Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Focus Groups
2007 NCCF Teenage Report Card
Summary of Notes: Teenage Recommendations
Females vs. Males
How do you explain the difference in grades between females and males?
How can adults show more support to girls?
- Males run everything, so women do not have a fair chance.
- Females get violated, paid less, and need more rights.
- Females are more emotional, i.e. depressed, dramatic
- There are double standards at home. Parents expect males to be able to take care of themselves in the community so they allow them more freedom.
- Parents are stricter with their daughters.
- If girls get involved in things like sex, they end up having to raise the child more than the father would and parents are afraid for their daughters to have that responsibility.
- Girls have a higher risk of things that can affect their lives like getting pregnant.
- Girls are less open with their parents because they see the unfairness in their house.
- Parents put more pressure on their daughters to not make the same mistakes they made,
- Females go through more emotional changes and issues like depression
- Parents of females are less tolerant of females behaviors
- Not be aggressive when they talk to them. Be aware of your body language and attitude. That makes us not want to talk.
- Take time to get to know us from when we are very little. You should be able to pick up on if something is wrong with us even if we say it isn't.
- Allow us some time to come to you with a problem. If we don't approach you after a little while, then ask us questions.
How do you think today's leadership will affect your future?
- There will be no change in our community.
- We will continue to be at war. Other countries will not like us because we continue to go after what they have.
- There will continue to be no focus on things like health care that are so important.
- There will be a cycle of doing the same thing.
Violence in schools is a topic lately. Although the scores show teens think adults are doing a better job overall in keeping them safe in schools, do you agree?
What's the most important thing adults can do to help you feel more safe?
- Schools have done some things but can do a better job. The adults are trying but kids are sneaky.
- What students are learning at home is the problem. Parents are not setting examples. Parents will even come to the school to argue or fight if their child gets in trouble.
- I give teachers an "A" for their effort but "E" for how they handle students when an issue arises. Teachers will call the police which escalates everyone. Everyone leaves classes and crowds around because they want to see what will happen.
- If kids fight, let them fight. At some point, it will stop. Someone will get tired.
- Fights don't get broken up quick enough. A lot of times, staff and students know a fight is going to happen because they hear about it. No one tries to prevent it.
- School systems need better administrators
- Security people need to do security and stop sitting around talking to each other. They need to be where kids are, not at the front door.
- Peer mediation needs to get better. Schools do it at the beginning of the year and then it fades out.
- Many kids don't like peer mediation because of who does it. They refuse to go or are not able to get their issue solved. There is no consequence if you don't go to peer mediation.
- In-school suspension that is mandatory and focuses on students doing academic work
- Security on every floor of the building; more security cameras.
- Smaller classes with fewer students. Make learning more fun. Teachers should build relationships with students and get to know us.
- Out of school suspension is not the answer. It is just a free day to hang out.
- In my school, kids get suspended 25-45 days. What's the point? You can still pick up work and turn it in for credit. Some students look at this as a way to get grades but not be in school. Classroom participation should be required to pass a class.
Top Issues with Recommendations
Providing Quality Education
- Teachers should be trained and educated
- Decrease over crowdedness
- Virginia Tech shouldn't have happened
- Young people have to speak up when they don't understand
- Education is necessary to help us as we get older. There need to be more alternatives to getting an education. Once you get a certain age, you can no longer go to school. Some people have problems passing the GED. In High School, we now have to pass assessments to graduate. Everyone is not smart enough to pass the assessments, so people just drop out of school.
Really Listening to and Understanding Young People
- Adult don't set examples; "Do as I say, not as I do"
- Adults don't tell the truth
- Adults say that they really understand and that they know what its like, but they don't because they have never been in the situation
- Adults share personal information about themselves and their children with peers
Stopping Young People from Using Drugs
- Stop cutting us off when we talk and turning the conversation in to what you did in when that happened to you
- Give chances for us to come to you
- When we open up to you, hear us and believe us
- Stop looking over the problem and look at it
- Build relationships with us and talk to us everyday instead of just telling us what to do and getting on us for what we do wrong
- Adults should be more sympathetic
- Adults don't take you serious
- Adults don't take time to listen; don't have time.
- Adults don't trust; hold grudges
Protecting Teens and Kids from Gun Violence
- Stop smoking with and around us.
- Keep educating us on the "real" effects of drug use
- Know your child's friends and where they hang out
- Lead by example
- If adults didn't grow, young people wouldn't have access to it.
Running the Government
- There should be an application process and screening order to purchase a gun. On the application the person should have to write the purpose for buying the gun and there should be random checks made to make sure people are using the gun safely
- There should be a test to see if a person is mentally stable before they can buy a gun
- Stop putting so much violence in the media like on TV and video games
- Worry about the problems in our own country first before trying to help others
- There should be a policy of honesty and the government should have to practice neutrality unless we are blatantly threatened by another country
- What the government is doing today is going to affect our future. We will have to pay the debts of society. Funds are being cut for things like social security and health insurance. No one is focused on helping people as they get older.
- People in power are dishonest and it makes it hard to trust them.
- For people in power, have the power to make decisions is what is most important to them. They are not thinking about how it affects those people who are not in power or who have little power.
- Government branches should have youth representation
- Government should focus of producing healthy, productive youth.
- Parents should all come together and agree on standards that will help children
- Adults have to recognize when they need help themselves and know that getting help is okay.
- Adults should give us feedback on our issues or questions not on what they want to talk about
- Adults should practice a policy of honesty
- Adults should have mentors
- Adults should be parents to children, not their friends.
- Adults are supposed to provide basic needs and proper care for children in a structured environment.
- HONEST, HONEST, HONEST
- LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN
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