The story covered the efforts of Miami running back Ronnie Brown who wants to make young people aware of the things they can do to prevent more violence. Brown said “All across the country, kids are resorting to violence. It’s becoming easier for them to make those decisions, and it’s sickening.” Brown wants to give back to his community and often talks to different school groups in his area. His own life was difficult. His parents were sent to prison for drug offenses when he was only 6 years old and he had to live with different relatives. Adversity made him stronger and now he wants to change the mentality that is so prevalent in the inner cities. In a sense, these presentations are therapeutic to Brown.
The economy or socioeconomic conditions are a factor. The article said “there’s more stress at home, and it rolls down. People are losing jobs, and losing homes. That goes from adults and families to the kids to schools.” A simple thing like free breakfast at school can relieve stress among young people.
Of course, all the violence isn’t confined to the inner cities, look at Columbine High School in 1999. Reservations aren’t exempt either. Look at the Red Lake shooting not long ago. The article said “We believe to shoot up a school, use drugs, have an eating disorder, it’s all coming from the same place: pressure inside of you.” And bullying is viewed as a method of releasing pressure. Some classify more than 10 types of bullies such as control freaks, and guilt-trip bullies as well as cyber-bullying which is now happening.
23 Ways to Stop Youth Violence
1. Walk away (Brown said “I think a lot of times, kids think, ‘if I walk way, I’m not tough, but if you walk away, you get to go on with the rest of your day…it’ really about giving yourself a chance to be successful throughout the rest of your lfe)”
2. See the big picture (for example a curfew allows young people to be indoors where they are safe and not getting hit by a stray bullet, but the young person who can’t see the big picture said that violence will only start earlier).
3. Give respect to get respect
4. Think before you act
5. Learn to manage your anger (a violent incident can occur in a split second – and forever change the lives of perpetrators and victims).
6. Talk to someone you trust
7. Listen & understand
8. What would your family say?
9. Tell the truth
10. Speak up
11. Exhibit tolerance
12. Speak with a professional
13. Lead, don’t follow
14. Adjust your attitude
15. Remember your faith
16. Think about your future
17. Know the consequences
18. Get involved at school
19. Who are you really hurting?
20. Stay in School
21. Surround yourself with positive people
22. Believe in yourself
23. Negotiate (anger management classes teach compromise and prevention).