Griffs Notes 1/17/07

Apologies are in order as I have been AWOL here for a few days – but occasionally I get my priorities straight and this past weekend was one of those occasions.

I spent this past weekend with my eldest daughter in Florida visiting my parents. Madeline is 5 years old but it seems that she is going on 16 sometimes. She’s growing up so fast. And this was our first father/daughter trip alone. So suffice it to say that getting an opportunity to “feed the giraffes” with her at Lion Country Safari was a warm memory that will stay with me for a long time.

It is also perhaps the reason that I was horrified to see in this morning’s headlines a story about a “girl fight” that took place on Long Island last month and ended up on the Internet.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, what actually takes place is a vicious and brutal beating by three teenage girls, ages 14 and 15, ganging up on a helpless teenage girl, age 13, from a different school. Apparently one of the now-suspended girls posted the video on her website as a trophy of sorts and thus we are reminded of the real dangers of the new You Tube world that we live in.

The video shows something much more disturbing than what one would consider a typical “cat fight.” This was not simply shouting and hair pulling – it was incredibly graphic and destructive violence. There are repeated closed-fist punches to the face and numerous kicks to the head and body. And the sad ending left an 8th grader completely beaten down – both physically and mentally.

Being a concerned parent, I researched how much of this stuff is out there… and don’t try this at home. It will only leave you with a sick feeling in your stomach. There is tons of this crap on the web and it often takes place in or near the schoolyard.

Another video that I watched took place just feet from the school door and the girls literally took off their backpacks to fight having just come from class. It was brutal and the girl who dominated the fight had been the one to actually post the video. She called it “My Fight.”

Where did we go wrong? Why are our young adolescent girls so full of anger and aggression? When did watching girls beat the hell out of each other become “kool?”

I don’t know the answer, but I do know that I won’t let my daughter grow up in a world where she may have to fend for her life after algebra class. Today’s video should be a wake-up call for parents that there’s something very wrong going on in our schools and it needs to be addressed.

Of all the dreams that I have for Madeline, becoming the World’s Ultimate Fighting Champion is not one of them.

I can be reached for questions or comments at