Last night ABC4 presented a very interesting piece on another teen phenomenon that is harmful to the teens. While teens are known to participate in risky behavior some of it is just too risky to let slide.
I don’t want to bore you with rehashing the story, because while it is important, it isn’t my point. However, before you read on, please watch their online video (warning there are several images that might not be for the faint of heart).
Sure some of the images were disturbing, and the thought of this new counter culture is bothersome, but what really bothered me was ABC4’s handling of the teen age boy who was cutting himself.
ABC4 should not have shown the boys identity. They should have blurred out his face and changed his voice. This is very destructive behavior, and by showing the boys face, they took advantage of an underage youth to try and report a story.
But beyond that, they should have also worked with the boys parents to get the boy into some therapy. Near the end of the piece they say that if any one knows of a kid who is cutting themselves, they should get them into therapy. However, it does not appear that ABC4 followed their own council. That is truly shameful. They should have set an example.
At the end they mentioned that the boy has recently run away from home. I can’t help but wonder if ABC4’s airing of the boy’s identity wasn’t a part of the reason that he ran away. I am not blaming ABC4, but I sure can’t help but make the connection.
ABC4 was wrong. They should apologize for their irresponsible reporting and make amends to the boy and his family. I have written ABC4, and I would encourage you to do the same.