Yesterday, I posted about the four teenagers arrested for staging fights among their teen peers and then selling videos of the fights on the internet [see post below]. Today, we learn that police have arrested a fifth suspect and are looking for a sixth. All have been charged with organized criminal activity and aggravated assault, and had bonds set of $25,000.
The producer of the video, Michael Jackson , said the fights were not staged. The approximately 50 fights on each of the two videos just happened to be videotaped and he just happened to receive the videos. Arlington police disagreed.
According to the police, the fights are the staged product of a teenage gang. The Arlington gang has about a dozen members, and they are known for fighting at parties. The gang is known as PAC [Playas After Cash]. Police believe the gang was organized solely to promote fights and make money. Others arrested are Duente Lamar Gaines , John Barree , Folarin Olabimitan Olawoye , and an unnamed 14 year-old [who is in custody of juvenile officials].
Perhaps the saddest part of this story is that many teenagers around the area knew about the fights and the videos, but did not consider it important enough to tell anyone. One youngster told a reporter, "It's not even that big of a deal. They're just fights." It evidently escapes these teens that people can be injured, maimed, or even killed in a fight. To them, this is just entertainment.
Where are the parents in all this? Did they neglect to teach these children the difference between right and wrong? More likely, they are victims of a common parental disease going around. This disease makes parents excuse and defend their child even when the child is clearly in the wrong. "He doesn't understand." "It was his friends who got him in trouble." "Teachers [police, counselors, etc.] just don't like him and pick on him." I've heard all of these excuses and thousands more. They don't impress me.
In a free country, each citizen must accept responsibility for his own actions, even teenagers. Everything you do or say is the product of a choice you have made. Isn't it time we get back to teaching our children to make their own choices and then accept responsibility for those choices? Failure to do this is bad parenting and may even be abuse.