Adults should take teens more seriously

TEENS ARE SERIOUS. Too often, adults disregard what teenagers have to say. That is wrong.

Audrey Edwards

TEENS ARE SERIOUS. Too often, adults disregard what teenagers have to say. That is wrong.

Audrey Edwards, Yearbook Editor

Everyone wants to be heard. The problem is that not everyone is heard equally. Many adults don’t listen to children and teenagers; they just think that, because they are older, they are always right.

Just because somebody is young does not mean that they don’t have something to contribute to society. It is time for the adults of the world to pay attention to the voices of the next generation.

There are several teen activists trying to accomplish a multitude of goals. One of the most well known is Greta Thunberg. She is best known for her crusade against climate change. She had the opportunity to address the United Nations; newspaper and television reporters from around the world have interviewed her. Many people like Thunberg’s ideas and agree that climate change threatens the planet.

Thunberg is the exception. Adults pay attention to her thoughts and ideas. Even she, however, has received ridicule and disrespect from adults for her age.

“So ridiculous,” President Donald Trump posted on Twitter. “Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, chill!”

The president’s reaction is wrong. He is mad at a teenage girl for sharing her opinion. Furthermore, he does not want to change his lifestyle for a protesting girl, whether or not everything she says is true.

There have been many school shootings across the United States in recent years. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of teens and children who have survived such shootings. It is horrible what so many people have gone through because of the violent actions of a few individuals.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting happened in Florida on February 14, 2019. Many of the teenage victims of the shooting have now become activists. They are fighting to change gun regulations so a school shooting can never happen again.

Whether people agree with these students or not, they have a right to their opinion. Their freedom of speech should be respected.

Most kids have fresh ideas and still think that everything is possible. Adults have limited their thinking to what they know is possible. Most teenagers believe that adults don’t understand new concepts and are not willing to try new things. The adults focus on realism, while children and teenagers are idealistic.

Students across the country can speak up in student newspapers, but even there, they are often censored. Adults just don’t listen. That is wrong.

Many parents shut down their kids before they can even explain themselves. Schools are afraid of looking bad instead of listening and taking their students’ thoughts into consideration. We speak up and we are silenced.

It is time adults learn to talk less and listen more. Our generation has something to say. The future belongs to us.