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Kristine Aghalaryan

Professionals Differ Over Reasons for Juvenile Crime

Ruzanna Azizyan, Principal of the Monte Melkonian school, says that parents in Armenia do not devote enough attention to the upbringing and education of their children and that this factor has lead to the increase of crimes committed by adolescents. She said that when it comes to the proper education of children, parents are on the first line of influence, followed by the schools and then society in general. The school principal also believes that the traditional family in Armenia has strayed from its roots and that the new generation of teachers lack the professionalism of ealier educators. She noted that when she first started her job as principal at the Monte Melkonian school, the breaking of windows was a common occurrence, but that the vandalism stopped after she collaborated with local police. Psychologist Davit Amiryan said that the window breaking was the result of students rebelling against the school and society in general. "When we have such crimes, we are interested to know why that person has such an attitude towards society and social values," he said. Mr. Amiryan said he believes that the rise in juvenile crime in Armenia stems primarily from socio-economic factors. "They can't get the basics for daily life. They are hungry and have no homes."