Imagine, this kid can't vote, but he can be this articulate about politics:
Whether you agree or disagree with him, you have to admit he definitely has a good head on his shoulders.
Increasingly, children seem to have no standing in the public sphere as citizens and as such are denied any sense of entitlement and agency. Children have fewer rights than almost any other group, and fewer institutions protecting these rights. Consequently, their voices and needs are almost completely absent from the debates, policies and legislative practices that are constructed in terms of their needs. This is not to suggest that adults do not care about youth, but most of those concerns are framed within the realm of the private sphere of the family and can be seen most clearly in the moral panics mobilized around drugs, truancy and kids killing each other.
As the protocols of governance become indistinguishable from military operations and crime-control missions, youth are more and more losing the protections, rights, security or compassion they deserve in a viable democracy. The model of policing that now governs all kinds of social behaviors constructs a narrow range of meaning through which young people define themselves. Moreover, the rhetoric and practice of policing, surveillance and punishment have little to do with the project of social investment and a great deal to do with increasing powerful modes of regulation, pacification and control - together comprising a “youth control complex” whose prominence in American society points to a state of affairs in which democracy has lost its claim and the claiming of democracy goes unheard.
“I thought it would be good to have a baby. I didn’t think about how we would afford it. I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10."
"When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble. We wanted to have the baby but were worried how people would react. I didn’t know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good, though, and care for it.”
He wanted to be the first to hold Maisie after the hospital birth. He tenderly kisses the baby and gives her a bottle.
And Dennis, 45, said: “He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his Playstation. But he has been at the hospital every day.”
“I’m tired after the birth. I was nervous after going into labour but otherwise I was quite excited."All the best to the new family.
“Me and Alfie went [to the doctor]. The doctor asked me whether we had sex. I said yes and he said I should do a pregnancy test. He did the test and said I was pregnant. I started crying and didn’t know what to do.He said I should tell my mum but I was too scared. We didn’t think we would need help from our parents. You don’t really think about that when you find out you are pregnant. You just think your parents will kill you.”
Chantelle admitted she and Alfie — who are both being supported by their parents — would be accused of being grossly irresponsible. She said: “We know we made a mistake but I wouldn’t change it now. We will be good loving parents. I have started a church course and I am going to do work experience helping other young mums."
“I’ll be a great mum and Alfie will be a great dad.”
The judges, Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, and his predecessor, Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, will serve seven years in jail under a plea agreement. They're alleged to have pocketed $2.6 million in payments from juvenile detention center operators.The judges will also be disbarred, bounced from the bench, and loose their pensions. Juveniles get brought in for petty things all the time, it's bad enough there's such a social stigma against young people to the point where they're being locked up for even non-crimes, but it's disheartening to know that the system could be profiting handsomely from it. Here's an overview of what they could get away with in Pennsylvania's current juvenile court system:
First, the judges helped the detention centers land a county contract worth $58 million. Then their alleged scheme was to guarantee the operators a steady income by detaining juveniles, often on petty stuff.How were they able to get away with this for so long?
In asking the court to intervene in April, the law center cited hundreds of examples where teens accused of minor mischief were pressured to waive their right to lawyers, and then shipped to a detention center. One teen was given a 90-day sentence for having parodied a school administrator online. Such unwarranted detentions left "both children and parents feeling bewildered, violated and traumatized," center lawyers said.The unfortunate thing is they didn't stand up, which makes one wonder what their own interests are in the system. As the article states, if this kind of thing can happen, then we loose faith in the impartiality of the courts of Pennsylvania--we can peal away the blindfold on the symbol of justice. Granted though, in the article they highlight probably the most asinine case to prove the point, as many others are probably not so asinine, but the argument still holds--in fact, they're sending the investigation off to a higher power:
"Very few people would stand up" to the Luzerne judges, according to the law center's executive director, Robert G. Schwartz.
The blind justices on the state's high court, though, took a pass. Only last month, they offered no explanation in declining to take up the law center's request that the court step up. Now, the state Supreme Court should revisit the issue, since the scope of corruption alleged at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre could further undermine confidence in the courts statewide.Rooting out these two judges is hopefully just the beginning of a long train of reforms that will be swept through to target this inner corruption in the courts. In the meantime, all those youth have to deal with being imprisoned, often on charges of things considered "petty," and even if they are all expunged, they still have to deal with having a record.
Authorities need to redress running roughshod over juveniles' rights - a process also likely to bring damage suits. While the local district attorney pledges to "do our best to right the situation," this calls for an independent, outside review.