Saturday, December 1, 2007

Number of people dying of suicide outnumbers those killed in wars - Pravda.Ru

More nonsense from Russia this time:

Number of people dying of suicide outnumbers those killed in wars - Pravda.Ru

It is worthy of note that every real suicide is a critical demonstration of personal despair, whereas every demonstrative suicide is a potentially real one. Juvenile suicide is a much more complex phenomenon than it seems to be at the first sight. It is an open secret that the demonstrative suicidal conduct is typical teenagers, like other kinds of expressive behavior. In some subcultures, like Emo or Goth teenagers, for example, the marks of a failed suicide attempt (bruises or cuts) are viewed as high rank military insignia. Most often, a teenager tries to commit suicide not to simply impress his parents, but to overcome the fear of death. Suicidal behavior among young people may also be of imitative character.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Razor incident after Emo taunt

From such a short report it is difficult to tell what is going on here. The girl might just have a self harm problem and no interest in emo style or music given the popular stereotype. Was this the first time she had been taunted in this way or was bullying part of her life?

Girl arrested after slashing on school bus - Northwest Florida Daily News
Thursday November 29th, 2007

CRESTVIEW — A 12-year-old girl faces felony charges for lashing out at another student with a razor blade on Halloween. The incident happened on a school bus, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The girl, a sixth-grader, told investigators she was upset at the other student for threatening to tell her mother that she had been cutting herself.

She became even madder when other kids on the bus began “calling her an ‘Emo,’” according to the report.

She said she lashed out at him with the blade but didn’t intend for any injury.
The boy’s jeans were sliced and his parent said his leg was injured. A deputy did not notice any visible wound the day after the incident. The girl was charged with aggravated battery and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 26.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Fury as long-haired son suspended

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Fury as long-haired son suspended
Tuesday, 27 November 2007,

A 15-year-old rock music fan suspended from school for refusing to cut his long hair says he will not back down.

Grant Stranaghan, a GCSE student at Ballyclare High, was suspended for three days last week for having collar-length hair.

Upon his return, he was excluded from class for still not getting a hair cut.

His father George said: "I could have cried when he told me what they did to him - they put him in a room and threw work at him, no contact with anyone."

"This is Northern Ireland in 2007. Solitary confinement, I think it's called - he did say he got plenty of work done, but I don't think it's fair."

I would be depressed without my hair
Grant Stranaghan
Mr Stranaghan, from Rathcoole in Newtownabbey, has threatened legal action, saying the school is in breach of British law, European law and gender laws.

Year 11 pupil and rock music fan Grant told the BBC's Nolan Show that his long hair is a crucial part of his personal identity.

"I don't see why I should get my hair cut for them - it is my hair, my natural appearance and I don't think it's within their right to tell me to get my hair cut. I would be depressed without my hair - I've had it cut short before and I feel really bad for weeks afterwards, it's not a good experience."

School principal David Knox said there was never any intention to cause a stand-off.

He said Grant had been suspended because he was in breach of school regulations, adding that he would discuss the matter further with Mr Stranaghan.

More background here:

Not an inch - Local & National - News - Belfast Telegraph

Mr Stranaghan believes his son should not have to conform to what he deems draconian regulations.

The 45-year-old historian and Loughside Football Club coach said: "Grant is a great wee lad. We have never had any problems with him at all. In 12 years at school there has been nothing. His attendance at school is exemplary.

"He is just a normal lad. He is into that type of music, rock music where they all have long hair. He is very quiet and doesn't bother anyone."

Grant's hair is two inches below his collar - a breach of the school rules which state boy's hair must be above the collar. Added Mr Stranaghan: " I don't think two inches of hair should affect 12 years of education. Why should he have to cut his hair? I can't make him get his hair cut.

"What am I supposed to do, hold him down or go in with a pair of scissors when he is asleep?

"We did take him to get it cut but it wasn't enough and he was really annoyed at having to get it cut up to the length it is. He doesn't want to cut it any more. He has offered to tie it back in a pony tail but they are having none of it.

"It's against every law in the land to make him do something he doesn't want to."

But Mr Stranaghan said: "I'll take this the whole way. They are breaking every rule in British law, European law and in terms of gender law."

In a statement released yesterday Ballyclare High School principal, David Knox, said: "A pupil was suspended under the School's Discipline policy for repeated and persistent breaches of the school rules.

" This action is unusual in this school where there is a high level of co-operation from our pupils. The suspension was for three days only and was imposed only after all other sanctions had failed to prompt a positive response.

"The pupil has now returned to school. I had hoped to discuss the way forward with his parents, but they declined to meet me this morning, Monday, November 26 to discuss the matter and have declined to meet me tomorrow morning.

"The school has at all times attempted to be reasonable while implementing the policies of the Board of Governors who represent parents, teachers and the community."

A text poll on yesterday's Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster revealed that 69% of listeners thought Grant should cut his hair and get on with doing his GCSEs.

The poll on the bbc site above is currently supporting Grant.

More links:

Pupil suspended for refusing to have his hair cut - Belfast Today

Legal advice to be sought over pupil's suspension - Belfast Today

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Emo panic hits Malta

Sound familiar.... look like one incident has generated a media bubble of lies and distortion. A few kids self harm and suddenly an entire genre of music is to blame. People self-harmed before emo was popular it is not some teenage fad but a serious condition.

Fear for emo kids

di-ve news -- 12 November 2007

ZEJTUN, Malta (di-ve news) -- November 12, 2007 -- 1320CEST -- Several Maltese teenagers are being drawn to a youth subculture which actively promotes self-harm. The latest teen fad is called 'emo', short for 'emotional'.

This is an angst-filled culture which is characterised by youths wearing dark attire, dying their hair black and having long black nails. Such teens are often negative about life and some of them even cut themselves. Such a phenomenon in Malta is a growing concern as incidences of teens inflicting harm on themselves are increasing.

A few weeks ago, a 12-year-old girl in a Junior Lyceum slashed her wrist with a knife in an all-girls collective blood pact and had to be hospitalised as she had lost a lot of blood.

However, the seriousness of the incident came to light after teachers discovered the scars of the other girls. What is surprising is that this angst-filled teen comes from a stable home and that she managed to hide her scars from her parents, who are both professionals. [Ed: A fact which is not surprising at all if you actually read ANYTHING about self-harm but hey journalists are busy people.]

After this incident, the students have been instructed to keep their nails short, while teachers are searching bags for knives and compasses. Parents are particularly concerned because the subculture is spreading steadily over the internet, and thus their children could easily come across the concept and get entangled into it.

[Ed. Is it just me or does this photo seem POSED? Possibly even sensational.]

An investigation made by uncovered a trail of internet-based local emo message boards on Hi5.

The Malta Union of Teachers president John Bencini said that the union was not informed about the case.

On their part, the Ministry of Education confirmed the story. However questions sent to the Education Department a month ago remained unanswered despite the numerous follow ups.

We asked if the problem was well-spread amongst Maltese students. We also asked what precautions were teachers encouraged to take and, if notwithstanding such precautions such a case does occur, what they must do.

Furthermore, we also asked if the girls involved in the incident had been counselled and monitored, whether access to internet was harmful to children and how could the parents deduct their children had embraced the subculture.

Education counselling service tackles emos in schools
by -
Local News -- 27 November 2007 -- 11:30CEST
The latest teen fad to spread across local schools is the emo sub-culture, which has generated concern following the reports that self-harm is actively promoted amongst the youths who are often characterised by anger and negativity.
A few weeks ago, exclusively revealed that one particular female student in a Junior Lyceum had to be hospitalised after losing a lot of blood when she slashed her wrist in a collective blood pact.

The concern over the incident had grown even more after teachers discovered the scars on the other girls.

The report was also picked up by various other local media, which followed up the story.

Meanwhile, caught up with an official spokesperson within the Ministry for Education, who confirmed that the incident took place, adding that immediate action had been taken accordingly in all the cases that had been reported.

“When a school notices that a student is having difficulty or experiencing a situation that is potentially harmful to their development, action is taken in various forms. One service that is offered is the Guidance and Counselling Service, where a student is followed by professionals and work is also done with the family.

”The school at times also refers students to outside agencies who may be able to give a more specialised psychological service if this is needed. Students are then monitored for any progress or regression that may occur,” the spokesperson said.

As yet, there is no scientific study that shows the extent to which the emo subculture has spread in the local schools, but the Ministry for Education has only received a few individual reports.

Such trends are common amongst adolescents, and new fads and modes of behaviours appear in schools from time to time.

Whilst pointing out that all schools have a trained counsellor who works on prevention and intervention, the spokesperson said that in those schools where the emo situation was felt to be present, parents and staff were given information on how to recognise the phenomenon, its consequences, how to handle such situations and where to refer for help through an information session that also included a power-point presentation.

Teachers are advised to consult with their Head of School or guidance and counselling team if they notice, have evidence or strongly suspect that a student is going through a particular difficulty or is in need for help, other than academic support.

“It is to be stressed that such trends often manifest deeper psychological or emotional trauma or difficulties, and what is important is to understand the core reason for engaging in such behaviour,” the spokesperson further told

Given that the internet is probably the main source from where the emo subculture is being derived -- and therefore it is relatively easy for the students to come across and get entangled into it -- the spokesperson was asked whether access to the internet is harmful to children.

However, he dismissed such an argument and stressed on the need of educating students to evaluate and critically think about the consequences of their decisions and behaviour, including the way in which they use the internet.

”Like everything else in life, all tools can be extremely useful but may also be abused of. Medicine is a wonderful ‘tool’ for healing the human being; however, mankind has managed to abuse of this in the form of substance abuse. The internet is a wonderful educational tool, however, has also been manipulated and can be harmful if misused.

“The solution is not to remove internet access but to educate the responsible adults on how to monitor their children,” he concluded.

Skateboarder dies as hero

Skateboarder killed in park was 'a hero' Southern California News

Saturday, November 24, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

Slideshow: Memorial for skateboarder Mike Reed

FONTANA - The two-fingered peace sign was as much a part of Mike Reed's image as his skateboard or colorful bandanas. And if anyone saw it as just a pose, friends will forever point to the last few seconds of his life.

Reed, a 21-year-old Rialto resident, was fatally shot Wednesday when he tried to stop a robbery at Fontana Skate Park.

Stan Lim / The Press-Enterprise
Fellow skaters cover the ground at their skateboards with tributes to Mike Reed, 21, of Rialto. They gathered at Jack Bulik Park in Fontana on Friday to mourn Reed, who was killed there Wednesday when he told a group of teens to leave after they pulled a gun.

According to police and the man Reed aided, Reed saw a teen put a gun to a fellow skater's head, so he asked them to leave. The gunman shot Reed instead. On Friday, as dozens of red-eyed skaters turned the area into a memorial -- tagging peace signs and "Mike's Park" onto signs and sidewalks -- the man Reed helped expressed his gratitude.

"I don't know what the hell would have happened if he wasn't there," said 21-year-old John De La Cruz. "He stepped up for me and I kind of see him as a hero now."

No arrests have been made.

Fontana police said the shooter, described only as a male between 15 and 18 years old, entered the Juniper Avenue park with three accomplices shortly after 8:30 p.m. De La Cruz said the group asked for loose change. When he said he had none, one put him in a headlock and pulled a gun.

Story continues below
Josh Thompson, of Fontana, and other skateboarders mourn for Mike Reed, who died after being shot Wednesday at Jack Bulik Park. "He had so much going for him," a friend said.

That caught Reed's attention.

"Within two seconds, the guy shot him. Just for saying something," De La Cruz said. "Basically he asked the guy what his problem was, and to take it somewhere else."

Everyone froze in shock as the suspects ran off and Reed lay bleeding from the head, De La Cruz said. He died at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center less than an hour later.

"He was a peacemaker down there," said his mother, Carmen Reed. Her son spent upwards of 12 hours a day at the skate park in an effort to turn pro, she said. "It was his life."

Although he also found work through a temp agency, Reed's real occupation was skating. Only weeks earlier, the self-proclaimed hippie known for the 360-degree skateboarding trick "Switch Trey Flips" landed his first sponsor: the Citizen skateboard clothing company.

Story continues below

"He had so much going for him," said Cara Lawson, a 17-year-old Fontana skater who knew Reed for seven years. Behind her, a skater obscured by large sunglasses yelled: "The legend of Fontana!"

Jimi Hendrix played from a boom box and just about every skateboard in the park was tagged with "R.I.P. Mike Reed" during Friday's growing memorial to the skater. The mood was somber, but no one said the shooting would deter them from skating. Josh Thompson, who held back tears most of the morning, said that the park is well-lit after dark, and that most of the time everyone "just chills."

Councilman Frank Scialdone, a former police chief, said the skate park's placement within Jack Bulik Park, along the edge of Juniper Avenue, means that police can drive by and easily peek inside. Plans have been made to have park staff members on site during all hours the skatepark is open.

"I don't think you'll see a reduction in usage," Scialdone said. "But we're always looking for ways to improve security."

The park is a frequent spot for police activity, said Sgt. Jeff Decker, but most calls are skateboard or iPod robberies. He recalled one nonfatal shooting elsewhere in Jack Bulik Park several years back. Reed's father, Michael Lee Reed Sr., said his son loathed war of any kind, reminding him of famed reggae singer Bob Marley. Standing nearby, the victim's 17-year-old brother, Demetrius, couldn't immediately bring himself to add anything.

But an hour later, he sent a text message to a friend at the skate park, wanting it to be passed along. It read: "He was all about peace."

$15000 reward set in investigation of skater's death
Press-Enterprise, CA - 28th Nov

The City Council offered a reward Tuesday night for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed skater Michael Reed Jr. last week at Fontana Skate Park.

The council put up $5,000, and, during the council meeting, developer Reggie King, a partner in Young Homes, sent a text message to Mayor Mark Nuaimi pledging another $10,000 to the reward fund. The council -- with Councilwoman Janice Rutherford absent -- accepted King's offer and unanimously approved the $15,000 reward.

Reed, a 21-year-old Rialto resident, died at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center shortly after the Nov. 21 shooting. The skate park lies within Jack Bulik Park, in central Fontana.

"We need (the public's) assistance in solving this crime," Councilwoman Acquanetta Warren said in proposing the reward.

"We have a number of leads we're following up on," Fontana Police Chief Larry Clark told the council.

Clark urged anyone with information to call WeTip, the anti-crime hotline that keeps the identities of tipsters confidential.

Warren and Councilman John Roberts paid their condolences to Reed's parents and younger brother on Monday. The family hasn't finalized funeral arrangements, she said. Clark appealed to grieving skaters to stop scrawling graffiti memorializing Reed, who was slain trying to protect another youth from being robbed.

"As a result of their vandalism, the skate park has been closed ... for several days," the police chief said. Roberts suggested the council consider placing a plaque in Reed's memory at the skate park, or perhaps renaming it in his memory.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Footage of the Concert

Footage of the concert on Saturday on Granada News about 3 mins in will probably go down soon so watch quickly.

Campaigning developments

The Epetition at Downing Street website against Subcultural Hate Crime has shot through the 2000 mark and is now on 2105. This increase seems likely to have been caused by the spurt of interest following Sophie's Funeral plus the recent concert. The youtube video of her funeral has now had almost 11,000 views over 2 weeks and can be found all over the net.

Another development is a new campaigning organisation the Gothic Liberation Front aiming to help goths facing discrimination and attack has started in the USA. They too have been inspired by the the death of Sophie. They are setting up branches all over the place they have one in the UK, France and in Germany and hopefully they will prove a useful support for goths and help them out in times of trouble. They seem to be taking a more militant approach to the whole thing, but it looks like their heart is in the right place. Since all they are suggesting is self defence which is perfectly legal that is fair enough. The more organizations addressing this problem the better. Check them out here.

I think part of their stance may have something to with the aftermath of the breakdown of Goth Help Us mentioned earlier - Farewell Goth Help Us.

Glasgow "goths and neds"

I belong to Glasgow ( photos) - 27 Nov 2007 - NZ Herald: Travel News and Information from New Zealand and around the World

A New Zealand reporter gets an interesting view of Glasgow and local divisions from talking to local teens:

The younger folk, teens still at school and wishing they weren't, loiter about on the sidewalks down by the River Clyde. There are two distinct groups; the neds (non-educated delinquents) and emo-following goths.

A goth, explains Fiona, 16, wears skinny-legged black jeans, T-shirts of bright colours and heavy black boots. Hair must be dyed jet black, bleached blonde or coloured pink. The neds have short undyed hair, wear baggy, low-slung jeans, hoodies and sports shoes. Neds are apparently doomed to trades whereas goths will likely attend Glasgow University when they finish school. These smoking, swearing youths are the city's future engineers, doctors and economists.

Stately George Square, in the city's heart, is another loitering place for goths and neds. It's fronted by the grandiose City Chambers built - no expense spared - in 1880, in the days when Glasgow was the trading, shipbuilding and textile hub of the Empire. ...

The riverside goths say architecture is one of the things they love about their city, along with its cheerful accommodation of drinking and carousing. Chances are, in a decade, these dishevelled youths will have finished university and will be designing more impress-ive examples of Glas-wegian engineering and the neds will be muscling-up on build-ing sites rather than slouching about in hoodies.

Monday, November 26, 2007

BBC NEWS | England | Lancashire | Concert staged for attack victim

BBC NEWS | England | Lancashire | Concert staged for attack victim
25 November 2007, 12:48 GMT
A memorial concert has been held to celebrate what would have been the 21st birthday of a woman who died following an attack in a skate park.

Sophie Lancaster died two weeks after the attack in Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Lancashire on 11 August.

The event, for 200 of Sophie's friends and family, was staged at St Mary's Chambers in Rawtenstall.

Some of her favourite local bands played and 21 black balloons were released from the venue.

A one minute "noise" was also held at midnight with all the bands on stage as a show of "solidarity and respect" for Sophie.

Friends' memorial for Sophie's 21st birthday

THE friends and family of a woman who died after being attacked in a park came together to celebrate what would have been her 21st birthday.

More than 200 people attended the memorial event for Sophie Lancaster at St Mary's Chamber in Rawtenstall on Sunday night.

Six bands and DJ Grimly Fiendish from the Misery of Sound, played at the event, which saw 21 black and silver balloons released into the sky in her memory.

A one minute "noise" was also held at midnight with all the bands on stage as a show of solidarity and respect for Sophie.

Sophie's boyfriend, Robert Maltby, who was also left seriously injured in the attack, attended the event and released one of the balloons.

Kate Convoy-Greenwood, a close friend of the Lancaster family, said: "It was an amazing night. The noise at midnight was amazing - it was measured at 127 decibels which is pretty noisy considering a jet engine is 130!

"Tickets were sold on the night towards the SOPHIE - Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere fund - which has now reached £2,500.

"Next we are going to sell black memorial wristbands towards the fund.

"Sophie's My Space site has doubled since it started out and messages of support have been lovely. People have left pictures on the site and messages have come from as far as America.

"We are very grateful to St Mary's Chambers as the venue would have cost £300 but they waived the fee especially...

Bands at the concert were:

Eustacia Vie, Ded Mole Crickit, In fight, 3 Squid, Coporial and Andy and Luke. All of them knew either Sophie or her family and it must have been very difficult to play such an emotional occasion, when they should have been at her 21st birthday party.
I am proud to know should wonderful, intelligent, caring young people.

We hope to have CDs of the night ready to sell to raise extra funds for the campaign."

Concert in memory of Sophie
This Is Lancashire, UK - 25 Nov 2007

A LIVE bands night is taking place in memory of Sophie Lancaster on Friday, November 30.

Sophie died after she was attacked in Stubbylee Park, in Bacup, in August.

Her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, also suffered serious head and facial injuries.

The concert, organised by Coun Alan Neal and others, will feature Whiskey Chorus, Ice, Midblue and members of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School band.

Tickets are £5 from Bacup Leisure Hall, or from Coun Neal on 07817 414721.

All proceeds will go to SOPHIE - Stamp Out Prejudice and Intolerance Everywhere memorial fund. The fund was set up by family and friends of the former Haslingden High pupil.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sikh, Goth and Chav

BBC - Devon - Community Life - Sikh-ing his Britishness:

Ineresing project here and poem.

Goth & Chav

How long before
they see me as a Sikh
they realise I'm not unique
they treat me like a human
someone cries "Is this true man"
they see that inside we're tougher
we don't have to suffer
they realise?
they start to sympathise
they realise the power to touch
they realise it means so much
my love turns to hate
you become my mate
we get noticed
we stop getting dissed
I've got nothing to fear
They get me out of here

Chav versus Emo division dramatised


The Weston Mercury - Modern twist on Shakespeare classic
20 November 2007

TWO star-crossed lovers in sovereign rings and studded belts will meet on stage in Cheddar next month.

Kings of Wessex School has chosen to give the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet a modern twist depicting the Capulets and Montagues as 'chavs' and 'emos'.

Actors from year nine are preparing to get loved up for the production, which takes place on December 6 and 7.

The cast of more than thirty students, including Ben Champion as Romeo and Sophie Caunt as Juliet, will take to the stage four hundred years after the original play was written.

This modern version includes songs from Hard-Fi, Massive Attack and Justin Timberlake and draws loosely on school life.

Tickets, priced £3 for adults and £2 for students and concessions, are available at the school office.

In fact this idea has been used before:

Goths, chavs and Hell's Kitchen for Shakespeare - Times Online

June 27, 2005

IT’S Shakespeare but the Bard might not recognise it. A Winter’s Tale is now a battle between chavs and goths while the BBC has signed Twiggy to appear in a modern Taming of the Shrew. On Sunday, 10,000 children from 400 schools will take part in an event designed to energise Shakespeare’s works for the MTV generation. After a series of BBC sponsored workshops, they will perform 30-minute abridged versions of his plays at theatres across Britain to create a record-breaking One Night of Shakespeare...

Another school is using Twelfth Night to explore the issues of immigration and asylum, while the tragic jealousies of A Winter’s Tale are relocated to the teenage tribes of chavs and goths.

Why is this significant well it shows in two separate schools these rivalries seem worthy enough to dramatise.

Sophie's Birthday

She would have been 21 today.