PLATFORM : Adults Are Blaming the Victims

ANDREW SUTHERLAND, 18, who just graduated from Corona del Mar High School, commented on a recent report from the nonprofit group Children Now that says the condition of youth in California continues to worsen. He told The Times:

A general sense of hopelessness has invaded the psyche of the American youth and must be attributed directly to the neglect of the preceding generation: those who have failed to become adequate role-models for children.

If politicians such as Gov. Pete Wilson do not care enough about education to support it in California, why should we place blame on the reported 59,612 high-school drop-outs in California last year.

Although two-income families have almost become a necessity in this state, the time families do spend together could certainly be spent doing something more productive than watching the average 7 hours of television a day. Perhaps the 15,000 or so juveniles arrested since June of last year would have thought first before committing their crimes if their parents had spent time teaching them some values.

Finally, it seems as though Hollywood, nestled comfortably in the midst of a state where 702 juveniles were murdered and 63,603 teen-agers gave birth in the last 12 months, would get the picture and put a cap on the rampant violence and sex that finds its way from the screen into impressionable young minds, eventually becoming a reality in the schoolyard.

Parents and their peers must not throw their hands in the air and rhetorically say, "What's wrong with kids today?" They must realize that children will not become the productive, decent, educated adults they desire them to be when the older generation is not productive or decent enough to educate them.

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