My name is Douglas Wain, and I am with YouthAlert!, a nonprofit charity in Kentucky. We have completed three consecutive years of our universal in-school violence prevention program in Louisville where we worked with over 10,000 middle and high school youths.
I want to share with you some of our observations. The most important thing we learned in the three years is that no matter what a youth says or does, the reality is that they all have feelings -- we can’t deny it, and they can’t deny it. And these emotions run deep.
We also learned that many youths, regardless of their upbringing, suffer from some very negative emotions due to bullying, victimization, or even loneliness. And we are alarmed that so many of these youths suffer in silence, and how this “suffering in silence” takes a huge, unhealthy toll on their lives. It truly seems that a wound neglected is a wound infected. So, the most important lesson we’ve learned is that youths simply need more emotional support in all aspects of their life from both adults and from their peers.
Our guess on why people act out violence is to feel good, better or best. That they were unhappy for some reason and violence was their poor choice to feel better. So more emotional support for youth seems like a logical place to start to reduce youth violence and help youth live happier lives.
I’m Douglas Wain and that’s my Point of View.
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