DeKalb County

‘We have to give them hope:’ Former Atlanta police officer discusses recent rise in youth violence

ATLANTA — A new video of a fight on a school bus carrying elementary school students in DeKalb County is the latest example of violence among children.

“The thing with youth violence is we have to make young people understand the consequences of their actions. We have to give them hope, and we have to help them understand that there’s more to life than right now,” said Tyrone Dennis, a former Atlanta Police detective and the founder of the non-profit, Clippers & Cops.

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Dennis told WSB Tonight’s Justin Wilfon that the roots of an increase in youth violence, like the fight involving elementary school students on a school bus in DeKalb County, go back many years.

“When you think as far back as the 2008 housing market crash, the first thing most governments did away with is the after-school programs,” said Dennis. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

He says bringing back more of those programs would help ease the crisis but says it all starts at home.


“Parents need to be more involved with their children, but it takes a village to help raise a child. We have to allow them to see that there’s other options out there,” said Dennis.

He takes his message into Metro Atlanta schools.

But until the violence ends, parents like Georgetta Morton told us fights like this one may force her to take her daughter to a different school.

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“It’s scary,” said Morton. “For my own child. And the safety of other children too.”

DeKalb County Schools said in a statement that it’s unclear when the incident occurred. However, the district called the behavior unacceptable and said it is looking into it.


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