Stopping youth violence should be priority for adults

By Breck Hapner

December 15, 2013

There is new game teens are playing and it has nothing to do with the newest X Box release. The so-called game is known as “knockout” where teens randomly sucker punch an unsuspecting victim with the goal of knocking the victim unconscious with a single punch to the head.

The game has caught on quickly with teens across the nation thanks to videos of teens knocking out victims being posted on social media. In one video, a teen is seen asking a complete stranger for directions. As the Good Samaritan is giving the teen and his friends the directions, one of the teens hits the victim on the side of the face causing the victim to fall unconscious to the ground as the other teens begin to cheer and praise the teen for his ability to knock out the victim with one punch.

Another video shows a young woman walking on a city street looking at her cell phone when a teen comes from behind and hits her on the side of the head knocking her to the ground. The teen runs off celebrating his “accomplishment” as the poor girl lies unconscious on the city sidewalk.

Two teens have been charged with causing the death of a 46 year old homeless man after the man was knocked unconscious and fell against a wrought iron fence piercing his body and killing the man.

For years studies have shown the more violent movies and video games become, the more violent society, and especially our youth, becomes. It appears society is becoming more comfortable with our youth being exposed to violence as evident with the latest version of Grand Theft Auto, one of the most violent video games produced, recently broke a record for pre-release date sales and then broke a record for sales on the date of release. Also recently, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the association charged with giving a rating to newly released movies, is allowing more scenes of gun violence in movies receiving a PG-13 rating.

Some violence experts blame the rise in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as a cause for the knockout game. Most MMA promoters will give a cash bonus to the fighter with the “best knockout” of the evening with most of those cash bonuses going to the fighter who knocked out an opponent with one blow. Many believe this is the type of behavior youth are displaying with the knockout game.

The various videos of teens hitting an unsuspecting and defenseless victim are appalling to watch. In one video, teens who were involved with viciously assaulting a victim said the “game” was “just something to do” because they were bored” and bragged about attacking a young mother who was holding her baby in her arms

Stopping youth violence should be a priority for all adults. We can no longer tolerate our children being violent to solve problems or as something to do because they are bored. Tell your children you will never tolerate them acting violently toward another person and set expectations for their behavior as well as consequences if they do not meet those expectations. Tell your children that acting violently toward another person can have many legal consequences as well and help keep our kids safe.

Keeping Our Kids Safe is brought to by the Delaware Police Department and School Resource Officer Rod Glazer.