Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

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Sun Youth Forum :

Our Youth Gives Its Opinions

Editor’s Note: This story reviewing the day’s activities at the 10th annual SUN Youth Forum was composed by student writers in order that the true spirit of the forum might be carried out. It is truly an event planned and ran by the youth of Southern Nevada. .

An estimated 700 students attended the annual SUN Youth Forum yesterday at Convention Center.

They exchanged views on topics of interest to all citizens and 14 finalists were chosen to present summations in newspaper columns, on television and at a civic luncheon.

Finalists are Keith Bowman, Clark High School; Steve Hartman, Western High School; Alex Peer, Gorman High School; David Hamdorf, Boulder City High School; Sean McCormack, Boulder City; Russell Harvey, Western; Terry Valentine, Rancho High School; Jim Crockett, Valley High School; Delia Martinez, Rancho; Dick West, Boulder City; Kim Patterson, Basic High School; Brent Adams, Las Vegas, and Mike Meyers, Rancho.

Topics discussed, discussion leaders and recorders were: “Juvenile Affairs,” John Wawerna and Frank Mirabelli, Judy Anderson and Audrey Sampson; “Civil Rights,” Robert Mullen and Bill Willard, Susan Anderson and Tonia Marcune; “Education,” Mrs. Marjory Phillips and Zel Lowman, Vicky Stafford and Cathie Schroeder; “Man In Our Society,” Jack Davenport and Charles Cheatham, Tom Coury and Sarah Gardner; “State and Local Affairs,” Bill Briare and Dr. Irvin Katz; “International Affairs,” Dr. Heinz Rettig and Bernard Posin, Marylin Miller and Yvette Robichaud, and “National Affairs,” Mrs. Ed Phillips and John Beville, Jan Klein and Moni Witte.

Discussion leaders questions which were answered by students. Between 30 and 40 students took part in each discussion panel. Participants are chosen as delegates by teacher recommendation, grades and tests related to discussion topics.

Some of the evaluations were:

“I think it has great potential for interested students… I only wish a list of recommendations to send to the legislature so something could be done… All talk and no action isn’t good… It causes kids to think about the problems that will soon be theirs.”

Topics considered included Vietnam, the Watts riot, the three day gun law, labor strikes, teenage marriages, morality, religion, politics, pure democracy, modular system, conflicts between teachers and the right to bear arms.

One of the panels spent some time discussing the need for a juvenile “jury” to assist District Court juvenile justices in meting out sentences. They formed a committe to study the situation.

Students were high in praise if the SUN Youth Forum but felt some recommendations they made seem to fall on deaf ears as far as the adult community goes. They feel there should be a better follow-through after the youth forum, but they don’t know who should do it.

One girl in civil rights discussions was adamant in here feeling that the school was just as responsible as the home in fostering race prejudice because the child is in school more than at home where heavy prejudices existed.

Students were guest of the SUN at a luncheon in the Convention Center Gold Room.

Providing entertainment at the Forum close were Wick and Brand, The Check-Mates and Trini Lopez with KLAS-TV’s Dennis Hunt as emcee.

The 14 students selected from the particiapnts yesterday will give their conclusions on various topics at the Forum luncheon Monday at the Sands Hotel. Sen. Howard Cannon and Gov. Grant Sawyer have indicated they will attend.

The finalists are also tentatively set to appear in an hour-long discussion of public issues Dec. 20 on KLAS-TV, Channel 8.

Monday’s luncheon is open to the public. Ticket reservations may be made with the SUN.