7 October 2011

Get lost kid, we don't want troubled youth at our conference on troubled youth

i On Global Trends publishes a feature called, "Global Voices", which is designed to showcase issues, events or causes, that would not normally make the media or be appropriate for the main blog. I receive many submissions but only one article per day is selected for publication.

One submission I received required very little reading to eliminate. The release advertised a conference on what it called, "Troubled Youth". Don't get me wrong, I am not unsympathetic to such an issue - on the contrary.

However, I am fed up receiving such releases or reading about such conferences, workshops or think-tanks in the media, because they nearly always have the same inherent problem. Read down the list of speakers and so-called experts. All professors, doctors, pillars of society, politicians, media personalities. Well heeled, well educated experts who have never lived on the streets, never experienced the sheer, miserable desperation felt by so many youth - yet they know all about what makes troubled youth tick.

No they bloody don't - though many do know how to advance their careers and professional profile by using troubled kids as a stepping stone.

Next time you read an article on yet another conference or symposium dealing with troubled youth, look at the list of experts who will be expressing their ideas and their opinion - not one "troubled youth" among them - and if there are, too often they are hand chosen and readied for the occasion.

Just for once, let us have a debate on troubled youth, and let the self-appointed experts sit in the audience listening to what the real experts - the kids have to say.

We as adults are often quick to condemn kids, we are quick to recite parrot fashion all the usual, predictable and usually incorrect reasons behind their very real problems. We can do this because we have been told -

by adult "experts"

Wherever you may be - be safe
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