Friday, Dec. 2, 1977 | 2 a.m.
The morality of abortion laws, the age individuals should legally be allowed to gamble and weaknesses in the juvenile court system were among the numerous topics discussed Thursday at the 22nd annual SUN Youth Forum held a t the Las Vegas Convention Center.
More than 700 juniors and seniors from Southern Nevada high schools arrived at the center early in the morning to participate in the forum.
The all-day forum affords students an opportunity to express views on subjects that range in scope from mandatory retirements age for the elderly to the ethics of creating clones.
The forum is co-sponsored by the Las Vegas SUN and the Clark County School District.
The 40 students attending the Teenager session moderated by Marjory Phillips, believed that “alcohol is more of a problem for teenagers today than is drugs.
Students attending the “grab bag” session moderated by Joe Delaney weighed such heavy questions as the right to have mercy killings, the rights of the homosexual, and if there should be a mandatory retirement age in the United States.
The students concluded that a mandatory retirement age should exist, but competency test for the elderly who want to continue working would be acceptable.
According to those attending the session, homosexuals had the right to be with each other, but they were not acceptable as teachers in schools because of the possible bad influence they could have in youngsters.
State Sen. Richard Bryan headed up a group that discussed “Community and State.”
Students said there is a massive under-utilization of available recreation facilities for teenagers.
The also agreed that the youth in Clark County are not always aware of opportunities offered in the form of recreational activities.
As in the past, there was a heated argument on the subject of abortion, with a difference in opinion primarily being influenced by the students religious background.
Harry Reid, who is the chairman of the Clark County Gaming Control Board, moderated a group of students who said students should be allowed to gamble when they become 18 years of age.
The group also expressed opinions about the legislation of gambling in other states and said Nevada should start developing industry other than gaming.
Connie Anthony, 17, a student at Chaparral High School, said the topic of the day she was most interested in was mercy killings.
“I think the choice should be up to the person,” said Ms. Anthony.
Ken Misch, 17, also from Chaparral High School, said he and many other students believe “the Carter administration is doing a mediocre job.”
Bishop Gorman High School student Byron Goynes, 17, said abortion was one of the more controversial issues discussed in his group.
“There are strong feelings on both sides of the issue,” Goynes said.
And Elaine Poole, 17, of Valley High School said the right of all human beings is what interested her.
“You can’t judge people by their background and family only, its more involved than that,” she said.
All the students agreed the Youth Forum gives them a wonderful opportunity to express their views and be heard in the community.
The event is coordinated by Ruthe Deskin of the SUN and Harvey Dondero of the Clark County School District.
Moderators for this year’s forum included: Zel Lowman, Judy Carlos, Jim Bilbray, John Wawema, Richard Bryan, Harry Reid, Joe Behar, Marjory Phillips, John Zullinger, Dan Newburn, Versiellen, Dr. Bernie Greenblatt, Peggy Phillips and Joe Delaney.
The Junior League of Las Vegas aided in registering students who attended the forum.
At the end of the afternoon session, each group voted on an individual to be a summarist, some for television and others to have their summary reports appear in the SUN.
Those selected to have their summaries in the SUN and their schools included: Adam Parsons, Valley; Kim Jackson, Western; Dan Cashdan, Gorman; James SIlvestri, Gorman; Lee Andersen, Wester; Ralph Lush, Valley; and Robin Williams, Eldorado.
Appearing on television will be: Mike Agosta, Chaparral; Richard Hillman, Valley; Shannon Foley, Gorman; Eldon Baumeister, Rancho; Wid Bastian, Chaparral; John Martin, Valley and Dan Davis, Las Vegas.
Following the panel discussion, the students were entertained by two of the Las Vegans top preformers, Fred Travelena, a comedy impressionist and Dieter Tasso, considered to be on of the world’s best jugglers.