Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Candlelight Vigils For Incarcerated Youth Increase awareness (DUH!)

Well, well, well,

Where do we begin to address the ignorance...

While your point about parents and people in general having to accept the blame and consequences for their action is valid and agreed upon by me, what about a society that purposefully keeps poor people in a virtual caste state society and then blames them for acting out trying to survive. Did you ever stop to consider poverty's role in all this?? Do you think all people lie, cheat, and steal by nature, or is it just the black and brown ones. I don't believe this is the case, I believe that given the same opportunities and access to resources, people are essentially the same and to say one race, country, or class of people is better than this or that is not only ignorant, it's out right racist.

Obviously, the parents should be looked at. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? Were they there for thier kids, or were they working 50 hours a week just to pay the rent? Did these kids even have 2 parents?? But if we are going to examine and find fault in the parents and thier kids, we must also examine the larger society in which they all lived. What were their schools like?? What kind of neighborhood did they live in? Where were the community groups that we are so blessed with here in Santa Cruz that make it their mission to help those less fortunate then themselves? It'd be nice to not have to blame society, at least partially, for a parents failure in raising a child, but it's not like we all live in a bubble and the parent is the sole source of info and guideance for the kids. Often times, the streets are way more of an influence in a child/teens life than the parents. And, why is that? One idea of mine is the destruction of multigenerational households and not really stressing the importance of REAL family values, not the crap Resident Shrub talks about. Society promotes ideas like "Once I'm 18, I'm outta the house" or "Grandpa is (Go ahead choose one: sick,crazy,old), so we should put him in a home". People don't seem to care about each other as people anymore and this seems to be extending even into family units. Thus, too often parents can't be entirely blamed for childrens failures.

And don't even get me started on the school systems that fail kids every day of every year. Yes, I know CA public schools can be great and I'm a 23 year old product of the local school system. But I almost didn't make it through high school and it was only through the efforts of an amazing Adminstrator that I decided to stay and finish school. My parents had always told me to go to school, work hard, help others and just generaly try to do good in my life. But that wasn't enough. I was on the verge of dropping out cause I didn't conform well enough to what was "cool" and as a result, I didn't get along well with the kids who considered me different and someone to be picked on.... Ever hear of Columbine??? That tragic case is only an extreme example of what can happen when this abuse and mental torture of the strong against the weak gets out of control. While it never got to that point at my high school, Harbor High, it was there and was too often not challenged. It was only the support of my Assistant Principal that got me through that school.
But what about the kids who don't have the parents or teachers or adminstrators who care enough about them to go the extra mile to help them succeed. Is it their fault for being born poor, or stupid, or that their parents have to work to survive and can't find time to help their children? Or does society have a responsiblity to help these kids in these situations, what ever the particular circumstances that got them where they are? One thing is for certain, if the CYA is California's answer to helping these children, then the cure is worse than the disease.... ABOLISH THE CYA.

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