As editor of my high school newspaper, I spent most of my time trying to insert whatever mildly funny or moderately inappropriate material (e.g. Stop the Violence, Join Club Baby Seal) I could get away with. Although this won me an award for creativity, it also awarded me several trips to the principle’s office to explain, for instance, the abundant use of vulgarities in this issue’s ‘Salute to Shaft’. As I recall, the cleaner revised version entitled ‘An Administrative Salute to Shaft’ did not go over well either.
The bulk of the paper was reviewed and published by my gracious co-editor. Although I didn’t have much to do with these ‘real’ stories, I do remember one emotion-filled article written by a grade 11 student. It was an opinion piece on the unfair treatment of youth in today’s society. “I can’t walk into a store”, the student wrote, “without the owner following me around, being told to leave my bag at the door, or being told to leave because students are not allowed. Society teaches us not to be prejudice, and yet it continues to discriminate against its youth”. Damn right, I thought, youth should be treated fairly.
Almost a decade later, I have some advice for the new generation of youth that is no doubt faced with the same stigma: Piss off. If you don’t want to be labeled as a demographic that steals and breaks shit, stop stealing and breaking shit. On an unrelated note, I am on the lookout for the three teens (two driving unusually large ‘chopper’ type bicycles and the third was skinny with an afro) that I saw break into my parking garage a few weeks ago.