Where Is Your Teen?

fight

The other day I took my family to a local park so the kids could get out some energy. Our new apartment isn’t well suited for it really.

We hadn’t been there long when seemingly from no where a group of 35-40 teens gathered in the center. There was an energy in the air. I noticed they were all focused on a couple of young men. It’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve been in High School… but I still remember what it looks like when a fight is about to break out.

This was no ordinary fight though. There were tons of teens around. No one was trying to step in or talk the boys out of it. Even when punches starting being thrown no one stepped in like I remember kids doing. I jumped on my phone and punched in 911 and was routed to the police department.

I screamed out, “Hey Morons! I’m calling the cops!” To which some random watcher near me responded, “So.” I did my best to describe to the officer what was going down and why I was concerned. The fight did end and the crowd started to walk away quickly as word got spread that some guy had called 5-0.

Most of them walked right past me and glared. One girl said, “Why do people always call the cops?” another boy shouted, “I bet you feel all hard dontcha?” I didn’t. I felt stupid but I had to do something. I can’t sit by and watch that go on without a proper response. My daughter and son are to precious to have a bunch of thug kids take over their park and show them that violence goes without consequences.

I was left with a few questions in my mind.

1. Are there really 35-40 families who don’t care where their teens are at 5pm on a Monday?

2. “Why do people always call the cops?” she said. How many fights like this have you been to?

3. What happened to a basic respect for adults… or at very least adults with pre-school children nearby.

4. How many of the kids in that group would call themselves Christians… but did nothing, said nothing… and never even thought twice about it.

God help us.

6 thoughts on “Where Is Your Teen?”

  1. It makes me really sad to hear about things like this, but I know they happen every day. I don’t know when kids stopped having respect for adults, especially in front of small children, but it worries me a lot too.

  2. In my experience with teens it’s all about your first question. There are too many parents who don’t care where their kids are at any time of day. Unfortunately I see this kind of stuff constantly in our ministry (not necessarily fighting but a lack of parent involvement), even in a small town of 10000 people. It scares me to think what kind of world is going to exist for my kids someday. I guess we just have to do our best as parents to raise kids that can grow up to change this world…somehow.

  3. When I heard you talk about this on nobody’s listening I was thinking about that huge fight (I think in Illinois) where one of the kids involved ended up dead yet there were tons and tons of kids and adults around who mostly stood by and shot videos with their phones.

    I don’t want to sound too cliche-ish but I some of it has to do with that media has desensitized children and young adults to believe that it’s really NOT that big of a deal, which is why I think that girl responded like she did. It’s a big show to them, which is unfortunate.

  4. James,

    Next time, don’t warn them about calling the police. Just call and let the police show up and break up the event and take kids into custody. That will get thier parents attention, when they’re called to come down to the station to pick up little Johnny or Suzy for being involved in such an event.

    Don’t feel stupid. You did what was right. Good job!

    1. I know I should have done just that… but I mostly wanted them to stop and go away. 🙂 Next time, I’ll do it differetly.

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