## good advice from wise men?

There is currently a big discussion in Germany about the violence of youngsters and how to adress them. In particular on a meeting in Wiesbaden the christian democratic union decided to enforce the punishment of criminal youth, like e.g. to raise the maximal youth sentence from 10 years to 15 years a.s.o.

I am actually quite concerned about the violence of youngsters. For me violence starts actually already if people put their dirty feet on seats in public transport and I keep telling the ones I see doing this that this is not good. I brought myself a couple of times into danger by telling youngsters not to slit seats or scratch windows in the Berlin public transport. Luckily thanks to what I learned from my friend about kids gangs I sofar (knock on wood) survived these encounters – admittingly sometimes only by jumping out of the train and running away, because there is usually not much help around in these situations. Insecure youngsters dont like to be critized thats why I usually try to be very careful, however sometimes they are just not accessible anymore.

So yes – I think youngsters need to be told about rules. Destroying public transport or drunk driving is a no-no! This violent youth, who has often more or less been abandonned by their parents or lives in situations with big social and cultural conflicts needs sparring partners. And actually they dont need them only when it is almost too late. (->here a report (in german) about a project of a box camp for criminal youth, where the word “sparring partner” is taken literal. It is quite different to the american bootcamps where it seems the will of the youngster is intended to be broken and where there are so bad conditions that a committee of the US congress reported about thousands of cases of abuses. A congress board prepares a draft bill for the beginning of this year.)

Moreover in an earlier post about violence and computer games it was already said that endangered youth should not be left alone with egoshooter games and that – especially if the youth comes from an irretrievably broken down parent house – the sparring partners have to come from schools, youth and sport centers and libraries. Education is the best prevention but it has to be accessible for everyone! I have nothing against furthering highly intelligent kids – on the contrary – but I do object if this implies to shift money for furthering an elite only.

Over here in Berlin parents in better living quarters like e.g. in Karlshorst are accustomed to paint the classrooms of their kids, in Potsdam they actually even managed to organize a whole science museum. However it is unlikely that such private initiatives will take place in quarters where they are much needed in order to accompensate for public defiencies.

Concluding – it is not enough to rely on private initiatives. Education is mainly a public task. Dont leave that kid alone at the egoshooter! Bring the libraries back to Berlin!…..and then hopefully Bushido (-> website) will make better texts!

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