Pubdate: Mon, 05 Feb 2001
Source: Austin American-Statesman (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Austin American-Statesman
Contact:  P. O. Box 670 Austin, Texas  78767
Fax: 512-445-3679
Author: Cathy Huff


There are a large the number of teens who seem to have no moral compass, 
self-respect or self-esteem. The teen pregnancy rate is a real problem. 
Children -- looking to belong -- turn to drugs, sex, gangs and worse.

Bring back the days when teachers, parents and neighbors would step in when 
youths stepped out of line. This problem is shared by our schools. Schools 
must address the problems facing our youth. Parents must allow schools to 
toughen discipline policies. School must create better plans to identify 
children who are at risk and keep them in school.

This is also a state problem. The Legislature must recognize the needs of 
youths and budget the money necessary to meet those needs.

Finally, this is a national problem. Imagine if we invested more in youths. 
Perhaps we would not have to spend billions to build more prisons.

Cathy Huff
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