04/03/08 — Shocking plot: So violence on TV, in videos doesn’t really matter, huh?

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Shocking plot: So violence on TV, in videos doesn’t really matter, huh?

A group of Georgia elementary school students will be facing the consequences for some time after their plot to hurt their teacher was discovered last week.

The children, all under the age of 10, had worked out their plan down to the detail of cleaning up afterward, and had brought in the materials, including the knife, to get the job done.

And now the adults are looking around to try to figure out where they got the idea for so complicated and violent a reaction to their teacher’s discipline decision.

As if that wasn’t obvious.

There is too much violence on television and connected with video games. Without proper parental supervision, children get exposed to fantasy violence that desensitizes them to the consequences or realities that go along with choosing to resolve conflict in this manner.

So, where does a less-than-10-year-old get the idea to attack his or her teacher? You guessed it, movies and TV.

Saying that adults have the right to choose to watch whatever they want or to buy whatever games they choose and that parents should monitor what children watch is a one-dimensional response. It would be nice if all parents knew how bad an idea it is to allow a child to be exposed to violence on an adult level, but they don’t.

Every child who sees a violent gun battle is not going to head to the store to buy a weapon and plan an assault on his or her school.

But repeated exposure to this sort of material — especially at a very young age — desensitizes children to violence and its consequences.

And that is dangerous. Just ask the parents in that Georgia community who narrowly escaped a tragedy.

Published in Editorials on April 3, 2008 10:59 AM