Groves Attack Reports May Have Been Bid for Attention - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/11/05

Groves Attack Reports May Have Been Bid for Attention

Police in Garden City announced their conclusion yesterday that two reported attacks at Groves High School did not happen. The question on lots of people's minds is why would the girls who reported them lie?

We sat down with Dr. Doris Greenberg, a pediatrician who focuses on developmental and behavioral issues. She says if these girls did lie, they probably have a problem, whether it's their family life, school work, or just simple high school pressure.

Dr. Greenberg says one of the most important things to come out of the Groves situation is that adults were concerned about their children. "I think it's very important for kids to realize that the charges were taken seriously until it was proven otherwise."

Now that police have said it was a false claim, Greenberg says it's time to look at the reasons behind the whole charade. "Many of our adolescents have a void in their lives," she said. "This may have been a way to provide them some comfort and attention, although briefly and although ill-advised, nevertheless it was a bid for attention."

And attention is one thing these claims certainly got a lot of.

"People who do things like this don't think of the ramifications," said Greenberg. "I think a lot of this was done impulsively."

Once it got out in the open, Greenberg says it became harder and harder for the girls to admit they'd made a mistake. "Kids in general, if they mess up, they're not terribly self-disclosing. That takes maturity."

Greenberg says if the girls did indeed lie, they should definitely be punished, so other teenagers don't copy them in an attempt to get attention.

She also says parents should take the time to talk to their kids and find out what's going on in their lives so they don't feel like they have to act out just to get attention.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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