Friday, Dec. 3, 1976 | 2 a.m.
One Clark County high school student argued that prostitution should be legalized in Las Vegas because it would “make more room in the jails.”
Another said if legalized, it should be contained in a certain area of the city “so we don’t have to see it or smell it.”
The students were among the 650 area high school seniors and juniors who participated in the 21st annual SUN Youth Forum Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The all-day discussion began at 9 a.m. The students, moderators, principals, and counselors stayed for lunch served by the SUN in the convention center.
Panels resumed again until 2:30 p.m. Seven students were chosen to summarize what their groups said for a half-hour television show on KLAS-TV Channel 8, which will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Eight other students were selected to write columns in the SUN.
The day’s event was concluded after 30 minutes of entertainment by comedian Cork Proctor, who is appearing in the Unions Plaza’s production, “Natalie Needs a Nightie.”
Students who will appear on TV are Dan Waite of Rancho High School, Charles Lobello of Bishop Gorman, Steve Wallace of Rancho, Wid Bastian of Chaparral, Mary Longhran of Boulder City, Don Miller of Bonanza and Yolanda Brooks of Valley.
Students who will write columns are David Guedry of Chaparral, Bryant Barber of Western and Cal Noorda of Las Vegas (jointly), Sharon Parker of Clark, Greg Maxie of Western, John Pasquantino of Las Vegas, Pat Bradley of Clark and Keith Knight of Vo-Tech.
Students discussing prostitution were part of the panel “Cops, Crimes and Courts,” which was moderated by Joe Behar.
Behar had also asked students if they though legalizing prostitution would curtail rape.
One girl said she didn’t think there would be fewer rapes because “rape doesn’t cost anything, but prostitution is expensive.”
Behar also asked students why so many youth smoke, drink and take drugs.
One girl simple answered, “peer group pressure.”
One boy said students used stimulants for “an escape.”
Another girl said students are bored in Las Vegas because there’s not much for the to do - it’s an adult oriented city.
This same issue of a lack of recreation for youth was debated by another panel on the “Teenager - 1976″ which was moderated by Marge Phillips.
One student said she went to the East for the summer and when she told her friends there weren’t many places for those under 21 to go dancing, they asked her how she survived here.
Others answered that they were in smaller places than Las Vegas so students should be glad for whatever entertainment they had here.
One girl, who identified herself as being from Boulder City, said when the city chartered buses for youth activities, the trips only lasted for a month because youths didn’t participate. Another student said that everyone has gotten so use to being entertained by TV that “we’re not even used to talking like this. People have lost the value of other people.”
She said when she and her friends go out, they don’t go any place particular, but get together to talk to each other.
Numerous other local and national topics were discussed by students, including welfare, food stamps, the 55-mile speed limit, inflation, tax reforms, education, politics, nuclear power and morals.
Registration for the event was handled by members of the Junior League of Las Vegas.
Other moderators were Zel Lowman, Veriellen, Dr. Heinz Rettig, Judy Carlos, Joe Delaney, Peggy Phillips, Jim Bilbray, Harry Reid, Dr. Bernie Greenblatt and John Zullinger.
The Clark County School District coordinator of the event was Harvey Dondero, Supt. Kenny Guinn stayed for much of the day.
Proctor, a former Las Vegas High School student, entertained students, gave advice and answered questions.
He told the students he thought they were “a lot more truthful and astute” than his generation was when they were in high school.
One student asked if Proctor thought his AA degree in Radio and TV had helped him in his career.
He answered that his college education made it easier to get jobs, but he characterized the entertainment field as “very competitive.”
Student recorders who took notes on each of the discussion were Coral Smith of Basic High School, Mary Hedrick of Eldorado, Kathy Shelley Vo-Tech , Lise Wyman of Valley, Marybeth Short of Rancho, Lisa Wordleman of Valley, Angela Lornence of Western, Monica Ontiveros of Eldorado, Ron Hathhorn of Indian Springs, Yolanda Clark of Bishop Gorman, Laura Moore of Valley, Stephanie Gilbertson of Bishop Gorman and Debbie Lee of Western.