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Is increase in violence among Las Vegas teens linked to social media use?

By Madison Kimbro,


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many believe the evolution of social media is to blame for the surge in teen violence and that many kids see these acts of violence as a chance to get their viral moment.

“The morals are very low these days,” parent Victor Claiborne said. “You have to have eyes on your kids, talk to them and be there and know what is going on.”

Claiborne is a father to a 3-year-old boy and while he is not a father to a teen yet, he sees the increase in violence among teenagers.

Levi Price is also a father of two young boys and acknowledges how the violence among youth seems to be amplified by social media use.

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“You see fights in school and instead of people breaking up the fight, they are all filming it, encouraging it and trying to post it on social media,” Price said.

Within the past couple of months, there have been several shootings and attacks involving teenagers across the valley including a party bus attack where a 17-year-old boy allegedly raped a teen girl, a teen boy who was shot in his neighborhood while playing outside, and an 18-year-old who shot a campus security monitor at Von Tobel Middle School earlier this month.

Dr. Sid Khurana, a psychiatrist at Nevada Mental Health and shared with 8 News Now what he has seen at his practice.

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“We have seen an uptick in all kinds of violence and it just demonstrated a very clear skill deficit that there is an interpersonal problem,” Khurana said.

Family therapist, Donna Wilburn said since COVID, the demand for help has spiked.

“They never, in my opinion, never got a chance to recover and heal from what the pandemic did to their development,” Wilburn said. “Child-to-child violence. The fights and group fights, things in schools and outside of school. We are getting so many teens into counseling because of the violence that many agencies have a waiting list.”

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While everyone wishes there was a simple fix to stop these vicious acts, Wilburn said paying attention and being involved is the first step.

“I have too many parents saying, ‘What are they stressed about?’ That’s not validating, okay? Your child is stressing and you need to understand from their point of view, not impose your point of view,” Wilburn said.

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