Editor’s note: Two students in Carol Garske’s seventh- and eighth-grade English classes at Poet Christian Elementary School have penned their thoughts about being teenagers.
Socialization is prescription
By Evan Brown
Teens face many challenges in Tracy, more than most people realize. Drugs, domestic violence, poverty and gang-related violence are all things that many teens in Tracy might face.
In Tracy, there isn’t much for young kids to do. Gangs and drug dealers have selected places like the West Valley Mall to hang around. There have been more than 50 arrests this year alone regarding gang- or drug-related incidents. More than half of the local crimes were by teenagers. Parks and other fun places have been turned into havens for dealers and gangs. Schools in Tracy rarely have any after-school activities for kids. This gives teens more time to be on the street, and more time to get involved in drugs and gangs.
One of the main problems in Tracy is there isn’t much to do. There is a mall and the Boys and Girls Clubs. As in any other city, there are sports activities for which you can sign up, but many of these sports are costly and require parental transportation. In most families, both parents work, which can keep kids from being involved in sports, resulting in them getting into more trouble. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tracy offer after-school programs as well as sports at a very low cost, but this is overseen by teenagers and can become hangouts for the kinds of kids who don’t want to better themselves.
We can help resolve this problem by offering more activities for kids. I strongly recommend forming a social club in each school so teenagers can get help through these stages in their lives and have more fun doing so. It shouldn’t be a punishment, but it should be a part of their lives that they will remember fondly. Without teen clubs, there are fewer opportunities to get away from the streets.
Does anyone hear me
By Lauren Trejo
Hello Is anyone listening to us Why is it always like this No one ever cares about what we have to say. In Tracy, adults don’t listen to teenagers, because we are “too young” or “uneducated.” Teenagers are often ignored, because it is assumed that we don’t have good ideas. We are not taken seriously.
When teenagers are ignored, we get very upset and rebel. We are ignored because nobody wants to listen to us, and they don’t care. As teenagers, we want people, especially our adult role models, to listen and care about what we have to say. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening. We are going through hard times, and we want someone to care and not just be worried about his or her work or careers.
We have very good ideas about life — its practices and problems. In fact, all we want is for adults to be interested in the idea, even if they disagree with it. To have an adult listen to our crazy yet rational ideas about games or parties makes us feel important. Furthermore, our ideas deserve to be heard.
When teenagers are not taken seriously, we get angry. We are very intelligent and don’t deserve to be ignored or not taken seriously. Not all teenagers are troublemakers, but because we are thought of as being pests, we are not taken seriously. Why should you waste your time listening Because when you listen, you show you care, and if you don’t listen, you are being just as rude as you say we are.
If adults start listening to us, we won’t act so poorly. We will be happier, and there will be some excellent ideas being listened to. Therefore, we will have more respect for our adults because they will care about what we think. Wonderful things could happen if you would just take the time to listen to us.