Teenage violence is escalating to epidemic proportions in Britain. In a recent horrific case, the Telegraph reports that a pack of British teenagers hunted down and knifed to death a 14-year-old boy because he had made funny faces at them.
In a trial that is still ongoing at the Central Criminal Court in England, the jury heard how that on June 26 of last year, Martin Dinnegan and his friends decided to exchange “dirty looks” with a gang of teenage boys that they passed while on a bus. This gang chased after the bus on bicycles and mopeds to ensure they could confront Martin’s group. After a series of confrontations that occurred after Martin’s group left the bus, violence erupted. The Telegraph article reports, “Although Martin ‘ran for his life,’ he was cornered by the gang, beaten up and stabbed several times in the back.”
During the resulting court trial, the jury heard about how this case is just another example of a “growing scourge” of teenage violence in Britain, where vicious attacks are becoming almost inevitable. Many fear that this increase in violent crimes perpetuated by unruly—even feral—youth is a sign of societal breakdown.
And indeed society is breaking down when a young boy can go from making funny faces to lying dead in the street due to gang violence in only an hour’s time. This was not an isolated incident either.
According to a 2004-2005 report, official figures reveal that the number of minors punished for violent offenses increased 19 percent from 9,516 to 11,285 in just 12 months. Even more shocking than this is the fact that approximately 6 out of 10 incidents of teen violence never reach the courts. The actual frequency of youth violence, then, is much higher than the number reported above.
According to a Sun newspaper editorial ran last year, sociologists are saying that British teens are violent because they do not spend enough time with adults and because they are not stopped from using drugs and alcohol. This is a good analysis of the situation. Without parental teaching, children are growing up to act like vicious animals.
It is said that when George Washington’s mother was asked how she raised such a remarkable son, she replied with, “I taught him to obey.” George’s father elaborated further by saying, “It is not sufficient just to obey; you must learn to obey cheerfully.”
But obey what? When George Washington was a boy, Anglo-American society had a deep respect for the Ten Commandments. Knee-high children were taught them by rote. Those commandments underpinned the fundamental law of Britain, its dominions and the American nation.
Only a return to instilling in the minds of our children obedience to those 10 basic laws that govern a decent and orderly society, will lead to a reversal of this crisis with our youth.
The solution to youth violence is contained in just one simple proverb: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
For more information on how to provide this type of teaching, read “Taking Time to Save Our Teens.” •