A shooting at a high school in Ohio; a fatal schoolyard fight between girls; an 8 year critically wounds classmate after bringing gun to Seattle school. Those headlines from the past week would suggest something is terribly wrong with young people today, but of course that kind of thinking—that today’s youth is always exceptionally worse off than its older generations—is as old as ancient Greece. Violence among young people has in fact dramatically declined and stabilized over the past 20 years.
Are we just supersaturated with coverage of these tragic events when they happen? What do you think accounts for stories like these in the past week? Are teachers less likely or even able to intervene in altercations between students?
Karen Sternheimer, sociologist at USC specializing in media, youth, and culture; author, “Kids These Days: Facts and Fictions About Today’s Youth”