Monday, May 18, 2009

Kill List or Youth Angst?

A Bryant-Webster K-8 School student said she found a classmate's journal last week and found a "kill list" inside it. The student said she was one of the targets. The girl's mother, "Rita," showed reporters copies of the journal. She asked that her daughter's name and her last name be withheld to protect their identity.

The journal contained several disturbing drawings of girls being hung by nooses and a list that included the names of eight people the girl's classmate wanted to kill. On the right side of the list were sketches of various weapons that the classmate would use to kill these people.

"For me, it crossed the line when she put down the names and (corresponding) weapons," said the mother.


I would really like to charge this journal to youthful angst. I want to believe that the author of the "kill list" had no intentions of ever killing anyone. Young people are known to make empty threats. I threatened to kill a lot of people when I was in elementary school. I would have written those threats down if I wasn't so busy doing other things. However, I know that school officials and law enforcement agencies have to investigate all potential cases of school violence. I understand why the mother of the child on the "kill list" is upset. She doesn't want her child to be the victim of a Columbine situation. She probably thinks the police are not taking the journal seriously. I don't know anything about the police force in Denver, but I seriously doubt it would take a cavalier approach towards school violence. Especially if you consider the fact that the aforementioned Columbine situation occurred in Colorado. I hope the creator of the "kill list" is able to get the help he or she needs.

Richie Spice, a Jamaican reggae artist, has a song called "Youths Dem Cold." This song is about the struggle young people go through when they are raised in dire straits. The creator of the kill list doesn't live in the Jamaican slums, but that person is clearly thinking about turning "cold."

As generation comes and grows
You gotta make preparation for the youths them a grow
Its what you reap its what you sow

The youths them have a life in the future

So when thats then you know
If education is the key
Then tell me why the people

Have to make it so expensive for we