Teen Files: The Truth About Violence DVD Short Version
Teen violence in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. Statistics show that over half of children in grades 6 through 12 say they could get a handgun. Since 1980, 1 in 4 murders of juveniles involved a juvenile offender. More than 2,000 children are abused every day, and 80% of those children go on to commit violent acts. This explosive new documentary explores violence and its consequences through the eyes of eight Los Angeles teens. Two of the teens are in gangs, two are involved with gang members, three are on probation for violent behavior, and all of them have histories of harming their peers, teachers, or themselves. Hardened by their own experiences, these young people see violence as a necessity in their daily lives, think nothing of carrying or potentially using a gun, and do not consider the consequences of their violent acts to themselves or others. By their own admission, they enjoy the power they feel from their violent behavior. The teens then participate in a month-long journey that brings them face-to-face with how violence impacts victims' lives. They visit the USC Medical Center and witness in graphic detail the effects of violence; they tour a battered women's shelter; they undertake a grueling challenge in the rugged Colorado mountains to learn empathy, teamwork, and that it's possible for them to change their violent ways. Then, during a highly emotional visit, the teens tour Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the site of a mass shooting perpetrated by two students. The group listens to a grieving father, a brother, and a teacher who share their heartbreaking stories of loss and anger. After a month of learning to see violence for what it is, the teens are determined to change their lives forever and reach out to other young people to help them overcome the problem of teen violence.