Proverbs 22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
We are well aware that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) but, how about the wages of removing God from our schools and in turn our country?
Violent crimes committed by teens
Violent crimes are committed by teens every year. The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (1) provides these statistics on teen violence regarding violent crimes:
- In 2000, about 1,561 youth under the age of 18 were arrested for homicide.
- In 2000, nine percent of the murders in the United States were committed by persons under the age of 18.
- One in ten teens arrested has been engaging in a violent activity that could have resulted in the serious injury or the death of another person.
Teen violence is a very real occurrence, and violent crimes are committed by teens regularly.
We often neglect suicide in our examinations of teen violence. However, suicide is violence against oneself and deserves very real consideration. Two teen violence statistics to think about regarding suicide (1):
1. The third leading cause of death among teens is suicide
2. Over the past year, one in 11 high school students admit to having made a suicide attempt.
These statistics do not even take into account the number of students that think about violence against themselves on a regular basis. Additionally, these statistics do not take into account the rising instances of self-injury, which do not necessarily need to be associated with suicidal feelings, but which is a form of self-violence (2, 3).
Teen violence every day
Not only is teen violence related to violent crime and self-violence, but also there are lesser forms of violence that are perhaps more prevalent and worrisome, as they indicate a trend toward teen violence as an everyday occurrence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the following teen violence statistics (4):
- National estimates indicate that 30 percent of youth in grade six through 10 are involved in bullying, either as a target or as the bully. Some even experience both.
- A national CDC survey indicates that 33 percent of high school students were in at least one physical fight within a 12 month period.
- In 30 days preceding the CDC survey, 17 percent of high school students reported that they carried a weapon at least once. The weapon could be a gun, knife or club.
Those numbers are a little scary. This is the world our children live in. Where is God in all that? That’s right; we removed Him from our schools. We send our kids to the lion’s den five days a week and hope they survive. It’s not just about fitting in anymore. They deal with real issues and real dangers every day. It is not just a lack of caring for someone else’s feelings; there is a serious lack of respect for human life. Death holds no meaning. For Christians, death means we get to go be with our Heavenly Father. But, whether its suicide or murder, death has become an answer to a problem for today’s youth. I see these problems almost every day on the news, I hear the stories my own kids tell me about their day at school. So I ask; why aren’t we putting God back in all that?
I’ve always believed that our experiences as children help mold us into the type of adult we are to become. If that is true, those numbers are now horrifying. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. If they have no respect for life as children, what kind of leaders can they make as adults? In the 40’s and 50’s God was the cornerstone in most homes and communities. Now, in 2012 children know more about Greek mythology than they do about the story of Moses. Look at how times have changed between the two eras. Is it a coincidence that the more we try to remove God from our country, the worse it becomes? I don’t think so.
Now I completely believe that the Word of God needs to start in the home and we as parents take the bulk of the responsibility. But, let’s face it; there are too many homes where God is not the cornerstone. So, if His words aren’t taught in the home and their not being taught outside the home...once again I ask; where is God in all that? There used to be a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Hmmm, that takes a whole new meaning for me now.
We need to instill love and respect into our children; not just the need to survive. They are screaming out to us for help. How many more will die by their own hand or the hand of others before we answer?
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
Teen Violence Statistics Sources: