By Celia Coates
In 1990, the National Women’s Health Network published an editorial by Bev Baker about issues that might affect the health of teen girls. “Back” in this title refers both to an earlier post about high school and to this one that’s a look far back at discipline problems in schools. *
Bev Baker wrote 28 years ago that,
“It is difficult to go through a single day without some type of reminder that young people are in need of attention – and the future of our country depends on our response to their needs.” **
She went on to include two lists of problems compiled by the California Department of Education and the Fullerton Police Department: one of seven problems from the 1940’s and one of seventeen from the 1980’s:
- Chewing gum
- Making noise
- Running in the halls
- Getting out of turn in line
- Wearing improper clothing
- Not putting paper in the wastebasket
And now for the 1980’s –
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Gang warfare
- Venereal disease
What happened in the 40 years between the two lists?
And, what is happening now, decades later?
The news of the last few weeks involving part of teen life in the 1980’s has shown that what was going on was especially destructive for girls. I’m not sure whether there are any problems named for the 1980’s that can be removed from the list, but there is one that can be added for the 2010’s – school shootings.
When I look back at the years I was in high school (a long time ago) the list would look more like the one from the ‘40’s than the ‘80’s.
What would your list look like?
And why is this a subject for WINN?
I’m deeply interested in how our society readies its children for life.
What is the cultural consensus about what makes a good person and a good life? What lies behind how we treat each other?
What do we value? What really matters?
It’s my point of view that, over all, we are so caught up in competition and material success that being “good” is considered naïve and behaving well falls far behind getting ahead as a goal. Once we know that reality has many dimensions, our sense of what makes a good person and a good life changes – and that is the center of WINN.
* WINNpost September 14th – High School Is Rough All Over)
** THE NETWORK NEWS, September/October 1990
The image that heads this post is by John Hain, from Pixabay.