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  Words in the News
  BBC Correspondent Stephen Sackur reported on America’s violent youth. We also heard from an inmate of a prison for teenage murderers in Texas.
  Audio Listen to the report in full
Giddings State School inmates

15th July 1999

Violent teenagers in US detention centres

NEWS 1   Dawn breaks over Giddings State School. Twenty teenage boys sporting regulation white t-shirts are on the move. Here in the heart of conservative Texas, young criminals, murderers and thugs are forced to confront military style discipline, a traditional view of right and wrong. But Giddings is more than a boot camp devoted to breaking down angry adolescents. This place also offers inmates a glimpse of redemption but only if, like eighteen year old Leanne, they are prepared to confront their crimes head on.
'I was standing behind my mother and I pulled out a twenty five calibre pistol and I shot her in the back of the head and killed her." from

dawn breaks: poetic English which means 'the day begins'

sporting: wearing with pride, sometimes to show off

thugs: rough violent people, usually criminals

boot camp: US English - a military training camp especially for new soldiers

inmates: prisoners

a glimpse of redemption: literary/poetic expression meaning an opportunity to reform

NEWS 2  

Just because my mother abused me and took her anger out on me and intentionally hurt me all those years, that gave me no right to take her life. I’m not the judge, I’m not an executioner. You know, it’s not my place. And I’ve started realising all the other options that I had. I could have left. I could have went and told someone, tried to seek some kind of help. There was a lot of things that I could have done but I x-ed them all out and said ‘no, this is the only way’.


to abuse: to mistreat a young person

options: choices

I could have went: non-standard colloquial English - standard form would be 'I could have gone'

but I x-ed them all out: American slang, not used in British English. Here it means 'I crossed them off my list of possibilities'

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