Tags: civil action, improvements, juvenile detention, lock up
(NOTE: the students were asked to write letters to the mayors of their respective towns, identifying a problem that teenagers face in those communities and offering solutions to those problems.)
We need to help our city look better by keeping it clean. People are always throwing trash everywhere. It makes our city look nasty. We need to take some time out and clean our city.
We need to get more jobs for young people and more things for the to do to keep them out of trouble.
I think it would a good decision to double on drug task force officers to help get meth and heroin out of our town. They could just bust in the houses where the meth is because meth heads don’t go driving around, they just stay home.
These days, teenagers aren’t able to get jobs. I think we should because then we’d be able to help our parents.
There has been a lot of littering in the G——– Lake. Fish are dying. I believe if you raised the fines, people would stop.
I think we need a place for kids to go and get off the streets. We used to go to the rec center until it closed. Please help us! It could keep a lot of people out of trouble.
One of the problems teens face in our town is the drugs in schools. I really think that there should be more searches at our school. Teens that have never done drugs are getting introduced to them at school instead of getting an education.
Our roads have too many holes in them. It could cause many problems. I would hate for anybody to have a wreck.
Basically, all the kids in P—- do drugs. We need something else to do. We don’t have anywhere safe to go. Could you please make a mall, a skate park, a theater, or just a place where we could hang out and have fun without any drugs around? Thank you for reading my letter.
Tags: books, juvenile detention, lockup, teen readers, World Book Night
My very first year as a teacher was in 1996 in rural Alabama. I walked into the supply room one day and (angels singing) there was a class set of Fahrenheit 451, those little paperback-sized hardcover editions. There was a copy of the movie and a teacher’s guide. I pulled one out and opened it and the spine still cracked because the books had never been opened. I raced to the department head (who just happened to be married to my principal) and told her I wanted to use those books.
“No? I can’t use them?” I asked.
“Because another teacher teaches that book?” I asked, confused.
“Well…” I said, still confused.
(angry sigh) “It’s been banned.”
“That book. It’s been banned. We don’t teach THAT book here.”
“Um…” Confused again.
“I’m confused. You banned a book about book banning?”
“Yes. And we DON’T teach that one here.”
I never got to use it. The next time I went in that closet, they were all gone, even the movie, like she thought I would sneak in there and grab them, and teach it anyway. They were quite possibly thrown in the trash, all forty copies.
Fast forward to 2013. I’ve now been a teacher in a maximum security juvenile detention center for the past six years. For the second year in a row, I’ve applied for my classroom to be a book site for World Book Night. One million books around the world are handed out and given away, twenty copies at a time. Last year, my class was selected and I got to give every student his own personal copy of The Book Thief and for some of them, it was the first book they ever owned. It was theirs to keep, and I made a big show out of writing their names in them so no one could take them away. We were chosen again this year, and the book I’ve been assigned to give to my students is Fahrenheit 451. Amen.
Tags: juvenile detention, lockup, stereotypes, teen writers
There are many stereo-types in today’s society. For example, there are the jocks, and the preps, or the band geeks, Goth kids, and the socially awkward. At my school, we have these types, and of course people expect for people to stay in them. But do they? No, they don’t.
I was a part of the “outcast” group, but I talked to everybody. I had friends that were cheerleaders and some that were basketball players and some were in the band. Some of the people from the other groups didn’t like that too well, so I became the target to socially destroy. People made rumors about me that weren’t true, and all other kinds of mean things. So, eventually I just stopped talking to everybody and kept to myself thinking this would make the rumors stop. To my dismay, they didn’t.
So now I just ignore everybody, and as the time has been passing, the rumors have slowed to a stop. Not everybody picks what group they go to. When I transferred to my new school, I was immediately placed somewhere because of my appearance. With my skinny jeans, band T-shirt, lip ring, and converse….I was admitted into the “outcasts” because they all looked like that also.
Although, high schools aren’t the only ones who stereo-type. You also see it in the music industry. Here are some examples of some genres; there’s rap, pop, punk, screamo, metal, classic rock, country, and new wave. People expect these genres of music to stay in that genres, but you see some of the bands from other genres come together and make a song together. Like, Taylor Swift and Steven Tyler made a song. So they don’t always stick to their genre, though society wants them to. But when people hear what they’ve come up with, they love it.
I think that we should get rid of the groups people put us in. How do we plan to do that? I honestly have no idea. But, it would help if people quit stereotyping people on how they look. If they would take the time to get to know someone, then they might actually like them and become their best friend, no matter what they look like. People should just give others a chance before placing them somewhere and then talking about them because they look different.
I think it’s wrong to do this to people. Because, in the Constitution it states that all men are created equal, and I know there is something in the Bible that’s says to treat everybody the same. It’s wrong to treat people badly because they’re different.
Tags: cliques, juvenile detention, lockup, peer groups, teen writers
I believe that the world today has changed a lot from the old times of Romeo and Juliet. Back then, it was said when they were born how they were going to live their lives and who they were going to hate, love, etc. Nowadays, however, teenagers growing up going into high school choose their own boxes and they choose for themselves whether or not to stay in them. It’s strictly their choice whether or not they stay in their own peer groups, clubs, or sports.
Nowadays you might have the gothic chick dating the star football player just because in some way they may want to feel rebellious or they might actually care about the other person. You may have a nerdy kid dating the hot cheerleader every guy wants to be with because maybe the cheerleader saw that the nerdy kid had a good heart and wasn’t going to hurt her like all the other “popular” kids were.
Kids nowadays may not realize it but they make their own boxes by the way they act, talk, dress, or any other factor that determines their peer group in high school. Most of the time, like in my case, I don’t really dress to impress. I mean, I like to look nice but I don’t consider myself a prep, or a skater, or a jock. I consider myself to be who I am and I don’t care what many people think about me. You have the teenagers today that are scared to show their true selves because they are scared of what other people will think about them. They try to be fake just to impress their peer group.
But then there are people, like myself, that could care less what people think about them. They don’t put on a fake act to make people like them or try their hardest to be something that they’re not.
Tags: juvenile detention, lockup, stereotypes, teen writers
Stereotypes. The thing about that is, in my opinion, are that everyone has there on “clique,” meaning that there are always groups, like the athletes, the cheerleaders, the nerds, the Goth kids. How it works is that every one of these people stay with the category they fit in. I think that it’s crazy because it’s always been like that. I mean, what’s the big deal about a cheerleader dating a kid in the science club, it’s no different then a cheerleader dating a football player. But people seem to think that you can’t move away from your groups and do something different.
I remember one time a Goth girl tried out for the softball team and all the old players that were playing again told the coach they didn’t want her on the team because it would make our school look bad. I felt bad for the girl because she was a really good athlete, but because of what she wore she didn’t get to play. I think a lot of the times people don’t get to choose what “clique” there in, other people judge them before getting to know them. If everyone would just get over themselves then high school or anywhere for that mater would be a better place that people wouldn’t mind going to.
We should try not to put people where we think they should be, we should let them do as they please as far as letting them hang out with people or letting them play sports or even go to work. I don’t see why people think that white people can’t play basketball or African Americans can’t play baseball. It’s stuff like that that makes everyone want to do as they please, I mean so what if the cheerleader wants to date a nerd or a football player, what’s the difference? We’re all people, who cares if a football player is valedictorian? I don’t see the big deal at all.
In my opinion, there isn’t one because we’re all the same. People need to just get over themselves and quit judging people by how they look or act because we don’t know how they really act or what they’re like to be around. Sometimes the most fun person to hang out with is the one no one talks to because there not in the same “clique.” It’s crazy what being nice can do. So try it sometime and go sit or talk to a nerd, or give the football player a chance to be in the chess club. You might be surprised.
Tags: hatred, juvenile detention, lock up, teen writers
Racism is basically prejudice. It means that you stereotype people because they don’t have the same skin color or they are a different religion than you are and what you believe.
I am going to tell you a time when I experienced someone being prejudice to anther person. My name is E.L. and my father is a white supremacists and hates anyone who is not a Christian or white. My father and I where eating at Ruby Tuesdays. He noticed that our waiter was African American. When she came to take our order he told her that he didn’t want to be waited on by a sorry “n word”. He called her many different names such as coon and blue gum while she was standing right in front of him. The whole time I was sitting there thinking that this isn’t right, that people should never be stereotyped just because of their skin color, religion, or how they think.
People that stereotype people are most of the time small minded. They think, “Oh, just because he is black or he is atheist that he is a bad person.” That’s not always the case. I have told my father many times when he is talking down on people that are different than him or his friends, that white people are not perfect either, that white people mess up too and white people also do horrible crimes. I think that prejudiced people should sit back and really think about how they think about others. I believe that if they do they will see that everyone is not as bad as they think they are.