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Does this city care about its youth?

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Posted: Monday, May 12, 2008 10:00 pm

People like us are seen as sexually perverse people who are desperately after drugs and alcohol.

We try to attract direct attention to ourselves by spray painting on government property, wearing baggy clothes and worshiping rap and music that sounds like someone's really ticked off, screaming into a microphone. This is probably what half of the city of Lodi thinks of teenagers. Can I please ask why this is the case? We are the individuals that go out of our way to go to Mexico to help build houses, the ones that make this city lively, and also the very own sons and daughters of the well-respected adults of this city.

But it also seems that we are the ones who are put on trial. We get suspended for trying to be enthusiastic for dances by putting up a big "T" with our hands and smiling (the smile defeats the purpose of it referring to the drug, and when the principal is later asked about it, he says "I will not speak about my students at this time.")

We are the ones who get asked to leave the premises of the movie theater by cops when just simply waiting for a friend to show up, because of the "no loitering" sign. We are the ones burdened by senior projects during our year of school that is supposed to be the most enjoyable, and even if there aren't senior projects, the district will supply us with yet another burden just as painful as the previous one to take its place.

Most of all, we are the ones who will leave this city forever the first chance we have because of how little it offers, leaving everyone wondering why there is no one left in this city. There has never been a time in all of my six years of being a teenager that I have seen any strives for this city to offer any source of entertainment or fun for the teenage community. After reading article after article of how "great" the reconstruction plans will be, I see nothing for the teens. Once upon a time, this city had three local movie theaters, a skatepark, a bowling alley, and CalSkate. Now, we have only one movie theater, and a nonprofit teen center.

Does this city not care about its youth, or simply ignore that it exists?

Spencer Rhoads


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