A rise in teen violence sparks conversation amongst Wichita community

A rise in teen violence in Wichita.
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 8:46 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s been a violent few days for Wichita youth. Just this week, 14-year-old TrenJ’vious Hutton died in a shooting at Towne East Mall, and a 17-year-old was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed multiple times. These crimes have prompted the community to speak up about recent teen violence.

A personal protection expert, Joe Schillaci, says, “it’s funny you ask, ‘why now?’ For decades I have heard ‘why now?’ It’s not going to change unless we as a society get more involved and change it.”

Both personal protection expert Joe Schillaci and community youth mentor David Gilkey can agree change needs to happen.

David Gilkey says, “It shows that we have to figure out something to do with our teenagers when this spring and summer hits. Kids have a lot of free time, and things happen that way that they get into things.”

Schillaci says he believes this generation of youth has grown up in a much different culture than the previous, and it makes a difference.

“We’ve desensitized them with violent music, violent video games, we have stuff that we see on TV rammed down our throats,” said Schillaci.

However, both say that the most important thing parents can do to keep their children safe is to communicate with them on ways to stay safe.

“They face a lot more trauma and different things going on in their life that a lot of our generation didn’t go through. When I was in school, and Johnny or Sally weren’t in school, it was because they transferred or went to another school. Now they are sitting there ‘well, my friend isn’t here because he got killed last night or she got murdered last night,’” said Gilkey.

There is a GoFundMe set up for TrenJ’vious Hutton’s funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.

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