Teen Beating on Bus

Posted on 09/23/2013 by John Poland CEO, Town Hall Foundation
Did you see this in the news? In Pinellas county Florida, just south of St. Petersburg, three fifteen year old youths pummeled a thirteen year old youth on a bus.  The youths were being transported by the school.  It was thirty days before the news media reported it. They were not exactly Johnny on the Spot on this horrific beating. 

In less than one minute, the three boys inflicted over 50 blows with fists and feet.  They flayed away and stomped on this unprotected thirteen year old, inflicting two black eyes and a broken arm. 

The press is reporting the issue from a point of view about what the race of the youths was and what the bus driver did or did not do. The reports do vaguely mention that the three boys offered the thirteen year old marijuana at school and that the thirteen year old turned them in to authorities.                                                                                                  

So why is the reporting all about race and about the bus driver? This is about drugs and violence in schools. In case you want to see the details, graphic as they are, they are posted on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkZQvHaWtsw.  The beating was captured on video via cell phone. 

The right story to report is why were there drugs on school premises, who supplied the drugs to the older boys, why weren’t the police involved after the report to school authorities and so on. A further postulation might show that music lyrics heard by the three older boys might have been a catalyst or contributing factor.

Unfortunately the incident is being reported in a manner that is blatantly racist. This is not a matter of race, but instead one of violence.   The Town Hall Foundation believes that the actions described in song lyrics are often construed by listeners as normative and are therefore acted out on. Whether it is sex, violence, hate speech and actions, suicide as an alternative to life or any other destructive form of behavior, we believe that putting it to music can at the same time glorify it and make it normative in the ears of a listener, and if normative, far more likely to be acted out.  This is why it is our mission to stop the economic flow from this bad music.

That’s the message for today, more coming.