The Kids Aren’t Alright

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, welcomed Lori Keesey to provide another commentary in a series.

The Lori Keesey Commentaries

The theme of this commentary isn’t based on research. It’s anecdotal and grounded on conversations with teachers, mental health experts, and news articles. Even lyrics to a song inspired what I’m about to say.


The kids, including the very young, aren’t alright.


The Shot that Reverberated Across the Country


Let’s start with the Virginia teacher who was shot and wounded by her 6-year-old student in January.


Or what motivated a fourth-grader attending a large metropolitan-area school to punch his teacher in the face and break her nose?

And last, an elementary-school aide shared a drawing with me. The fourth-grade class was instructed to draw a bookmark celebrating Valentine’s Day. One of students drew two victims, one with a knife plunged into the gut and the other lying in a pool of blood.


The message…“Your (sic) Dead.”


Are You Shocked?


Does this stuff shock you?


Prior to 1999, no one would’ve imagined kids violently attacking teachers and students.


Columbine changed that. So did the shooting deaths of 20 Sandy Hook first graders in 2012. Six years later, we were revolted yet again by the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.


And that’s just a snapshot. We’re still reeling since the shooting deaths of six kids and adults at a school in Nashville just a few weeks ago.


Persistent Sadness


I’m also shocked, or, rather, saddened by recently published data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


According to the report, 57 percent of U.S. teen girls feel persistently sad and hopeless—double that of boys. This is the highest level reported over the past decade. The report also confirms ongoing and extreme distress among teens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning.


Has It Always Been Like This?


I was 8-years-old when The Who released “The Kids Are Alright”—a song many reference as meaning kids will do just fine. Thirty-four years later, a punk rock band from Orange County, California, offered its own take on whether the kids were alright.


Apparently, Offspring didn’t think so. “The Kids Aren’t Alright” released in 1999. I can’t quote the lyrics because of copyright laws, but you can read them for yourself on a website referenced in this commentary, along with comments people had left on the site.


“The song tells of how, when we’re teens we all have big dreams for our futures, yet most of as will have lives that end up crappy,” wrote one commenter.


Another said, “When you were six, suicide or drugs weren’t even in your vocabulary…. Longing for what used to be says it all.”


These comments were written two decades ago!


What’s Going On?


Fast forward to today. A kindergarten aide tells me of a 5-year-old who said, “I guess you should go ahead and shoot me.” Another school employee relates the time a second grader told his teacher that he wanted to rape her.


“The kids are getting sicker and sicker,” a Maryland therapist told me. “A lot is going on and kids are struggling. They’re exposed to adult content, social media, and they’re growing up too fast.” Those are her words, not mine.


What do we do? Wring our hands? Glibly say it’s a sign of the times? Shouldn’t we be asking hard questions that get to the root causes of what ails our kids today? Again, just a question!


I’ll close with this:


“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”


Jesus said that… Woe to us for allowing the children to potentially stumble.


Author/Blogger Lori Keesey discovered her passion for writing at age six, when she wrote and illustrated a very short story about three puppies lost in a hatbox. Her first-grade teacher loved it and encouraged her to continue writing.


Many years later, the study of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird rekindled her interest. So captivated by Harper’s young protagonist, Scout, Lori wanted to create characters just as engaging as this spunky little girl. Years passed—and hundreds, if not thousands, of novels were read—before Lori realized her goal. Her debut novel, The Difference He Made, is scheduled to release in late 2023.


Lori writes a weekly blog—“The Accidental Blogger”—that spotlights men and women who overcome adversity and  has authored two short stories, “Robert’s Prayer” and “The Note.” Both stories and a host of other gifts are free to those who subscribe to her monthly letter.


To subscribe and learn more about Lori, go to


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