Anorak News | UK Teens Are Not Compliant

UK Teens Are Not Compliant

by | 26th, July 2007

asbo.jpgIN “UK TEENS WORST BEHAVED IN EUROPE,” the Mail reports on its front page of a study that means “youngsters follow the example set by their friends rather than guidance from their parents.” (Buy the T-shirt here)

This, the Mail says, is the “damning verdict”.

The fallout from Britain’s youth culture is not just great music, innovative fashion and 35-a-side football matches on a Faliraki beach but an increased likelihood among teens to “binge drink, take drugs and have sex at a young age”.

The Mail stops just short of saying the youth of today play their music too loud, mangle the national idiom and have no respect for the older generation. And that they are fat. But such things defy even the Mail’s to-hell-in-a-handcart reporting.

The statistics produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research show that 44 per cent of British youngsters were “involved” in a physical fight last year – compared to 28 per cent in Germany, 36 per cent in France and 38 per cent in Italy.

It’s a shocking statistic, and one that begs the questions what “involved” means and who the teenagers are fighting?

And coincidence indeed that this news should come before the Government announces an intention to spend almost £1.4billion on out-of-hours home work, art and drama clubs at secondary schools.

This is the “extended schools” initiative. Adults will remember it under its old umbrella term: detention. It will enable latchkey kids to remain at school while their parents and guardians are in work.

School Secretary Ed Balls wants schools to remain open from 8am to 6pm. The Mail says Mr Balls is “understood to want a good youth centre in every neighbourhood”. (Paid for by some £150m taken from defunct bank accounts.)

These venues that will, in turn, create good youth. The good will hang out with other youths who will learn from them. Bad youths will be eradicated. A good youth club will be more than a shabby room with a pool table where 15-year-olds can smoke, score weed and pull.

These youth clubs will be disciplined operations run by adults. The adult population will then regain the confidence to engage with the uniformly good youth – the IPPR report says adult Britons are less likely than Europeans to confront teenagers about anti-social behaviour.

And that’s good. But, as ever, the fear is far worse than the reality. The kids are alright. They just need to be treated like individuals. They need to be raised in a society they are listened and made to feel that what they do is worthwhile and not just about being compliant and passing an exam…

Posted: 26th, July 2007 | In: Tabloids Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink