Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2014

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Sun Youth Forum:

Students Pull No Punches

The teeners speak for themselves tonight.

Without coercion of pressure of any kind, but with the kindly guidance of key civic, social and educational leaders of our city, 14 young men and women representing our area high schools, will present their views on the world today, their problems in relation to this world, and their ideas on what the future holds for them.

The youngsters, with subjects ranging from teen-age problems on love and marriage to the laws that govern their lives and their relationships to their parents and the community, will sum up the opinions of 400 youths who participated in the Second Annual Las Vegas SUN Youth Forum.

Station KLAS-TV will present the 14 young finalists and their summations on a program staring at 10 at the Silver Dollar ballroom tonight. The TV program will follow talks by U.S. Senator Alan Bible, Mayor C.D. Baker, Harvey Dondero, master of ceremonies and executive assistant to Superintendent of Schools R. Guild Gray; youth lecturer Marion Hanks of Salt Lake City, who is principal speaker, SUN Publisher H. M. Greenspun, and others.

The finalists selected from among the 400 participating panelists are evenly divided with three from Las Vegas High School, three from Basic High in Henderson, three from Boulder City High, three from Rancho High, and two from Bishop Gorman High School.

The forum participants overflowed the Silver Slipper ballroom and two panels were sent over to the New Frontier hotel where they convened in the Canary Room and in the Old Frontier lobby beneath the stuffed heads of game animals such as buffalo, elk and antelope.

Subject matter: Why Sputnik and Ike and the failure of this country to beat the Reds to the propaganda punch; women drivers and their alleged faults; the disunity in the armed forces; how far to go on a date; the advantages and disadvantages of accelerated educational courses; three years in high school as against four years; parents, good and bad; driving and driving courses and what is wrong with our government, and “just who is going to have to fight the next war–if not us?”

There were no punches pulled and no quarter given.

Typical quotes:

“When you’re in love with someone you can’t think of everything, so you must go to a clergyman or your parents for advice.”

“The objective of going steady is the improvement of both persons through criticism. You have to go steady with someone before you really know them.”

“The engagement period is the time to to get ready for marriage, not just the wedding.”

“Dating is a purely American custom; it is a competitive game like chess; a successful date generally ends in a draw.”

“Reactivate the Clark County Student Council. Implement it and get it going.”

“Southern Nevada students should root for Southern Nevada teams whatever school they do to down here.”

“We need more trophies and more competition in our recreation.”

“We should have more to say about the kind of recreation we want–let’s not regiment recreation.”

“Retain the four-year high school course. It gives you a chance to grow up.”

“Don’t hold the smarter kids back, give them the advantage of accelerated courses.”

“When the kids who have moved up ahead too fast get to college they find they are babies among a lot of grown-ups.”

“My father is a good driver but he can’t teach me to drive because he is too nervous.” (By a girl).

“Does your dad get shook up? Well when I’m with a girl in a car I get the same way.” (By a boy).

“We need trained teacher-drivers to teach us to drive, not just a driver, whoever he is.”

“Parents like the responsibility of teaching us to drive.”

The panel on Youth and the Law, moderated by Zel Lowman, heard a plea for Vegas police officers to go easy on teenagers who are out after curfew and may be merely trying to get home after a late dance or a movie “or other respectable things.”

The panel on Teenagers and the World of Today moderated by newscaster Alan Jarison found not a single champion of segregation in the schools and it is probably that this will not be discussed tonight.

Another quote that came from this panel was “Our parent’s opinion has to be important and respected.”

This panel also came up with: “Boy, did we louse up our satellite program. I’m afraid the Reds got the jump on us, though I do think the Reds tried to get a strictly propaganda advantage rather than a scientific one.”

The panel on Teenage Activities moderated by John Wawerna of the Las Vegas YMCA was the one that heard a plea for more freedom of thought by the participants on teenage recreation; especially where the programming was concerned. “Let’s find out what the teener likes to do, not what we think he likes to do.”

The Adult-Teenage Relations panel discussed the amount of respect expected from both participants in the family circle — the children and their parents — and how to get along with your parents.

All of the opinions will be summed up tonight at the buffet banquet in the Silver Slipper Ballroom.