Pandora’s Box

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Videotape at what cost? The preoccupation of American youth with cellphones. Photo courtesy of


For the last couple of years we have seen our teenagers engage in violent behavior exhibited by hardened criminals. Perhaps it is the sign of the times,  a right of passage if you will; whatever it is, it needs to stop!

Teenagers have attacked each other, attacked adults, attacked family members and attacked strangers.  Now they are attacking the most vulnerable of society–the mentally challenged.  This week in Ohio, an autistic teen became the butt of the joke involving the ice bucket challenge.  In Delaware, a mentally challenged man was pummeled by local teens.  Also in Delaware, a wheelchair bound 12 year-old was beaten and robbed. In California a woman was beaten and forced to strip naked on a beach in the middle of the day. Her ordeal was posted on social media.

In July 2014, a 19 year-old and his accomplice were accused of sexually assaulting and kidnapping a real estate agent. They also carjacked her vehicle which led to the hit and run murder of a young family selling fruit on a corner. Three children were pronounced dead at the scene; their mother died later.

Two years ago, a five year old student was taken from a Philadelphia classroom by a 19 year-old woman dressed in complete Muslim attire including the burka.  She claimed to be the mother and preceded to take the girl out of school.  The woman was not the girl’s mother.  She led the girl to a house where she would be sexually assaulted.  This week the little girl testified about her ordeal.

All too often we hear horror story after horror story involving young people. Everything from killing their parents to conspiring to kill their classmates to bombing their school . Fortunately people are beginning to recognize the danger lurking beneath the surface. Sometimes tragedies are prevented, sometimes not.

The strange thing about all of this is that young people videotape their crimes and post them on social media.  It seems like all they care about is embarrassing their arch enemies.  I truly do not believe they ever anticipate being arrested.  Only when they are arrested do the gravity of what they did register. By then it is too late, the damage is done.  Many of them commit serious crime requiring a number of years incarcerated in an adult institution.

There is a solution…social media should start policing the posts of its members. If Twitter can snatch obscene video and suspend accounts, why can’t Facebook and You Tube? Maybe taking away that glorification of crime will make all this madness stop.

If only if we could go back in time and put all our cell phones, computers, gateway drugs and social media back in Pandora’s Box.



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