Bias against teens exposed

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

With the following statements, Buchen has proven that there is a bias and prejudice against teens and especially those at risk: He said it is better to reward irresponsible behavior than to correct it, that $500,000 can be better spent for a few of our youth than for many other good kids who do not skateboard, that to some of our youth that “WORK” is a dirty four letter word and that the library building is for desecration and not for education.

Buchen is labeling skaters as bad kids.

What Buchen and many other community leaders and self proclaimed youth advocates in this community fail to realize is that the “good” kids aren’t the ones that need the help and the “good kids” aren’t the ones we should be concerned about. They’ve done well and are going to succeed.

But it seems that this community – the schools included until Grace Brown – only focuses on the “good kids.” Most civic programs have been aimed at the “good kids” and only deal with the rest when they got in trouble. It’s time for this community to take off the blinders and see that there are plenty of youth in this community at risk for bad behavior.

Not every kid is going to excel at math and science and go work across the canyon after finishing his or her education and getting advanced degrees. It’s time we realize that there are plenty of people who aren’t into nuclear physics and engineering material who are a vital part of the community.

If you think the world is better off without them, ask yourself this the next time you go out to eat or buy food. What would it be like if that person weren’t there to take my order or bag my groceries? Would my physician have the energy and time to take care of my needs if they didn’t have someone to do the billing and patient registration or clean the office?

I can speak to these issues because I wasn’t one of the “good kids.” I barely got by in high school and didn’t go to college until my mid-30s. I have a lot of experience working with youth and if you’d like to know about it, I’ll be happy to relate my experience to you – just e-mail me at manny@bacaforla.com.

Manuel Baca

White Rock