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Curbing The Rise Of Violence Among Youth

Is there a connection between a child’s exposure to violence and the escalation of violent events in our nation?  That’s the question that many parents had on their minds when they attended a discussion at Houghton High School that featured author and retired US Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

Grossman wrote the book “Assassination Generation” and shared his thoughts with parents as he outlined statistics and precautionary measures that parents can take.  He has written several books regarding the psychological effects of killing and how television and video game violence desensitizes a child’s regard for human life.

During his presentation, he pointed out that not all children who play games like Grand Theft Auto become a mass shooter, but since the game’s release, all of the shooters involved in school shootings in the country reported excessive use of the game.  “The reality is, we can do our best to not turn these killers into celebrities,” said Grossman.

These days, Grossman travels the country training law enforcement on how handle active shooter situations and he also teaches parents that they play a key role as well.  “That parental involvement can be a key factor in holding it down. We tell parents to get knee deep in school politics. Endorse candidates, run candidates, insist that your school keeps your kids safe and does the things that they need to do,” he said.

Until we attack this problem at the source, schools here in the Keweenaw, just like other districts across the country are tightening up security. Copper Country ISD is installing electronic key entry doors throughout its buildings.

The Hancock Public School District participates regularly in active shooter trainings and local businesses have also received training on the matter. Grossman emphasized to parents that we can take a proactive approach as a society and it starts at home by limiting access to media violence. He even urges parents to take a ten day media turn off challenge that he says parents will notice an immediate behavioral change in their child.

“We detox kids for ten days. The fight or flight hormones flush out of their brain. We cut violence in half, we cut bullying in half, and then they put themselves on a TV budget or a TV diet. There’s room for a half an hour of TV every day or maybe on the weekends. We’re not saying turn it all off, but we regulate the video games and we regulate the type of media, and we regulate the amount,” said Grossman.

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