The Centers for Disease Control reports that violence is a leading cause of death among young people in the country. That’s so called good and bad kids in Hartford, Springfield, Worcester, Holyoke, and Chicopee, among other cities. In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick has stated repeatedly since he began his 2nd term – reduced youth violence is one of his top priorities, and his budget proposal has in some instances boosted funding toward that goal. But young people will tell you they need more structure after school and they need more adults – their parents, their teachers, their neighbors – to show them how to live in their community.
Last words that didn’t make it onto the show, from Terrance Mack, a high school senior in Springfield and the president of the Springfield Youth Network: “It is going to [take] the community as a whole to reduce and one day cease the youth violence. It takes a village to raise a child, but what happens when the village is absent? With most us, the moment the adults gives up onus is the moment we start giving up on ourselves.”