Teen Takeover

What’s more important, protecting the children’s lives when something actually happens or preventing these disasters from even happening in the first place?


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Everyone has a piece, and every piece in a puzzle is crucial and important, just like you.

Molly Spence, Assistant Editor

Teen Takeover
Written By: Molly Spence

As of April 19, 2023, there have been 14 school shootings that ended in tragic losses or severe injuries, here in the United States since January 1st, 2023. In 2020, there were a whopping 96 school shootings, nationwide. But in 2021, that number skyrocketed to 202 school shootings. There have been 2,067 school shootings since 1970. Pennsylvania is in the top 10 states with the highest number of school shootings, with 54. According to a survey result, one-third of students reported that they do not feel safe at school. And all of those students surveyed reported they need more social-emotional support and mental health support. (safeandsoundschools.org) I encourage you to read this but do know viewer discretion is advised, but it is very logical and statistical information, it is solely meant to demand some sort of change. This is the third installment of my new series. So I ask all of you the question, what’s more important, protecting the children’s lives when something actually happens or preventing these disasters from even happening in the first place?

Over the April 15th and 16th weekend, in Chicago Illinois, there was a teen mob that created severe levels of mayhem within the streets of Chicago. Many call it the “Teen Takedown” but others don’t, they call it a mob or more likely a riot. In a short summary, people were robbed, shots were fired, CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) employees were beaten severely, and the mob then attempted to break into the Art Institute of Chicago, started brawls, and torched and smashed cars. Two teenage boys were shot during the “takedown.” Fortunately, they were in stable condition shortly after. There were a total of 15 arrests, nine adults and six teens. Now I pose the question to all of you, why can teens unite to commit violent crimes but not unite together to create a better world? Why instead of coming together to make the world a better place, can we come together to make the world a worse place?Rather than coming together to create violence, we need to come together to put an end to this violence. If teens in an area can come together to create destruction, why can’t teens come together to create a recovery? Now not only that but what in the world prompted these teens to do such a thing?

According to Reddit, this happens every year, because teens and young adults think there will be no consequences to their actions. There are always consequences to every action and decision you make. And these mob participants believe if they were to get arrested, they’d be released fairly quickly. There was an updated curfew regulation in 2021, shortly after the death of a teen in Millennium Park. Many, many, many social media posts were made about the mob attack, granting exactly what the mob wanted; publicity. Giving these types of stories publicity is just adding to the fire, it’s growing and growing and growing, and one day, people are going to look at these stories, see the social media posts, see these people encouraging this behavior and it will get worse. You may ask, why am I giving this “publicity” to these stories after I complain about others giving publicity to them? Well, my “publicity” is reversing what is currently going on, I am not publicizing the behavior, I am publicizing the change we can make as a whole. There is no reason why this should be “famous” but yet, people are posting and posting and posting about it on social media, some are encouraging the behavior, this is the kind of stuff that will deprecate everything that I’m saying.

Together, we need to stop the recurring publicity of stories like this, because the actions will spread. We can come together and rather than spreading violence, hate, and mutiny, we can spread love, devotion, and kindness. As cliche, as that sounds, it’s what this world needs. Look around us, people, this world is dying, this society is dying, everything is dying. This world is so broken and no one is doing anything to repair it, so please, do your part, spread kindness, and help humanity realize what we’re doing is so wrong. This society is torn, absolutely torn apart, whether that’s from these issues with “beauty standards” or bullying or all of the violent hate crimes or school shootings or whatever else this society has said isn’t acceptable but, yet it is acceptable because no one is doing anything about it. Society does not control us, we can be our own version of society so please, break this normalcy that society calls, “acceptable.” I don’t care how you look, I don’t care if you have a mental illness, I don’t care if you have trouble in school, I don’t care if you’re different because you’re you. You’re your own unique individual and you need to understand that society is wrong, and it shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself because you look or act differently. Society is like a needle to a balloon, you’re the balloon, you’re doing your own thing but then the needle comes along and pops your bubble because maybe you’re a yellow balloon in a room of red balloons, you’re still a balloon, but you’re different, and society says you can’t be different, that is the problem, you can’t be yellow in a room full of red, but that’s the thing, you are. Society doesn’t like that. But guess what, society is wrong, you’re perfectly you and that is all that matters, so forget what society says because society is so wrong. Society creates a stigma surrounding everything. You have depression? Oop, stigma, we can’t have that, you’re not “normal.” You have blonde hair? Oop, stigma, blondes can’t take things seriously. You have a hobby? Oop, stigma, you can’t be interested in anything. You have a dream? Oop, sorry, you’re dream is wrong. Do you see what I mean, society can tell you all of these things, and yet people would rather believe this messed up lie than actually look at themselves in the mirror and realize, “You know what, society is wrong. I am the perfect me.” Do not let society get its sharp painful claws stuck into you because you will be just like those teens out there choosing violence over life. There are teenagers out there who would rather die than settle a dispute civilly. Violence is never the answer, violence shouldn’t even be a last resort, but yet it’s the first resort for many people in the world. Violence is not good, but you know, after a school shooting there is a memorial for all of the lives lost in that shooting, people come together to create those, but why should people come together after lives are actually lost rather than just protecting those lives in the first place?

Teens uniting in peace and comfort; not violence.

I pose this question for many reasons, I’ve brought questions similar to it in all of the previous articles in my series. Why come together after the damage is already done? We should come together before anything happens. It takes something big for people to come together nowadays, but we can make a big thing by uniting with kindness! Instead of uniting after the fact, unite before the fact because that way there is a more likely number that school shootings or whatever will not happen. If we can give teens a positive environment, even if it’s just at school, there will be a change. People unite in violence because they have something that prompts them, and that very well could be because of the negative environment at school or at home, but we can control one of those environments; school. We need to improve the quality of positivity within our hallways, that way teens won’t resort to violence; it’ll make them feel welcome and not judged. If we can do this, violence won’t be as much of a problem and it won’t be on the rise as much as it is right now. So I’ll ask again, why can teens across the nation come together to make the world a worse place rather than a better place?