Why is it we use violence to teach people to not be violent? To teach my daughter to be gentle and loving that is what I model to her. The Texas Youth Commission apparently disagrees. Teenagers who are incarcerated are now being pepper-sprayed more than ever before. This year there has been 1200 reports of teens being sprayed compared with last years 196. Two youth advocacy groups sued the agency and they are currently trying to come to an agreement on, how much is to much? Barry Krisberg is quoted saying," You're only going to get angrier, more alienated youths when you do this." I could not agree more! We need to teach these teens how to respond to a stressful situation calmly and peacefully. You can create boundaries and respect when that is what you give to them. Reacting to them in anger only reinforces that is how you are supposed to react. It is said they use the pepper spray on teenagers on suicide watch. They are clearly not in a good space why torture them more? It is like kicking them when they are down.
Physical restraints were bringing more injuries to the youth and staff members, the use of the pepper spray has reduced these injuries. We are trading one form of violence for another. These kids have to be handled respectively to learn how to be respectful. Setting boundaries and rules can be done peacefully.
We need to take a look at our egos in this situation. How much ego is involved when the decision is made to pepper spray? Guiding these teens toward a life of balance and healthy living should be our focus. http://www.statesman.com/news/content/region/legislature/stories/11/20/1120pepper.html