Comments about ‘John Florez: Violence has become an epidemic’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

While I fully agree with the thrust of this article, Mr. Florez is missing two of the biggest blockades to effective intervention.

Privacy laws and requirements for parental consent in obtaining help for minor students.

As an elementary teacher, I was involved in several situations in which we knew children were in need of at least an evaluation if not some sort of psychological help. In some cases, parents were concerned and worked with us. But in a large number of cases, parents were in denial and absolutely refused to grant permission for anything at all. In one case, a boy I'd taught in fourth grade wound up hanging himself in eighth grade.

Privacy laws make it almost impossible for counselors and psychologists to pass information along to others who may need to know. Law enforcement, mainly.

What's needed is a multi-pronged set of reforms to our laws. It must include some way to override parents if needed. It must allow sharing of information when necessary. And it should include a national database of gun and ammo sales to detect purchases of large arsenals. Then, somehow, it will all need to be tied together.

Not easy.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

The elderly generation yells at the little ones out in public. The middle aged and young parents hit and yell at the little ones out it public. We can only imagine what goes on in their homes where no one else can see.
It is a generational poison that is mixing with the angry macho and their deadly weapons.
A child reared by such maniacs cannot help but to grow up angry, anxious, and ready to take it out on someone in the worst way possible.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Let's never forget that God sends all of his children to the government and the government parcels them out to families!

What is this all about? Since when did the government have ANY responsibility to raise our children? Since when did the government receive stewardship from God to teach and train our children? Since when did we authorize the government to become the parents of our children?

Put the blame exactly where it belong - on the parents for children who are underage and on the children when they are of age.

This constant looking to government to replace parents is causing the Obama syndrome, i.e., "It's not my fault. I inherited the problem. Blame somebody else. What do you expect, I'm just one person." and on and on and on.

God charged us as parents to train our children to know the difference between right and wrong and to help them choose the right. Now government and adults are telling our children that right and wrong are situational and that if it feels good, it is good and that no one, including God has the right to say otherwise.

Government is not the answer.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Dwayne, I understand your concerns. On the other hand, have you had any direct experience in a school or other similar setting? I'm not urging carte blanche. Anything like that would need to be very, very carefully done. As it stands now, however, teachers and others (including clergy and mental health professionals) are too often powerless to act in cases where it is obvious to many people that a child or adolescent desperately needs help of some kind.

Just as an all or nothing complete ban or opening the doors to unlimited ownership of guns is not a good solution, so is the idea of continuing what is happening in the field of mental health now.

I don't know exactly what the solution may be. But hollering at one another and digging trenches will not help anyone. In the case of the boy I told of earlier, I and many other teachers KNEW that someday he would kill himself -- or possibly someone else. But when his mother (who had mental problems of her own) objected to seeking help for him, we became powerless to do anything but stand by and watch.

That's a terrible experience.

spring street

@mike richards
we probably but it charge at the same time you started insisting the government thrust your version of god into everyones life and actively use your belief system to control the private lives and behaviors you disagree with.

spring street

sorry that was suppose to read we probably but it in charge....

salt lake, UT

@mike richards
So then you also think the government has no business telling children under 17 not to see violent R rated movies, restricting children under 21 from drinking, or preventing children under 18 from getting birth control and/or an abortion without parental consent (a law which means government interference) etc?

spring street

put it in charge, my goodness I think I need to go to bed.

Salt Lake City, UT

Epidemic? Rates of murder and violent crimes have dropped the past 20-25 years. It can still be considered an epidemic but it hasn't "become" one... the author just notices it now.


Politicians and extremists really need to pay attention to readily available data.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI violent crime has decreased since a peak in 1991 of 758 per 100,000 population to 386 per 100,000 in 2011. This makes it roughly equal to the violent crime rate in 1970. Although it does appear that reporting violent crime is better now so the reduction might actually be better than it appears.

These violent crimes that make news are increasingly unacceptable to the majority of Americans and shock many of us. However, we do need to pay attention to things that we can do to continue to EFFECTIVELY reduce violent crime which would include education about violence and drugs as well as job creation. But reducing violence is very complex and certainly requires effort on the part of everyone - parents, peers, teachers, coaches, mentors. The more unacceptable violent behavior becomes the better we will do with reducing violence in the future.

Salt Lake City, UT

It only seems like an epidemic because we now have 24 hour news saturation. News used to be restricted to the morning paper and ABC/CBS/NBC just before the dinner hour.

Saint Geeorge, UT

On what is John Florez basing his opinion? All data points collected over the last 25 years show a sharp DECREASE in every subset of reported violence, the most prominent being the last 10 years of FBI statistical data. Florez then goes to identify the solution for this non-existent problem as... wait for it... More Government intervention!

Mr. Florez, why you think burdening teachers with more responsibilities that have nothing to do with teaching belies a clear political mindset we can do without here in Utah. I think California may be more your style.

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