Violence steals youth, children's advocate says
April 21, 1999
From Parenting Correspondent Pat Etheridge
(CNN) -- It has happened in big cities and small towns and this time in Littleton, Colorado. Tuesday's shooting at Columbine High School may have been one of the worst instances of school violence in America, but it wasn't the first.
"It's everywhere. Guns and violence are in every nook and cranny of America," said Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). "Many children can get a gun quicker than they can get a book out of the library. That puts us all at risk."
CDF was founded in 1973 as an advocate for American children, particularly poor children, minorities and those with disabilities. It is a private, nonprofit organization that receives no government funds.
According to statistics released by CDF this week, 11 American children under age 20 are murdered each day, and 237 under age 18 are arrested each day for a violent crime.
"You just think of them playing baseball and basketball, anything fun, not waiting for someone to come out and attack them," Edelman said.
Children are growing up in a violent world, with violent images, she said, and the result is often numbing.
"I mean there is no buffer from the world," she said. "I mean it is a shame that they have been robbed of their childhood and robbed of their sense of security and robbed of their sense that the world is a friendly place."
According to Edelman, there are crucial lessons for parents in the Littleton tragedy.
"Parents need to keep a better hold on what their kids are doing, who their kids are with, where they're going, and monitor all their activities," she said.
Parents are the most important teachers in their children's lives, and they must make sure they are providing a good example, she said.
"You can only do your best at home with your kids, and hopefully they'll learn from that."
Poll: More parents worried about school safety
Swedish Hospital (patient conditions)
LATEST HEALTH STORIES:
Affordable drug reduces mother-to-child HIV transmission, study says
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.