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More Thoughts on School Violence

by Jeremy Baillie

i e need to protect our children. "From what?" you might be asking. Since the tragedy in Colorado, the discussion has centred around the role of the media in the tragedy.

We need to protect our children not so much from the violence, but more from a pervasive media that convinces them of the importance of their high school years.

Each day, society's children are bombarded by images that over time work to convince them that their high school years are to be the best years of their lives.

Enjoy it while you can, we tell them, because all too soon the adult world of responsibilities creeps in. We tell them that what they accomplish academically in high school will determine their entire future. Is it any wonder, children who do not fit in crack under this kind of pressure?

Think about it from the view point of an alienated young person. He or she sees the images on TV that tells them these years are going to be the best years of their lives. They then try and do their best to fit in, but for some reason they don't. They become angry and alienated. They continue being bombarded by these media images of people their age that fit in. As a result their pain and frustration increases until they lash out.

Unfortunately, now when kids lash out, they do so much more violently. Couple this anger with an easy access to guns and you end up with tragedies like the one in Colorado.

We can ban Marilyn Manson, we can create new gun-control legislation, we can curb violence in entertainment. Still until we allow our children to be children again and enjoy their youth, we still have see these tragedies happening.

We need to take a serious look at the pressure we're putting on our young people. We need too to take a look at the value we place on education, and athletics versus our children having lives that our free from pressures they aren't ready to cope with.

Finally, we need to protect our children from false role models. Children today lack role positive role models. Today's children turn to rock and sports stars to be their idols. In the case of young men, we need to take a serious look at the male role models they can chose from on TV.

An unfortunate thing has occurred, gone are the positive male model that used to be seen on TV. Instead, today we are left with Tim Taylor (Home Improvement), Dan (Roseann), Ray (Everybody Loves Raymond), Darryl (The Hughleys), or any of the men on Friends and Spin City.

What is wrong with these male characters you might ask? Take a look at how they are portrayed. They are very often the foil for female characters that are portrayed as smarter, and superior. What message is this common portrayal of men on TV sending to our young men.

We need to protect our children from all kinds of outside influences, but the way to do is by being involved in the lives of our young people.



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