The delinquency dilemma

The delinquency dilemma

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This space was initially dedicated to talk about last week’s all-candidates meeting and the dismal turnout it attracted.

But it was hijacked by the unconscionable act carried out by a young male who took a fuel nozzle at 7-Eleven and shoved it in another youth’s mouth and then attempted to activate the pump.

What in the world is going on with our youth? What drives them to such atrocious acts against others? Police say that alcohol was a significant factor in this case. What else is new? It makes one want to lobby for an alcohol prohibition.

Ironically, candidate Rhonda Bruce raised a concern about this troubling incident at the meeting. She noted how young people are being assaulted in Oliver and expressed her worry about people’s safety in town.

We were surprised that the topic of youth delinquency was not addressed at the meeting. It should have been because it’s a problem that keeps being swept under the carpet in this town. Yes, we know, it happens in all communities, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it here.

The young victim at 7-Eleven could have easily ingested fuel, which could have killed him. The fact that the suspect actually attempted to activate the pump is truly disturbing.

The young suspect will face charges in slap-on-the-wrist court, where there is little deterrence. Let’s hope the court makes a real example here with strict probation conditions, such as a curfew and alcohol prohibition.

The reckless disregard of some youth in Oliver is a real black eye (pardon the pun) to the community.

One family on Earle Crescent is being intimidated through violent means, the Willowglen area has been subject to vandals, and kids are suffering extreme bullying. Is there nothing we can do?

Teenage boot camp comes to mind, but studies have shown that this dehumanizing military approach is ineffective, yet wouldn’t it give them a taste of how their victims feel?

Some wilderness therapy programs take a different, more respectful approach that focuses more on positive reinforcement.

The truth is troubled teens have enough negative energy today, so making them do 50 push-ups and yelling in their ear will not transform them into upstanding citizens.

It might start at home with “I love you.” It might start with more quality time with the family.

Wayward youth can find alternatives to their destructive behaviour; they just need to be pointed in the right direction.

Our schools are doing what they can to prevent bullying, but they can’t monitor a student’s behaviour after hours. That’s the parent’s job (if they have any ounce of control, that is).

There’s no definitive answer or solution, only effective communication.

 

Lyonel Doherty

Editor

 

 

 

 

 

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