenomenon is everywhere in the world, and in my opinion it is from the moral decay of today’s society. It is no longer a world community, it is each it’s own now… what a pity

    Jacques KO from Boston

  52. January 17, 2008 at 18:43

    Having worked for the better part of a decade with “at risk” youth, I have to say that parents need to be accountable — first and foremost. If parents do not follow up with consequences for actions, kids will not have any idea about respect and discipline and right and wrong.

    Somehow, we have confused discipline with punishment. Parents seem to have abdicated their role of primary teacher. In the states, we seem to have decided that children are the responsibility of society at large, giving irresponsible parents a free pass to parent by proxy — if at all!

    And having listened to the comments about boys being at the root of all violence, I must say that the most violent physical fight I ever saw at my job was between two girls! Girls are also vicious as far as words and campaigns to ostracize one another.

  53. January 17, 2008 at 18:44

    The comments about ‘teen crime’ reflect a disturbing criminalization of youth. In the US there is disproportionate media attention on teen crime, despite the fact that it has actually been on the decline. The US is also an example of how harsh criminal penalties not only do not deter crime, they often exacerbate it by feeding kids into a criminal system where they meet more troubled youths.

    Many comments have been reflecting on the golden days of community parenting, and yet the solution is about individual responsibility.
    We need to be responsible for youth as a community. The youths most involved with crime are those in communities that have been largely abandoned; schools with 50% graduation rates, high poverty etc.
    In the US this has also meant a disproportionate effect of communities of color.

    jacquie, new york

  54. 54 Courtney
    January 17, 2008 at 18:45

    As a single mom of a son and a daughter, (in the US) feel a need to speak out in sympathy with those parents who are doing the best they can.

    We have a society of single parents and families that need both parents to work in order to make ends meet. We don’t have the parenting time we used to. If I could work part time and be home more for them, I would in a heartbeat! But I have to be gone 9 hours a day in order to keep myself at the poverty level and put food on the table. My children are young now (4 and 7) and I have to hand them over to daycare and school and afterschool care. Like it or not, these institutions play a large role in raising our children, and I have to trust them to do a good job.

    I’m lucky to have the resources I have. I am well educated, from a middle class background, and have a lot of support. But what about those who don’t? Society needs to do more to support parents, if we expect them to be able to raise well adjusted children!

  55. January 17, 2008 at 18:45

    Biblical quote – “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

    Doesn’t mean to beat the child with the rod. The rod was the shepherd’s rod. Shepherds use their rod, the “crook,” to gently guide the sheep.

    Same point callers are making: parents need to consistently guide their children. Their children are their flock.

    Most use the quote as a God sanctioned reason to beat children. Violence begets violence. No doubt about that.

    KO’N

  56. January 17, 2008 at 18:46

    It is unfair to blame just boys. In San Francisco, we’ve had gangs of girls who would roam the streets with baseball bats arbitrarily attacking people. My son attends a public high school and he says that the most vicious fights occur between girls and with more frequency.

    Today’s parents are hesitant to not only discipline their children, but even guide them in a constructive way. They want their children to be their friends. This is misguided. I don’t believe in corporal punishment; it’s just another form of the powerful beating up on the less powerful and sends the wrong message of “Don’t do this or I’ll hit you” rather than “This is the way to behave.”

    Monica Herbert
    San Francisco

  57. January 17, 2008 at 18:46

    I think the problem is the parents want to always please the kids and never have say NO to anything.
    The parents are afraid to discipline.

    Thus kids grow up with the attitude that they are entitled to everything and are above the law

    Discipline is the answer to the youth problem that you see today.

    Parents should be parents and not try to be the friend of the kids

    Hema
    Cupertino
    California

  58. 58 AJ
    January 17, 2008 at 18:47

    Hi,
    Maybe we should get to talk to some kids (preferably those who are in these street gangs) and see what they have to say. All the speakers here I think have a biased (right or wrong) opinions.
    Thanks,
    AJ

  59. January 17, 2008 at 18:48

    Respect needs to start with poloticians giving the police a lot more power. Police also need protection. Any person that strikes an officer in pursuit of their duty, should have a definite prison sentence given to them, added to any other sentence.
    The police are scared of getting beaten up. With this law in place, it would be the start of a line in the sand respect. We all know laws can be abused, but a neutered police force is sad to watch, and gives us no heart for the future. We have to stand by and listen to foul language, obnoxious behaviour, and just keep our heads down in case we run afoul of these “lord of the fly” kids.
    The kicking in the head of victims is just such a sickening thing; such anger and cruelty. We definitely need desperate help. Where are our poloticians with any backbone?

  60. January 17, 2008 at 18:48

    I am continually amazed that nobody ever addresses the problem of too-big families and unwanted (and therefore disregarded) children. How many of these unsupervised teenagers were unplanned/unwanted babies to begin with? This seems to be a taboo topic.

    BTW this is NOT a class issue, these “disregarded” children in the middle and upper class just don’t get the press attention when they make trouble, their parents can afford to cover up their crimes.

    Janet

    Oregon USA

  61. January 17, 2008 at 18:52

    Discipline is NOT punishment!

  62. 62 Thomas Eriksen
    January 17, 2008 at 18:52

    I don’t know if it’s just me who’s gotten older but it definitely seems like the problem has gotten worse here in Norway as well. I know it has been reported that teen crime is on the increase in Trondheim, so it seems the media is on my side.

    On any given weekday you can find large packs of teens outside the mall, loitering and littering, treating the elderly with disrespect and trying to pick fights with innocent people.

    People are actually afraid to travel in the city on friday and saturday night because fighting between rivalising “gangs” has become commonplace. The police are underfunded and understaffed and can’t deal with the problem.

    If parents and police can’t dicipline them, I guess it’s up the community. But is street justice really the only solution? Won’t that make us just as bad?

  63. 63 june
    January 17, 2008 at 18:52

    I live in New york right now but i want to talk about korean youth.
    We started saying “teenagers scares me.”
    they have less respect for elders like they used to, and they seem to have less idea of right and wrong.
    I agree that they lack of parental supervision, and often parents neglect on nurture moral
    over academic achievement.

  64. 64 AJ
    January 17, 2008 at 18:52

    I listen to WHYS on WCPN.org Cleveland, OH.

  65. 65 Neville
    January 17, 2008 at 18:53

    I’m an 18-year old in Bombay, India. Very close families here avoiding these problems. Teenagers wouldn’t dream of doing something like that here.

  66. 66 Julian
    January 17, 2008 at 18:53

    Julian, in Zambia.
    Teenage violence is encouraged by modern day culture. Parenting lives much 2b desired. Children are left 2 define there own lifestyle.

  67. 67 Jeannine Kantara
    January 17, 2008 at 18:54

    There is a huge discussion going on in Germany right now about teenage violence. However, it is totally focussed on young men with a migrant background. Migrant in this connection means of Turkish or Arab descent. While there have been several incidents during the past months where Germans became the victims of brutal physical attacks which of course cannot be tolerated, the whole issue has a rather racist undertone. It is also part of an election campaign called for by the Prime Minister of Hessen, Roland Koch, who has succeeded before in blaming “foreigners” for all the problems in Germany. His answer to the problems is either deportation of “foreign criminals” or detention for children under 14. Yes, Germany has a problem with its youth, but we need to look at the full picture, namely that German politicians have still not understood that firstly, we are an immigration country and that secondly, teenage violence is rather a class than a race question. Education and the cooperation of parents, teachers and teenagers is necessary. Moreover, rather than just focussing on migrant youth, more attention should be given to the growing rightwing and nazi tendencies within German society. Teenagers without any prospect are particularly easy to recruit for those purposes.

    Jeannine Kantara from Berlin

  68. 68 John
    January 17, 2008 at 18:54

    How to disciplin them under the umbrella of democracy? The bad apple sindrum-how you deal with that? John

  69. 69 Ron
    January 17, 2008 at 18:54

    Nancy is completely wrong about this being a male problem. Young women are a sizable minority of misbehaving teens.

    I think that grossly misbehaving kids should be placed in military style boot camp incarceration and their parents should be responsible for the cost. This would also be an opportunity to do diagnostic testing so that after incarceration the social and educational agencies can target these kids’ strengths and weaknesses to rescue the kids from their dead end behavior.

  70. 70 Evangelist
    January 17, 2008 at 18:54

    This kind of behaviour is highly deplorable. However, it is not a sudden kind of a thing… Evangelist. Sierraleone

  71. 71 Ron
    January 17, 2008 at 18:55

    I am a KALW listtener from San Francisco

  72. 72 Bukary
    January 17, 2008 at 18:55

    The lack of culture in the west is the cause of this bad action. The culture of african helps in the molding of caracters of tenagers so, i see this as tis problem, bcos they dont displine their children. Am Bukary fofana from the Gambia W/Africa.

  73. 73 Abdulhakeem
    January 17, 2008 at 18:56

    Abdulhakeem from Bauchi,Nigeria.
    Hollywood movies more than anything else ,are responsible for the moral degeneration we see in the society.

  74. 74 Isa
    January 17, 2008 at 18:56

    Isa from Nigeria. In Africa teenager are not as wild as their western counterparts,their parents have much control over them. Drug is their biggest vice for now.

  75. 75 Mahmood
    January 17, 2008 at 18:57

    In my un place northern Nigeria the situation is recomendable,because of the intervetion of local religion leaders and islamic culture.
    From MAHMOOD MODIBBO.

  76. 76 Jay
    January 17, 2008 at 18:58

    Jay, in Zanzibar
    As we are moving toward western life style that’s one of the effect in Africa, teenager drinking and smoking, though we are not there yet. We haven’t come to the point of being scared yet, but it’s getting more violent.

  77. 77 Mansur
    January 17, 2008 at 18:59

    KIDS WANT TO ACT LIKE WHAT THEY SEE IN THE CINEMA. FROM MANSOUR OF MONROVIA.

  78. 78 Nikki
    January 17, 2008 at 19:00

    What about parenting classes to instruct parents how better to set limits, offer “tough love”, etc.?
    I’ve also heard of classes to help kids develop empathy, for kids already in the criminal justice system, but these should also be for preventing crimes in the first place.

    Nikki
    San Francisco, listening on KALW

  79. 79 Brett
    January 17, 2008 at 19:00

    The problem is increasing here in Canada. I believe its a combination of the sense of selfish entitlement that many kids have adopted now and the fear of many parents that discipline will somehow stunt their childrens growth or will end the parents up in legal trouble. Im only 33, it wasnt that long ago that I knew if I crossed the line Id get a few good smacks across the butt with a wooden spoon.. Now you’d lose your kids and they’d charge you with abuse!

    Brett in Canada.

  80. 80 Jeremy
    January 17, 2008 at 19:02

    Hi,

    You probably have not heard — but in Cleveland, Ohio (USA) there was an incident in a neighborhood between well-to-do affluent white man and black teenagers on the outskirts of Shaker Heights. A middle-aged man was beaten almost to death by what may be construed as a gang of teenagers whereas they were not out on the street to rob the man, but to either kill or severely injure someone.

    This may cause more people to flee instead of the stay and maintain melting pot of culture that we currently have in that neighborhood. Does it scare me? Not particularly, however I will be more weary of my surroundings.

    Jeremy – Cleveland, Ohio

  81. 81 Joe
    January 17, 2008 at 19:02

    Parents are afraid to discipline their children like they use to in the past because the government has given the police more power to interfere in family matters. The first thing that teachers teach the kids in kindergarten is to call 911 whenever their parents try to discipline them. The kids are given the impression that they should call the police whenever their parents try to discipline them so most parents are afraid to discipline their kids because in most cases the police will take the side of the kids whenever there is a misunderstanding between the kids and parents.

    Joe

  82. 82 John Clifford
    January 17, 2008 at 19:03

    Personally, these teenagers are behaving in such a way has indeed got to do with their bad upbringing, that’s to say we have their parents to thank, ironically speaking. Parents should always keep this proverb in mind, ” SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD “. Besides, these teenagers’ wicked deeds are also because of us forsaking Christianity.

    John Clifford, Malaysia.

  83. January 17, 2008 at 19:03

    Annette, email

    It seems to me that one of the themes here is the lack of structured environments for teens. There’s a lack of home structure, worsened by the prevalence of both parents working and single-parent homes. Away from home there’s not enough asked of kids. We need increased emphasis on education, but also to give kids a sense of worth and purpose through asking things of them I support a mandatory two-year national service program with an option for military service as well. The Americorps program is a good model for us in the US to use.

  84. January 17, 2008 at 19:04

    In West Oakland where I live, the teenagers and younger kids used to be a big problem roving in packs and vandalizing cars, houses etc. The problem only got resolved when the gun violence in the neighborhood became so bad that parents started keeping their kids in the house or moving out of the neighborhood. Now it’s pretty nice since the gun violence has been reduced and the roving packs have not reappearred.

  85. January 17, 2008 at 19:04

    Of course parents own the responsibility for children going awry, but I absolutely hate it when people quote the Bible and pretend that moving away from those values is the problem today. Parenting and discipline for children is not about beating them. It’s about being engaged in the process as a long term DAILY commitment, and providing security and consistent limits every day. You can not decide you are too busy and leave them to go on “auto-pilot” and then beat them when they move out of bounds and expect to fix the problem. Unfortunately, you don’t have to prove you are a going to be a capable parent before get to have children.

    Sue C

    Portland Oregon

  86. 86 Janet
    January 17, 2008 at 19:05

    I am continually amazed that nobody ever addresses the problem of too-big families and unwanted (and therefore disregarded) children. How many of these unsupervised teenagers were unplanned/unwanted babies to begin with? This seems to be a taboo topic.

    BTW this is NOT a class issue, these “disregarded” children in the middle and upper class just don’t get the press attention when they make trouble, their parents can afford to cover up their crimes.

    Janet

    Oregon USA

  87. January 17, 2008 at 19:05

    Rachel Melick, Oregon USA
    When did we stop being parents? You are there to parent not be a friend. Society can do all they want, but if we are not committed to parenting then there is nothing that can be done.

  88. 88 sherlockbond
    January 17, 2008 at 19:05

    It’s not that complicated.Use basic rewards when you catch a child doing something right and the child will seek more rewards.
    Discipline is a two edged sword, too often the punish edge is used to drive children into more rebellion.However, children rarely rebel to getting more rewards, so catching them doing something right and rewarding it is a much better policy. Learn it, apply it.

  89. January 17, 2008 at 19:06

    Ryan Wilson
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    The youth need responsibility! This world is not theirs anymore, and they don’t need to take care of it. We live in a highly technological world where good jobs are hard to find and multi million dollar corporations own everything. How can kids care about a world only rich people will own?

  90. 90 Peprah
    January 17, 2008 at 19:06

    I have grown to love the bbc so much. Hardly a day goes by without listening to your program. Keep it up. I want a friend from bbc. I am a Ghanaian.

  91. January 17, 2008 at 19:07

    Jay, Oregon (email)

    I worked for three years with adjudicated youth in Florida in the Outward Bound Discovery program. Many of our students were involved in gangs, and had anger management issues. However, the most important problem was the ability or lack of ability to connect their actions with their consequences, both to the victim and the perpetrator. The way we dealt with this problem was through teaching restorative justice and choices and consequences. The difference between restorative justice and criminal justice is multi-faceted, but the primary difference in my mind is that in restorative justice, the perpetrator and the victim come face to face, whereas in criminal justice they never meet. This distance is dehumanizing, creates more anger, less understanding, and fails to make the perpetrator connect the actions and consequencesor to empathize with the victim. Conversely, I met very few students who, when impelled to confront the victims of their misdeeds, failed to feel the impact of their actions. Our program had a much higher success rate than youth detention centers,I believe because we aimed to teach. In detention centers, students simply learn how to be better criminals. As we progress forward, I hope to see more programs like this where the youth can learn what they need to be more compassionate citizens, and less disenfranchised.

  92. 92 Maya Thomas
    January 17, 2008 at 19:09

    It is not the teens, its the parents who are socially aggressive and out of order. the children imitate the parents.

    greed, personal wealth, debt in mortagage beyond affordability, us and uk television values and a vacuum elsewhere.

    the kids are just copying the parents.
    the parents do not have the order within themselves to help or guide the children differently.

  93. 93 Jacques
    January 17, 2008 at 19:09

    I grew up in the 50’s in a small village in Africa.
    If I did something anywhere in that village, someone would have seen me, reprimanded me, and my parents would have known about it before I got home, the get a second punishment.

    Today, “mind your own business” would be the response from parents. This phenomenon is everywhere in the world, and in my opinion it is from the moral decay of today’s society. It is no longer a world community, it is each it’s own now… what a pity

    Jacques KO from Boston

  94. 94 shaun from Eastern Pennsylvania
    January 17, 2008 at 19:10

    Here in semi-rural Pennsylvania I believe a great deal of the hoodlum related violence and intimidation is due teenagers glorifying the attitudes and guise of gang members in urban areas. Music, media and other industries fuel this most common form of thuggery. I do not believe economics or racial background factors into this in the US. You could very well be hassled by two youths here and then they jump into a brand new cadillac and drive off. It’s fashion to them to be a thug.

  95. 95 Sami
    January 17, 2008 at 19:14

    hanging out as gangs Its a universal thing for teens.
    I was one of them but never been into any trouble because we were good guys of our area,
    Well there were some bad guys too and we never talk to them, apparently none of the good people use to speak with them or thier parents, which was absolutely wrong. If we had spoke to them and made them our friends or let their parents know what they r doing outside their home, they might have changed and turn into good people.

    This is for those neighbours who are facing these problems, don’t avoid them try to be thier friends, make them realize that how thier bad deeds could hurt them and their families, and if still they don’t get straightened up then consult with thier parents and if they don’t show any interest you should go to the legal department to take legal action. Remember if there are 10 bad people one of them has to pay the price in order for others to learn.

  96. 96 George
    January 17, 2008 at 20:06

    I live in an island of nice community, a municipality, surrounded by ghetto.

    There are young people on the street and they talk rough to one another, but in the library the same teens rigged out in gangster dress are looking for a way to go to save themselves from doom and have a life.

    The dysfunctional lyrics to music and glorification of antisocial rapers is a tempting rebellion against the stacked deck leading to jail, unemployment, and unwed mothers.

    Some of the kids search for a way out here, even while pretending to emulate the negative stereotypes of rapers until about 16, by which time they have found the direction to go in for a decent life, or get a record for some petty offense and are ejected from any chance at a life.

    Pull the plug on gangs?

    The first step is to have a path to life as an alternative.
    Without some open door somewhere, even teens who see the system is funneling them into a trash bin and look for the way to escape give up or are picked up and another life of misery and defeat is established.

  97. 97 George
    January 17, 2008 at 20:18

    Maya-

    True the parents with no values raise children with no values.

    I see that here too.

    Surprisingly, some teens here intuitively understand they have to escape the cycle.

    The only place they are allowed to go here is the military, other routes are closed at birth for most.

    Compared to wasting away in a ghetto, the military is a good alternative.

    You may not be aware of it, but a good part of the training in the military is socialization, norms, values, and fitting into a system of authority and trust being responsible in word and deed.

    Once a teen is charged with a felony, that route too is closed.

    Parents with no values are a great obstacle to the children, but not insurmountable.

  98. 98 Laura
    January 17, 2008 at 20:45

    Make them see that hanging around on the streets isn’t ‘Cool’. If you make them think that they look stupid hanging around in gangs, then they won’t do it- they wouldn’t want to look like idiots.

    I am a teenager myself, and I personally think teen gangs are intimidating. I’ve heard that some teens carry knives.. which makes me worried that I might be stabbed to death one day.. but it shows that they’re insecure.

    I don’t know how being in a gang is really ‘cool’.. especially when all of the gang members wear ridiculous baggy sports clothes, intimidate people, steal from corner shops and cause serious injuries to innocent people.

    I suppose if one member of the gang is most dominant.. then the others would follow like sheep, and they wouldn’t disappoint their leader would they? So if they feel like it is pathetic to go out in gangs then I think there would be less gangs in this world.

    I don’t understand how they can like to make people be afraid of them, I guess it would be power to them. If everyone was afraid of me, I think I would rather die. I would hate it if I was the most feared person. I think being in a group of people is good, because it is nice to belong.. but belonging to a fearful group of teenagers is another thing.

  99. 99 Shakhoor Rehman
    January 17, 2008 at 22:10

    I noticed that your coverage did not deal with the most important fact. The police had told Mr Newlove not to do what he planned to do which was to confront the teenage gang. In other words he defied the law officers just as the teenage gang defied them by their behaviour.Mr Newlove, a father of three with a loving wife, was totally irresponsible in confronting a gang which he must have known was capable of killing him. They were not threatening his family they were damaging a hunk of metal. Now he has left a widow and a three fatherless children. And his street is still not safe. It is the police’s job to protect the public if they cannot do it then vigilantes become an option to those who seek to break the law by risking such organisation. Its a vicious circle and the best option on our primitive planet(run incidently by(supposedly) adults not teenagers) is to protect your life and those you love and not engage in mad macho theatrics.

  100. 100 Thomas Murray
    January 17, 2008 at 22:40

    From the roving teenage Thesius dispatching highway robbers in ancient Greece to the University Beer Riots of Medieval Europe, the ennui driven violence of young men (and woment) will always be with us.

    Even in the U.S. Midwest, stories of unspeakable crime rival the blood soaked statistics of Bagdad or even Kenya in their ferocity.

    In indiana near Louisville, 15 years ago (1992), three high school girls tortured and foot-stomped a fourth after a rebuffed lesbian everture. The ringleader, in court recently for a rehearing, is serving a 60 year sentence.

    Nor does it involve gangs.

    Frustrated after a family argument, in 2006 an 18-year-old Indiana man took his hunting rifle to a highway overpass and started shooting, killing one driver and wounding another. He received 42 years.

    Nor does it involve guns.

    Earlier this month, a father threw his three children over an 80 foot (25 m) high bridge (in the eastern U.S.).

    In Louisville, KY, a city of roughly 600,000, our homicide rate rose to 81 in 2007 — 24 cases, roughly one-third, unsolved.

    This is nothing compared to the 50 Kiuyus burned to death in a church by a Kenyan mob around new years day. Or the serial terror-bombing in the Middle East. But when the violence hits home, it’s just as unbearable.

    For U.S. inner cities, social reformers advocate all-night baskeball courts, after school programs…the usual. But it’s undebatable that when a child reaches his teenage years a little switch goes on in his head that lables the rest of us the enemy. This is as it should be, because there’s a reason for it.

    Our fault is giving in to our own anger, and giving them a reason for despising us.

    When the Chinese first entered their science and engineering students into the U.S. in the mid-’80s, this topic came up with one of my instructors. “You know,” he confided, “In our country, they use knives.”

    Louisville, KY, USA.

  101. 101 Shirley, Shaker Hts., Ohio, USA
    January 17, 2008 at 23:06

    This is a societal issue that continues to permeate all towns and cities. Recently, a 52 year old man was attacked by 6 youth here in Shaker Hts. while he was out walking for exercise. He had nothing on him but an IPOD. The youth beat him with pipes until a neighbor banged on her window for their attention and called police.

    Laws and police cannot do this alone. Society as a whole has to take action. Why parents no longer “parent” and why kids behave so terrible are due to so many reasons. Why not institute organizations in the U.K. like the Guardian Angels of NYC? They’ve gone global, and do wonderful things:
    http://www.guardianangels.org/

    Check them out – I’ve asked my city and the city of Cleveland to do so. Youth will only stop misbehaving when we as a whole say ENOUGH and DO SOMETHING ABOUT the behaviors and root causes behind them.

  102. 102 Chidi J. Eke
    January 17, 2008 at 23:54

    Let these “kids” be thoroughly educated. Thorough education can only be achieved when those in the positions of authority impartially work together with the less privileged families in our society. “Be good ( take care of their needs for example, education, job, etc. ) to the people on your way up the ladder because you will definitely meet them on your way down ( that is why we are spending quality time talking about the solution to the problem posed…).” To ADDRESS a PRESSING issue(s) such as this, we have to first of all REDRESS the OPPRESSING issue(s)… “No Child Left Behind” is a very good proposal but, “No Parent/Teacher Sitting On The Fence” is an issue.

  103. 103 Alma Cristina
    January 18, 2008 at 03:43

    One can treat the SYMPTOM: teen-gangs in the streets; or its EFFECT: teen-gang violence; or the CAUSE: our globally dysfunctional society and the causes of dysfunction. Top among CAUSES of dysfunction today is EXCESS POPULATION.

    Obvious: the more there is of any one thing, the more difficult it is to manage that thing and the more problems that arise from its mismanagement. Excess population means excess of EVERYTHING, of the good and the bad: too many teens, i.e. too much stress on parents and teachers, too much unsupervised unmanaged idleness, too much boredom; too many temptations and opportunities for mischief. Excess population has created a highly mobile society and the largest number of refugees due to war/famines/social strife ever seen on earth. Excess population has led to excess enterprise, to excessive ecosystem degradation on a global scale, to greater poverty and hunger, to greater social abuses and violence, to anger, crime, drugs and, more recently, to terror bombings and increasing terrorist activities. It has also resulted in overwhelmed systems of education, of social services, of justice and law and order, and in police departments unable to cope. No aspect of society exists in isolation from any other. Social, ecological, climactic, economic, health–all systems interconnect, network and feed into each other. In other words, EXCESS has compounded EXCESS in all sectors and resulted in the growing dysfunction of each. Teen-gangs are symptom as well as effect of the global disease we are experiencing… global dysfunction due to EXCESS. The cure exists. Apply it, urgently and severely, in all sectors. The diseased organism will then heal itself.

  104. 104 Alma Cristina
    January 18, 2008 at 04:01

    Teens are not a problem. The diverse and serious dysfunctions of the society and the world they live in lead directly to dysfunction in teenager interactions. After all, the adult world whence guidance comes, the adults whose duty it is to guide and set limits, that is itself fraught with dysfunction and trouble. So… Don’t blame the kids. They are Troubled, yes, but no more and no less visibly than the rest of the population. And do not, I beg of you, look at or relate to teenage affairs and conduct in isolation from everything else. Teenagers are being led, shaped, molded and formed just as you and I are–only… they are less experienced and less able to cope sanely with a world gone insane!
    This is not to excuse or condone teen excesses or violence. This is to put these into perspective and assert that teen-gang violence is symptomatic of a larger and deadlier disease–EXCESS–than the problem itself reveals. It is the social disease, not the symptom, that needs be focused on and cured.

  105. 105 Des Currie
    January 18, 2008 at 05:35

    If governments can train and send teenagers of to kill other people in other lands then the chances of making teenagers on street corners stop their hooliganism is slim. As always you reap what you sow, and government trained seeds of death are bound to spill into their own society. When blame is apportioned, let us all take a moment to reflect on our own culpability.
    Des Currie

  106. 106 John
    January 18, 2008 at 08:43

    Hi Ros.
    Lets blame the media for the problems we are having with gangs on the streets today?. We are all very well informed about what is happening in the world today, corruption, political uselessness, managers with excessive renumeration plus bonuses even when they fail, and so on. No wonder that the youth, with nothing, no prospects, no chance of employment, no future, when confronted with the excesses of our WORLD go over the limit.

    When some one is attacked by youths its all over the media, its new. But the daily struggle of youth workers on low budgets and even them working wonders is not news. If our politicians put the money where they put their mouths,then things would change.If ten percent of the monies spent on weapons and war was spent on our youth thing would change. Provide them with work for self esteem, fair education, and the same chance as the children of the better of then things would be better.

    I am not afraid, if I am i am partly responsible, they are our future, and what have we done to provide them with a future`?. Play stations and Computers with the TV bring our children up.

    Sorry Ros ill stop because i will get morbid if i go on.
    Greetings
    John

  107. 107 rosatkins
    January 18, 2008 at 11:16

    I live in an island of nice community, a municipality, surrounded by ghetto.

    There are young people on the street and they talk rough to one another, but in the library the same teens rigged out in gangster dress are looking for a way to go to save themselves from doom and have a life.

    The dysfunctional lyrics to music and glorification of antisocial rapers is a tempting rebellion against the stacked deck leading to jail, unemployment, and unwed mothers.

    Some of the kids search for a way out here, even while pretending to emulate the negative stereotypes of rapers until about 16, by which time they have found the direction to go in for a decent life, or get a record for some petty offense and are ejected from any chance at a life.

    Pull the plug on gangs?

    The first step is to have a path to life as an alternative.
    Without some open door somewhere, even teens who see the system is funneling them into a trash bin and look for the way to escape give up or are picked up and another life of misery and defeat is established.
    George in the States

  108. 108 George
    January 18, 2008 at 11:17

    As we head into recession this does not seem possible even if we had the will, BUT-

    Two years of national service, military and or other, for all children could potentially give them a basic ability to work, which takes learning.

  109. 109 rosatkins
    January 18, 2008 at 11:19

    “How do you get teen gangs off the streets?”

    The teens are on the streets because they lack the opportunities that come natural for those brought up in a unimpoverished environment.

    Society does not pave a way for them. Because of their lacking of knowledge and opportunity they see the world as their enemy and want to fight back.

    The human being has physical as well as emotional needs. Those needs of the id will be satisfied even if it is found upon immaturity or through violence.

    Capitalism does not provide that everyone gets their fair share of the worlds wealth. But instead thrives upon the misfortunes of many to where there are classes of people kept below others. This is to such extents that they are almost another species.
    Lee Roy

  110. 110 rosatkins
    January 18, 2008 at 11:36

    This one’s justa rrived from Malawi:

    I am a living example in malawi who has met youth gangster twice in my life in 2003 and 2007. Three panga knives on my neck by three youths and I was undressed of my shoes and my expensive and beautiful wrist watch, the police tape but luckily enough they didn’t find my MWK5,000 in my back pocket. I think they were after mobile phone of which by then I was not possessing. And this sort of thing happened 100 metres away from my home. This happened at an awkward hour of 12:00am. Just last year I met my second fate close to where I live at the junction to the residential area. This time two boys with a bottle of our popular beer, carlsberg green was ready to be pushed into my fresh. They went away with my nigerian dvd of osita and chinedu

  111. January 19, 2008 at 07:27

    to keep away this kind of rowdy kids off the street the onus lies on the parents,teachers and religious preachers .as this three strongly influences their buildup to teens when they go astray as they have done to mrs;loves husband the above three set of persons must be bought before the law enforcement authority and find out what went wrong so that institutional set ups in the respective countries ,state and region can take appropriate action to propagate this menace in the childhood growth so that future may be cleansed of this menace.but by merely arresting and following the routine legal procedure cant curb this menace forever.its nice to treat the cancer wounds at its roots rather than coveringup the cancerwounds with bandaid plaster.
    my heartful condolence to mrs;love and children whose sorrow is unprecedented .
    devadas.v
    india

  112. 112 Ruan
    January 20, 2008 at 09:50

    It started with America, their culture and their ignorance towards family values. This is the what happens to the world when we are individualistic. We loose what the Family used to mean. Indian’s and Arabs place so much more emphasis on family values than the WEST. I for one do not understand how America can keep producing movies such as SAW, SAW2, SAW3…. It is the vilest and sickest things we can show our kids today. That is what they are seeing. This individualistic culture that is open to mutilation and death on TV has trancended into the UK. Our kids love TV, Games and Movies. Thats all they do. Consume technology and advanced entertainment. It’s what our kids see on TV. that is think is the owrste, then I agree with another comment made on this site

    School classes / school propaganda showing that gang members were losers. (Showing a violent lifestyle didn’t seem to matter).
    -Opening skate parks. (Now we have a bunch of skaters, but that’s better than gangsters.)
    -School rules: Dress codes and 0 tolerance for fighting/drugs/weapons. Kick them out of school, and they can’t recruit
    -Minimum of Sport hours done over a two year period. enforce this! I had to do this in my international school. it works.

  113. 113 fldz
    January 21, 2008 at 22:27

    “It started with America, their culture and their ignorance towards family values.”

    I just can’t get used to it.
    But I CAN hope youre the villiage idiot and go on with my life.

    You know how old America is?
    Do you have any idea how old the DNA in my blood is? Has nothing whatsoever to do with 200 years of parenting, if I were raised by wolves, my DNA would still recreate whatever is most prevolent in the chain.
    I see these movies. Theyre stupid so unlike you, I stop watching.

    The problem here in America is almost exclusively black on black. I notice youre not adult enough, Ruan, to look at all the white people morphing into wanna-be blacks, baggy pants, cop-killer rap and mimicking all the already pretentious lingo. And the whole gansta thing all about blacks. Duh? Can we at least get that far beyond PC / utopia and and into reason?
    No blame foisted there besides hollywood?

    If my race were black, I’d be the next Martin Luther King, but this time not talking about how oppressed MY people are, but how theyre degenerating my race into oppressors and sabotaging our own chances.

    Like it or not, PC is part of the problem. Ignore race as a remedy first, then a rule, then a cultural imperative, then a law, all in DEFIANCE of ideals (disregard of nature) and nature’s going to show you the reality of the situation. No amount of melting will prevent that.

  114. January 22, 2008 at 05:32

    Not intimidated, just disgusted with their parents. In my day to day, usually on the trains, treat them like the little snots they are and tell them “watch where you’re going, get out of my way, no, you can’t have any money, I’m not yer mom, etc.” the poor sorry things seem happy just to get an adult to notice them. But never let them intimidate you, it’s what they want, obviously. We all grow up someday.

  115. 115 Angus Cooney
    January 22, 2008 at 06:04

    Bring back the good old slap, put the fear into them before the put the fear in our towns.

    PC children generation, do what we want without any punishment.

    Bring back the power to discipline children in our homes without the government sticking there nose in.

    Getting kids off the streets will never happen they are all about ego and showing off you cant do that in your own house.

    So the street is the place to show your stuff…. better police on the streets in the trouble spots, not sitting in there cars driving by.

    Angus Cooney
    Nova Scotia

  116. 116 :.13.:Mz. Silencer:.13.:
    February 14, 2008 at 21:14

    YOU HAVE NO RITE TO ENFORCE LAWS ON US. THIS IS THE LIFE WE CHOSE DON NOT CHOSE OUR LIVES FOR US.

  117. 117 Evelyn
    February 19, 2008 at 16:08

    I need help. I don’t know where to start. My neice is 16 and has left home for a year now comiing back to her mother only once in that year and with her dad once. Both parents can provide a loving place for her but she refuses to come back home. She joined the gang MS!#. SInce then she has been pregnant (abortion by her mother taking her) is doing drugs such as Marajuana, coke, and drinking). We learned all this from her myspace page just yesterday. She has threats against her life. Even writtings of one of the gang members being shot and they are saying she is next. IF I brought this to the police she she could be in serious danger. Most of all she is already in danger. BEing she will not come home is there something her mom can do to get her and have the state take her over till she is atleast 18? A place they can knock some sense into her? Please help.

  118. 118 kyran
    March 28, 2008 at 19:59

    how do we get more rights for teens i think that they should have more riights so they canfind sme thing better to do insted of killing her husband and im am sory wat happend

  119. 119 Cam
    June 16, 2009 at 16:00

    we need to contribute to websites who help troubled teens like http://www.teenlineonline.org, we also need to work on our educationl, and economical situations in america. more and more students are dropping and flunking out of schools each day and joining gangs that they think will get them what they need. with more educational influence instaed of gangs and war more students will stay in school, and with fixing the economy more studenst will be able to stay in school because their parents will be able to pay for it.
    and no, i have nore fear or intimidation from teens.


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