Aurora -- Bullying is the No. 1 cause of school violence, according to Phil Chalmers, an Aurora High School graduate who describes himself as America's leading authority on juvenile homicide and mass murder.
"We encourage students to report bullying to the schools," he said. "That is a way to stop teen violence. If kids are reluctant to report bullying, that's dangerous. If they don't report it, it can turn deadly. Kids need to be more proactive."
Chalmers has been putting on assemblies about bullying and related topics across the country for 25 years, and now does several a month.
"That is a passion of mine," he said. "I wanted to reach out and help kids. I started speaking locally at camps and conferences and then expanded to schools. We talk about bullying, substance abuse, crime prevention, drunk driving, self image, suicide -- all the destructive decisions that kids are facing."
Chalmers, who said he receives calls from police departments nationwide about teen murder cases, has published a book, "Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer."
"Every day, five teenagers commit murder, and 12 young people take their own lives," he said. "Those are startling numbers. I call this era 'generation death.' The movies and video games result in a violent generation.
"People ask me 'how is bullying different than it was in the 1950s?'" he said. "This generation is much more violent because of the culture we live in. What I tell parents is they can no longer put their kids on cruise control. If you do, this culture will devour your kids. You have to be involved."
HE SAID certain things trigger violence. For a male, he said the main trigger is that his girlfriend dumped him. For a girl, he said the main trigger is a parent saying she can't date a certain boy.
A new "game" that some young people play is "knockout," Chalmers said. Young people walk up to an unsuspecting person and literally punch them out.
"That's what they find entertaining," he said. "Then they'll film it and put it on the Internet."
Chalmers is a regular contributor on Fox News. His show, "Killer Kids," started in October and is a regular program on the A&E Channel.
His show, "Killer Teens," a one-hour documentary, airs about once a month on the Lifetime movie network.
Chalmers and his wife, Wendi, are Remax Realtors, selling houses in Aurora and the surrounding area. He said he donates a portion of his real estate sales to anti-bullying causes "to try to keep kids safe."
"We'll donate our school assemblies to schools that can't afford them," he said. "Also, we'll donate books and DVDs to schools that can't afford to buy them."
He last spoke in Aurora schools a couple years ago.
"The schools know they can bring me in to speak for free," he said, adding he encourages parents to contact him if they have questions. "We're available to the people of Aurora."
For more information, visit www.philchalmers.com.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC