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Some teens are feeling a 'vibration of hate' in our culture

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An empty school hallway lined with lockers painted in neutral and primary colors.
Zachary Linhares
/
The Beacon
Some area high schools are struggling with with major incidents of racism, bullying and harassment.

As several local high schools deal with incidents of hateful acts, family psychologist Wes Crenshaw says the current political and social climate may lead them to act in that way.

At Park Hill South High School, a petition calling for the return of slavery made the rounds, offending parents, faculty and students.

That and other recent racist incidents that have occurred at schools around the metro have activists saying we're currently in a "moment of crisis."

Meanwhile, students at Blue Springs High School's freshman campus circulated a 'hit-list' aimed at more than two dozen fellow students.

The goal was to encourage other high-schoolers to beat up their classmates on the list in exchange for cash.

While a majority of students might not be involved in these kinds of actions, there are factions of the younger population clinging to what they're seeing on the news.

For some students, it's also about what they're hearing from their parents, according to Crenshaw.

"Kids will follow bad behavior of adults quicker than they'll follow good behavior," Crenshaw says. He explains that the culture of the town or community kids live in can greatly play a role in the way that high school students act as well.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.