Do teenagers have less respect for human life than they used to?
Richard West – Inspired Services
They do have respect but there has been a failure to support young people in poor areas, especially those from ethnic groups who have then drifted into gangs. Schools have failed them and so have the police who do not treat them in the right way. We need to stamp down on the gangs but we need to offer young people something else in their place.
Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic children
I used to live in Shetland, where it is safe for children to play outside. Returning to the mainland I live in a small market town but many teenagers have no respect. Bus shelters are broken, shop windows smashed. My daughter’s generation is rootless and has lost the capacity to care.
Len Smith – Gypsy activist
Generally they have greater respect for human life. However, I also believe that some sections of society have become increasingly marginalised and disadvantaged, and this has led to social breakdowns. Many of the teenagers caught up in the mess seem to be treating others in the way that they themselves feel treated.
Angie Lawrence – Single mother
The problem is often that there are ineffective consequences for teens whose behaviour is poor. The root of the problem is bad parenting. This consequences of this escalate during children’s school years. Most teens have a lot more available to preoccupy themselves, they just don’t have the motivation to behave properly.