Is Education the Answer?

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When you think about our youth, the last thing you want to imagine is a young person holding a gun or committing some sort of violent crime. Youth and violence are two words our ears hate to hear in the same sentence, yet we hear them time and time again. In recent news there have been a number of youth killings due to gun violence that have caught President Barack Obama’s attention in the city of Chicago. Statistics show that in 2012, there were 506 homicides related to gun violence in Chicago. According to an article in the Huffington Post titled Education Will Help Save Youth from Gun Violence, our educational system needs to change to decrease the amount of youth violence. Homicides appear to happen in areas where the residents have lower income and less education. These lower socioeconomic statuses not only affect the victim but the perpetrator as well.

I agree that the educational system is a part of the problem and this should be the first place to intervene in this world of youth violence. Providing a stable form of education is imperative for our youth. Though college may not be for everyone, I think it should be mandatory for that the school systems to prepare our youth for something after high school whether it’s a trade or college. Without a higher form of education, youth are left with free time which allows for mischief. This can lead to gang violence, drug sales/use, etc which in turn may lead to violent outcomes. With more education there are more opportunities for employment, less poverty and less free time to “run” the streets. Some people may read this and think this solution just leads to smart murderers.  This is possible if the schools systems don’t also implement a violence prevention curriculum. I think this is also important because in some instances, youth don’t learn right from wrong at home. Sometimes following the cultural legacy from family doesn’t always lead to success. The school should have lessons in the curriculum to combat the lack of preventative education received at home. Eliminating the acceptance of guns and violence should change some of the violent acts we see today. We have turned into a country where gun violence seems to be the norm. If gun and youth violence are now considered to be normal, then I am hoping for a more abnormal America.