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Ep16 : Las Vegas Teen Fight

 

 

I know that there is a lot to digest in today’s news media, from Donald Trump’s criminal crimes, to the conflicts in the middle east and Ukraine. It’s enough to turn off the tube for a while. 

However, this news about the brutal beating and murder of teenager, Jonathan Lewis, shook me to the core because I’m a teacher. When it comes to teens, Incidents like this can happen anywhere and unfortunately for any reason.. As a teacher I’ve seen lots of fights.  Each year, there are fights. Doesn’t matter the school. Doesn’ t matter the demographic. Doesn’t matter the wealth. High school teens fight. The reasoning behind some of these fights in adult minds would be categorized as ‘dumb’ or ‘useless’….’ a waste of energy.’

This fight that happened at Rancho High School in Las Vegas on November 1st,  is no exception.  It involved a mob of 15 attacking teens, several victims.  The end resulted in the death of a student, and the arrest of 8 attackers. A life taken, several lives ruined over what? A stolen vape pen and wireless headphones.

From what I understand it all started when a student, a friend of Jonathan Lewis, accused another student of stealing his vape pen and wireless headphones.  That accuser challenged the would-be thief to a fight at any alley outside of school property. 

Now whenever a school fight is announced, word spreads, and an audience is built. It’s now the main event of the day. As many as 20 students showed up to watch the fight. But when the accuser threw the first punch at the thief, a mob of students attacked the accuser. From what I understand the mob of students proceeded to throw the accuser into a garbage can. 

Jonathan Lewis saw the events and tried to intervene. The attackers then turn on Jonathan. They kept pounding on him, and kept beating him. Even as he lay on the ground, curled up, bleeding from the head, unresponsive…they kept kicking him, and kicking him, and kicking him. 

Another adult carried Jonathan back to campus, where an ambulance was called. At a nearby hospital, doctors determined that he had suffered ‘non-survivable head trauma. In other words, he was brain dead. He was placed on life support as the family decided to donate his organs.

Over a vape pen and wireless headphones.

The hero is obviously Jonathan Lewis. He saw a friend in danger. He took action even though it cost him his life. 

The villains, 9 kids. But there are only 8 arrests made.

Yes, the eight thugs who beat up on Jonathan Lewis.  But the 9th villain is the accusing friend.

Why do I fault the accusing student? After all, he was attacked by the mob.  Here’s why. He brought in Vape Pen, which is illegal in Nevada schools.  You brought something in school you know you should not have, then tried to retrieve it. Instead of letting it go or asking for help from school officials,  you pick a fight.  You got beat, your friend is dead. 

You got blood in your hands too. Because you, the accuser, the ‘victim of theft’ decided to break school rules and bring in something illegal. 

The other villains are those ten attackers. They appeared in court, of the 8 four will be tried as adults. They’re going to jail for a long time. They kicked someone who was on the ground, cowering, bleeding, but continued to kick Jonathan until he was unconscious. What cowards. They couldn’t act alone. They need their homies with them. 

Now there are 10 suspects, as mentioned 8 are arrested. Their lives, technically, over…over what? A vape pen? Wireless headphones.

So what’s the aftermath in all this?

Well thankfully most responses on social media and the news show that people think justice needs to be served. There are a few dummies out there who complain why this incident doesn’t get as much coverage. They want to make this into a racial issue since those thugs were all black and Jonathan Lewis is white. 

Then one dude from TikTok was wondering why President Biden didn’t say anything about this. That’s laughable. What did you want him to say?  I didn’t hear a word from the Las Vegas mayor’s office, or the Nevada governor’s office. I didn’t hear much from school district officials either except for released statements. But you gotta hear from Biden.

The question within us all is, why do teens fight over stupid things? And what can be done about it. This is a mental health issue. Schools and parents must get involved. Why a Teenager’s Brain is Like a Ferrari with Bicycle Brakes

It can go crazy. Adolescents are highly impacted more than adults when they are called names, or when they feel disrespected. Or when someone talks smack about them on social media. And the fights are rather vicious. I’ve seen fights where an ambulance had to be called. I’ve seen cuts, bruises, broken bones, etc. 

  1. I would imagine that the accusing students felt a degree of disrespect because those thugs thought low enough of him to steal. So he wanted to fight to teach them a lesson that, ‘hey, you can’t steal this illegal substance from me.’
  2. Students do me a favor. Chill out. Seriously. I mean, Jonathan Lewis was a  student close to your age, with hopes and his whole life ahead of him. Died because his so-called friend had to pick a fight over something stupid.  Because a bunch of thugs attacked him over something stupid.
  3. I also blame violence in Media. Studies have shown that playing violent video games or watching violent content in social media increases aggressive thoughts and behaviors. How many times have you watched a ‘Karen’ video and wanted to jump into the screen and beat the crap out of her?  How often do you play games like ‘Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto,’ or ‘Halo’ and feel your blood pressure rise and heart pounding against your chest. Kids who play these video games on consistency are more likely to commit crimes and get arrested
  4. The film and music industries. . Now I like movies as much as the other, but some of these movies are a bit too stimulating, carrying a strong degree of violence. These are super hero movies like ‘The Avenger’, Spiderman. I watched them and got a headache. Even star wars, whoa. Some of the lyrics we here from various artists promote violence and encourage fighting.

    You wonder why that news of a thousand dead after an earthquake or a school shootings or military bombing that destroys an entire town carries is no empathy. And when there is no empathy, there is no action to change things. There is no desire to demand change. These craven politicians will serve the lobbyist over citizens. Because we don’t care anymore.
  5. Violence in the home and Insufficient Parental Supervision
  6. Peer pressure.  Kids are more likely to engage in risky or violent behaviors when they act as a group. That’s what happened in the case of Rancho High School. Kinda cowardly actually. They need other teens to get the courage to act out.

You gotta rise above it. You have to be aware of the poison coming in your mind.

Each time you’re TikTok, you’re being programmed. Each time you play a violent video game you are being programmed. 

If you suspect someone is stealing your property, go up to the person and ask for it back. Be the snitch, hey this kid stole something. Campus security will come in, search them, and hopefully retrieve your belongings. Don’t ever challenge a fight.

This accusing student did the wrong thing. He chose the wrong solution. Fighting is never a solution. Ask people in jail. Is it a solution and to prove what?

Teens tend not to break up fights. They pull out their phones and they record. Then they put it up on social media. 

I’ve experienced that first hand.

Student accused another of stealing, fight ensued, students sat on their asses, did nothing while I got punched twice.

At any rate, rest in peace Jonathan Lewis. I hope one day, probably about 25 years from now, these thugs will visit your grave and pray for your forgiveness. I hope you give it to them. Knowing the hero that you are, you probably will.

 

REFERENCE

https://www.apa.org/topics/video-games/violence-harmful-effects

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4273104/#:~:text=Reasons%20for%20fighting%20include%20self,adolescents%20strategies%20to%20avoid%20fighting.

 

https://www.happyfamilies.com.au/articles/why-a-teenagers-brain-is-like-a-ferrari-with-bicycle-brakes

 

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