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School Violence Problem an Inside Job
Now where would kids get these violent notions?

By Dorothy Anne Seese
dottie@politicalusa.com

3/6/2001

 

Another school shooting, more dead and wounded, the assailant a hurting kid who couldn't handle anger.  Same story, different day, extensive media coverage, and the inevitable "why's" of the townspeople and the telecasters.

California is a very liberal state, so expect to hear that the guns are to blame.  As if guns hadn't been invented in my school days 50 years ago?  My family didn't own one ... but from age 9 to 15 I carried an illegal switchblade knife!  I had it for my own protection, not to harm anyone because they hurt my feelings.  Could I have become a criminal?  Sure, it wouldn't have been hard to stab some ornery kid teasing me.  Why didn't I do it?  Because it was ... WRONG!  You didn't kill people, even people who made you angry or hurt your feelings.  It was ... wrong!

We just do not seem to get the message that the school violence problem is an inside job ... the problem isn't the weapon of choice, but the choice to use the weapon.  That's an inside job ... inside the hearts and minds of kids who are unstable, vengeful, who have found no other way to vent their emotions and calm down.

School rage, along with road rage, soccer-mom rage, bar room rage, and sporting events rage is evidence that America has lost a lot of self-control.  We have "self" everything else, but we lack self-control.

Rage has grown to epidemic proportions in the last eight to ten years, during the leadership of a very liberal administration and a very anti-God movement in the schools, supported by our courts.

Meanwhile, mandatory classes in evolution are teaching that we're just products of chemical accidents that arose from primordial slime and will return to the dust.  Murders are a nightly routine in the cities.  Drug wars run rampant among armed gangs who have no qualms about shooting law enforcement officers, each other, or anyone in their way.  Kids can "divorce" parents they don't want to obey and the courts will support them, too.  Families are shattered, mixed, blended, confused, perhaps filled with domestic violence that we don't suspect.

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Few people know their neighbors well.  Everyone's "too busy" for anyone else, often times that includes their own kids.

For a fact, I really didn't have anyone to talk to myself during my growing years.  Sometimes my mom would listen, and sometimes half way through my words she would just explode.  My mom had a lot of problems, one of them being that she was overly protective on one hand, and utterly unpredictable on the other.  She was also in need of treatment that perhaps wasn't available then.  But I seldom had a chance to talk.  My Dad?  Oh, he wanted me out of the house from the time I was about age three, and let me know it.  Hurt?  Yes, it hurt.  But I didn't kill anyone.

So why all this violence now?

First, we have not brought up a generation of children with respect for authority.  My generation was taught to "salute the uniform, not the person."  (That was frequently heard during World War II.)

Second, my generation was brought up without violence around to watch and imitate.  The most violent thing at the movies was The March of Time, and it was about the war.  Otherwise, the second most violent thing was a big fist fight or an occasional bullet fired at a notorious old west criminal.  Cartoons were funny, or silly, but not violent.  And the moral to any story was that crime doesn't pay.

Third, there was some general agreement that somewhere there is a God, even by those who weren't churched or professing believers.  Somewhere, there was a feeling of accountability for what we did.

Fourth, we had something called "discipline" both at home and in school.  It wasn't always fairly administered, but it was there and we were all aware of it.  It was viewed as one of those necessary things, not a reason for rage.

Fifth, mothers stayed at home, the family was a unit ... even an unhappy home like mine.  We were family, like it or not.  And family meant something.  It was identity.

Sixth, society's general standards weren't lax.  Words like "condom" were never mentioned.  Girls were sternly and frequently warned about the lifelong consequences of being a "bad girl" and as a result, teen pregnancy was extremely low.  If a girl erred, she was shuttled off to Aunt Susie's and the baby was immediately adopted out.

Seventh, we had a sense of shame.  What Hollywood and the media in general is producing is shameless now, so are the lyrics to many songs I don't listen to but hear about.  And a lot of it advocates violence, both domestic and civil.

Santee is not a ghetto area, it is described as "upscale."  So is Littleton, Colorado, scene of the Columbine shooting.  Apparently Santee is a very nice place to live.  But something in the life of one kid who turned into a raging school shooter was very wrong.  That something was on the inside of him.  When I was upset I turned to writing out my feelings in very abstract poetry (which my mother couldn't stand until I won the Poet Laureate trophy at my high school graduation).  Now, rather than writing it out, kids can shoot it out.  Not good!

We've heard it said so many times it's ad nauseum:  parents are their children's first teachers.  We have a parental failure on our hands ... people who know how to build a fine house but not a solid home.  Then we have the violent comic books, video games, movies, television programs and the nightly news complete with road rage and other rage.  We are a nation that kills its unborn or dumps newly-borns into dumpsters, and this is on the news also.  We have court decisions condemning carrying a Bible to school or discussing one's faith in God.  We have a nation of rebels against God.

We complain about the human rights violations of other nations and commit our own.

We even think it's worth millions to see a movie about Hannibal the Cannibal.

I wonder where our kids are getting all these violent notions?

Buy Books 


Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them
by James Garbarino



Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence
by Mike Huckabee



High Risk: Children Without a Conscience
by Ken Magid, Carole A. McKelvey



The Scarred Heart: Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill
by Dr. Helen Smith



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Dorothy Anne Seese, 2001

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