By Wendoly Mora, Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts
Imagine an innocent old man walking
victims, including a mom right in front of
down the street on a sunny day.
her daughter. Baldwin was initial y
Everything is nice and calm. It is broad
charged with a number of charges,
daylight, and everything seems ordinary.
including hate crimes for targeting Jewish
Suddenly, a group of teens slowly
victims. He awaits trial. In the meantime,
approaches from the other way, and as
Authorities continue to watch surveil ance
they pass, one teen suddenly knocks out
videos to catch more of these people
the old man unexpectedly.
committing the `knockout' crime.
We've seen it on the news, and al over
This type of sudden assault is affecting
social media. It is everywhere, and this
more and more people every day.
new sick trend is cal ed knockout. It has
Students in our own district, teens we see
caused many serious injuries, even deaths
on the street on a daily basis, are either
to innocent citizens.
committing the crime, or have been victims
Let's start off by saying that knockout isn't
of the crime. RPHS's own Shannon O'Connor
a game. It is a vicious attack in which
was actual y a knockout victim and was
someone targets an innocent stranger in
horrified by the attack. "I was walking
an attempt to knock the person out
home after school, and a group of kids
unconscious with one punch. For teens and came up to me and hit me with a cone,
some adults, it seems like a sick game, but
knocking my glasses off. Al I did was
for the victims involved it is violent assault.
stand there and cry, until someone was
The perpetrators come in al age groups,
nice enough to help," explained Shannon.
but are mostly male, and the victims can
Some believe that this terrible trend is due
be anyone--old or young, male or female, to teen boredom, the economy, or media
and of any race or culture.
influence. This may be true, but teens need
Most recently there have been a number of to realize that knocking out strangers is
arrests associated with knockout. One of
not a fun way to pass time. In fact, knockout
the biggest attackers, Barry Baldwin, was
is pointless, vicious, and definitely does not
arrested in Brooklyn last month for a rash
belong in our society. Let's hope parents,
of assaults that police officers say have
community leaders and teens ral y against
connected to the infamous `knockout
these vicious attacks. By coming together
game'. Over the course of several months,
and raising awareness, we can knock out
Baldwin has knocked out five different
knockout. Game over.