It’s Time To Ask, Why?

Derek E. Baird
2 min readOct 29, 2021

This week I moderated a youth panel, and one of the teens called their phone “a safety blanket.” I asked them to share more about what they meant by that term, and they replied:

“Well, just in case something really bad goes down at school — you know what I’m talking about — I need it to call my mom and sister.”

What are we doing to kids?

After years of asking teenswhy” they need their phones, it almost always elicits the same response. It’s not, “so I can check Instagram.” It’s “I need my phone in case there’s a shooting.”

Parents and politicians complain that teens are “addicted” to their phones, without ever asking why they feel like they need to have it with them at all times. We hold hearings about Instagram and TikTok, but where are the Senate hearings about kids being shot at school?

“The youth of America are dying at the hands of our leaders’ inaction and if they’re not willing to face this reality, we will show it to them,” said one teen who helped create #mylastshot.

It’s time to start asking the adults and the politicians, “Why?” Why do we allow this madness to continue? Why are we allowing an entire generation to live in fear and anxiety over gun violence?

Why?

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Derek E. Baird

Child + Teen Trust & Safety, Digital Child Rights + Wellbeing Expert | Kids & Teen Cultural Strategy | Author | Signal Award-winning podcast writer & producer