Last week, I found myself heartbroken once again by the violence that has affected our young people. I began to cry as I watched video online of the incident in Roseland that ended with a young life taken. I thought of my friends who work at the Agape Center who watched this unfold in their parking lot.
Much is being spoken and written about youth violence because this video brought to light things that are happening day in and day out in many communities. I can't say that what I saw on the video was something that I haven't seen in front of my own house on occasion. Mobs of people fighting. Boards. Bats.
The Chicago Tribune published an article today titled "Fenger kids tell why they fight". It gives a bit of insight into the challenges that many urban teenagers face daily in their pursuit of an education and a better life. Some of them are honor students like Derrion Albert.
Dennis Byrne points to all male high schools with all male teachers as a solution. I think this has some validity, but the problem is more complex than one solution can offer.
Youth violence has many causes: male aggression, youthful indiscretion, rebellion, hopelessness, racial neglect by society, poverty, etc. But I believe that one of the core issues is a breakdown of the family. We live in a culture that does so many things to discourage strong family relationships. As a result, we are reaping what we have sown.
What do you believe is the answer to the violence of our youth?
What can be done to strengthen the role of the family in society?