Agreed, it's a lack of parental involvement. To add something else to the mix (and discussion), I also think it's a lack of future. When growing up, you see that those in charge spend your future for their present, you get a disconnect.
When the guv'mint is spending like you don't matter, when some parents are more worried about their second home/car than the kids education, when society create laws protecting child predators more than the child...
Yeah, I can total see why kids would say "Whatever", and flip that switch.
I see it with recent college grads that in almost a year they cannot get starter positions in companies, apartments are ridiculous because grown adults walked away from homes that were underwater, and the dollar is a joke heard 'round the world.
I'm still a conservative libertarian, but I understand some of the stuff that the kids are saying... (shrugs) Of course, we grew up with the threat of nuclear war, rapid inflation, two presidents (Nixon/Clinton) who were busted hard core in office, and a gas crisis.
Dunno, maybe helping to raise three kids, I don't feel good about their future, and I'm trying to "toughen" them up to prepare them for anything that comes ahead.
Is this the part where I grab the chainlink fence, and scream "AVENGE ME BOYS! AAAVVEEENNNGGEEE MEEE!" ala' "Red Dawn"?