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Youth Violence Out Of Control
7/22/2015 3:26:02 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Hot temperatures generally bring out the worst in us. It’s something about the heat that makes folks go wild. While the heat is on the rise, so is teenage violence. The year got off to a violent start in January when 16 year old Matthew Fischer shot 17 year old Lucas Cavanaugh over a Snapchat posting involving a girl. These teens were not strangers; they lived and attended the same high school in Mt. Pleasant.

The same weekend Travis Brown, a 16 year old, was found shot to death at the Fairview Apartments in North Charleston. A 15 year old was charged with his murder.

Since then the numbers have continued to rise with the recent murder of 29 year old Gerrod Metoyer near Dorchester Manor Boulevard. Three teenagers, ages 14, 16 and 18 years old have been charged in the murder. And, this past weekend 18 year old Keith Graham, Jr., was shot in the chest in a hotel elevator. According to news account, Graham was trying to protect his sister by getting her out of harm’s way after a disturbance broke out at a party they were attending at the hotel.

The sad ending to all of these young lives is every one of them is senseless. Kids now-a-day are so hot headed. You can’t tell them anything. They have not lived long enough to know anything but they think they know everything. What we are seeing now is the result of those same “cute kids” that parents allowed to have their way. These are the same kids, if they went to church, were allowed to stand up on the pews or run up and down the aisles.

I betcha these are the same kids that wore $150 tennis shoes to school and had cell phones before they could spell phone. These are the same kids that spent the majority of their wakening hours playing video games and not making up their beds. Many of these 14 and 16 year old teens are the products of parents who themselves were teen parents.

Where are the parents of these teens who are allowed to run the streets at odd hours of the night? These kids belong to someone. They weren’t hatched. Even chickens take better care of their children. They keep them under their wings until they can make it on their own before turning them loose. At 14 and 16, what is it that children know? Most of these teen murders are about girls, drugs or both. As old folks would say, the milk has not dried up behind their ears before they start feeling “themselves” or think “they are in love”. There is just too much sexting and texting going on much too early.

A friend of mine, who is a grandmother, recently learned that her 16 year old grandson got a 14 year old girl pregnant. She said she was not surprised. She spoke to the girl’s grandmother about allowing her grandson to come to her house when she wasn’t home. He used to go to the girl’s house with her grandmother’s knowledge. What in the hamsandwich is wrong with these modern day grandmothers? Don’t they realize they are asking for trouble leaving their children home alone while they go to work? That child should have been in a summer program.

Perhaps granny isn’t worried about her granddaughter’s indiscretions because she knows taxpayers will foot the bill. A law needs to be crafted with stiff fines for parents that allow their children a gateway to sex and the streets before they reach an age of responsibility and accountability. Our communities are being taken over by out of control teens. I don’t know about you but we need to take back our communities from the thugs, drug pushers, gun runners and teens. It’s getting where seniors don’t feel safe walking the streets in broad daylight. The irony of all of this madness is baby boomers worked hard to move out of communities beset with problems to provide better opportunities for their children and now in their retirement years find themselves prisoners in their own homes and communities.

Whatever happened to anger management training? Children need to be exposed to anger management. They need to know how to deal with situations. I challenge my run-away school board to make “anger management” training a priority this year. How does the school board expect children to learn when they come to school with a chip on their shoulder?

They come to school just waiting for someone to say something they don’t like or to step on their $150 tennis shoes and they blow a fuse? Values should be taught in the home but where there are none, we are missing a teachable moment.


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