Area resource officer says young people are desensitized to violence

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The Columbus community is still shaken after the shooting death of a 16-year-old Columbus High School student Saturday night in Propst Park.

Arykah White was leaving a birthday party for a 16-year-old friend when she was shot and killed.

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Investigators think she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Doran Johnson is the Chief Resource Officer at Columbus High School.

He’s seen hundreds of students come and go through his school over the years.

He says losing one is always shocking, and he couldn’t help but think of one thing when he got the news of Arykah White’s passing this weekend.

“The likelihood of who did this was probably some of our kids here in the district, some of the ones who’ve been through the district, probably some of the ones that I knew,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the changing times and technology are partially to blame.

“Society kind of pushes them towards that because it’s a quick and an easy way of trying to handle some difficult situation instead of talking it out. Even back in the old school days, fighting, fighting takes time and energy, and a lot of folks don’t want to put in time and energy, so grabbing a gun or a weapon to try and solve a problem seems to be quick and easy,” said Johnson.

He said today’s media also plays a factor in a child’s overall concept of death.

“I think a lot of these kids are old enough to know that dead means dead. I think a lot of them is just desensitization to death, whether it’s from society, movies, games, there’s a whole mixture of that. It’s just a lack of sensitivity to dead means dead, somebody’s life being gone and never coming back and all the disruption that it causes in a family,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the only way to fix it, is to get things back to how they used to be.

“The bible says raise up a child in the way that they should go, not raise up a teenager or a grown person. You’ve got to start off when they are a child, but it’s a collaborative effort…I think it takes a collaboration of parents, school, churches, community, everything, to kind of help start giving kids direction. Not when they’re 12, 13, 14, 15, but you’ve got to get to them while they’re young,” said Johnson.

Area counselor Darlene Strickland also weighed in on the issue.

She said kids today are simply used to immediate results.

She argued that some would rather eliminate the source of the problem instead of resolving the issue.

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