Lehigh Valley College
Professor R. Kipp
November 29, 2007
Juvenile Violence: Influences of Today’s Society
In 1996 more crimes involving juveniles ages ten to seventeen had occurred then twenty years prior to that. The increase in crime was nearly 67 percent (Barbour, 1999). These crimes include school shootings, robbery, and other various violent acts. The violence has yet to cease. There continues to be an increase in these aggressive behaviors. Thesis
What caused such a large increase in juvenile violence? Music lyrics, family structure, and violent video games are key factors in the increase of juvenile violence. The youth play a vital role in society. If the causes are not identified and explored, juvenile violence will continue to increase rapidly. Society will then suffer and begin a downward spiral towards destruction. Music Lyrics
According to Bryan Grapes, the message delivered by many of today’s popular rap groups, like Bone Thugs ~N~ Harmony and artist such as TuPac Shakur, is that violence is and acceptable way of life (2000). If these are the messages being portrayed in today’s rap lyrics, then music is a key factor in juvenile violence. Mitchell Johnson, a student of Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is one of two youths convicted of killing four students, one teacher, and wounding ten others on March 24, 1998 (Grapes, 2000). His teacher, Debbie Pelley was present during the violent occurrence. She states “Mitchell was always respectful by using yes ma’am and no ma’am in he responses to me. I never saw him exhibit anger, never saw him commit any hostile act toward any other student or exhibit any behavior that would make me think Mitchell could commit this act” (Grapes, 2000). After the tragic act, Ms. Pelley and professional counselor James N. Woods asked around campus and looked for possible reasons why Mitchell would...