School shootings, violent video games & bullying today

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School shootings, violent video games & bullying today

The only reality I can come to as to why the violence and the shootings have increased - because I work these all the time. And I work with the violent, the schools that have violence. And I go to sometimes the school shootings. You know, when I do confronting of the kids, and even at the college level, I talk about the disconnect of the heart. And I say to our kids, our plan, I say, how many of you - and this is 4th graders. How many of you play Grand Theft Auto Vice City? They all raise their hands. And they go, you run over homeless people. I go, you beat a prostitute to death with a tire iron. You run over cops, paramedics, and fire fighters. And they laugh all the way through. And I go, look at what you just did. What do you think parents, what do you think policeman would say if they heard you laughing about this? What do you think they would say? And then at the college level, at an Ivy League School, I'm confronting the kids who are gamers. They love their games. And they say, well all research. I go come on now. Please. You're smart kids. Think. The tobacco industry hired people to tell us that the research all bears out that these things do not cause cancer called cigarettes. Come on. Be wise. Be smarter than research and parroting. Be wise. But I go, you tell me this, in one of this video games, 3 women - how many of you are from working class families? They raise their hands. I go, 3 working class women on the poles, they're murdered by the perpetrator, the user of this game. Now do you think it was a healthy, well woman growing up in an educated environment that designed that game, or a frustrated angry guy from the suburbs filled with disappointment and disillusionment who made it possible for 3 women from working class circumstances to be murdered? Think with your hearts. Think with your hearts. This is what's really important to do, to intervene with them and to talk to them about modern culture and how they talk to each other on the web, about how they say the most viciously wicked sick twisted things to hurt each other, to blow each other's candles out, to really damage the psyche for a long term and cause scar tissue on somebody. Where is the violence from? Because these young men like Mr. Cho who had been ridiculed and hurt and was picked on egregiously at his school when he was growing up. They shoved his head in a toilet and made him drink urine. And then he goes to Virginia Tech because he's brilliant. He has a 4.2. But he murdered 32 people, including a holocaust survival professor. It doesn't take much to extrapolate from all of this with a why spirit that they're disconnected from their hearts. They're disconnected from the consequences of the cruelty that comes from just words. Words are weapons. The most powerful thing I teach kids is use your words as shields, not as swords. Know that person's spirit, heart, and character. And if you can be cruel to a person who you understand, you missed the point of your life.

Watch Michael Pritchard's video on School shootings, violent video games & bullying today...


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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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