Letters to the editor (Jan. – Feb. 2007)
Readers share their thoughts about the stories in the November – December 2006 issue.
A day in juvenile court
The article “A day in court” about teens in court was shocking. I was amazed at the ages of some of the kids who were convicted of serious crimes like vandalism, gang crimes and sex offenses. Even though all of those teens had hard lives, it was amazing how many of them wanted to go to college and be successful. What was even more shocking was that some of the parents and close relatives didn’t know what their kids were doing, which is really sad. If the parents cared more about their children’s actions, the teens wouldn’t be in court. I think this article was very important because it tells teens in tight situations to make the right choice regarding their actions and carefully choose who they hang around with.
—Jeff Asano, Wilson MS (Glendale)
I like this article because it was interesting that the court doesn’t care how old you are. If you do something bad you will go to jail.
I think the judge was right to send the boy to adult court because the boy did something bad like a criminal and criminals need to be in jail.
The police need to put this boy in jail because he allegedly tried to kill the police. If he did this to the police, what would he do to a normal person?
—Alexis Galarza, Cabrillo HS (Long Beach)
Teens who went to juvenile court tell how scary and confusing it was
The article “Scary and confusing” got me to think about teens. I thought this was a great story because it shows the perspective of teens who actually got in trouble and what they thought about it. Some were sorry and scared just like any other child would be, and others were confused.
I was surprised when I read this because I always thought that the teens who make trouble were emotionless, but after reading this I understood them better. I am sure that other people think that teens who make trouble will be troublemakers for the rest of their lives, but once they read this article I think their opinions will change.
—Sevana Baghdasarian, Wilson MS I feel sad that all those kids were mistreated when they got sent to juvenile hall. Even though you make a bad decision, it doesn’t mean you should be treated like you’re not a person. They should let everyone tell their sides of the story without getting in more trouble. I hope that in the upcoming years the system changes to be more friendly and learns more about the youths in the system.
—Jeremiah Jimenez, Hutchinson MS (La Mirada)
I could relate to a juvenile delinquent. No, I have never been to juvenile hall, but my mom took me down to the police station because I was ditching zero period. The police didn’t hear anything I had to say. They only listened to my mom. She wanted to send me to El Salvador, but they said no and gave me a P.O. (parole officer). I now have someone who watches what I do and makes sure I’m home after a certain time. If I violate my parole and I’m under age I will go to juvy, and if I’m old enough they will send me down to jail and schedule a court date for me. Then how many months or years the judge wants to give me, that’s how much time I would have to serve. I feel really embarrassed when I have to tell people I have a P.O. I can’t really do anything. At first I thought it was really cool to have a P.O. but now it’s really sad because it’s embarrassing for my family and some of them are ashamed of me. Don’t screw up like I did.
The way these human beings are treated is not right. I don’t care if they hit, stabbed or even killed a person; they should not be treated as a slave. They should be spoken to as a person. I know that if you commit a crime you have [to do] time in juvenile hall or even jail, but they deserve respect no matter what they did. Say you were the judge and your son or daughter just stabbed someone, would you talk to him or her as a human being or a slave?
Choosing the right college
I enjoyed the article “Is Harvard right for me?” by Katherine Lam. This article relates to many high school students (and to myself in a couple of years) who are looking for the right college to attend. The sentence, “Going to a nationally-recognized university is not going to make anyone into a successful and caring individual; people are going to thrive in places that are right for them” needs to be told to every student who wants to graduate. Many think that high-achiever schools are better than the schools right for their level of learning.
—Anna Prewett, Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies (S.O.C.E.S.) Not everyone who goes to Harvard makes a good living. Nobody has to go to an expensive school with an expensive education to make a decent living. My sister attends Fullerton College and makes really good money. She buys me anything I want if she’s in a good mood. Just because some people don’t go to Harvard or Yale, that doesn’t mean nothing good will come of it. College is college, and the professors know what they’re teaching. As long as you have an education that will let you live a good life, that’s all that matters. Sure, there’s a better chance with jobs, but as long as you have the skills then go for it! Who needs Harvard? You definitely don’t.
—Chan Bee Seo, Hutchinson MS
Images of immigration
I’m writing about the painting “A Dream Just Beyond Reach” by Daniel Monroe because I can relate. I’m a young Mexican boy who has been separated from my family and friends, and sometimes my parents, too. We are now living in America illegally.
You don’t know about immigration. That’s why I don’t like the pictures of immigration. I don’t like them because they are sad. Please print happy pictures next time.
There’s more to life than looks
The essay “My sister’s disability” by Jisu Yoo really inspired me. Over Thanksgiving, my friend and I decided not to look our best that next week and see how people reacted to it. We wanted to see if our “friends” noticed, or if people treated us differently. So far, I’ve realized that I can sleep in during the morning. I don’t have to spend 10 minutes on my makeup or 20 minutes just for my hair! I can throw my hair up and just put any clothes on. Eventually we will start using mirrors again, but I kind of like the change. I’d like to thank you for helping me realize that I should judge people not on their looks, but on their personalities.
—Alexandra Casstevens, S.O.C.E.S.
Your article made me look at myself in a different way. I realized that what you look like doesn’t show anything, but who you are does. I think it is a very good idea that you want to become a neurologist and help your sister and kids like her. I wish you luck with that, and I hope your sister gets better.
—Aida Asgari, S.O.C.E.S.
A teen chef inspires our readers
I thought the article “What’s for dinner?” was interesting because teenagers in America these days are so lazy. They usually just go out and get a hamburger with some fries and a Coke. Sure, some may prefer fast food over homemade, but homemade food is made with hard work from a friend, mom or even dad. Why is half of America obese? Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s make their food taste great, but the stuff that’s in there is really bad for your health. For those of you reading this, try to make your own dinner for once and see if it’s worth it.
—Andrew Su, Wilson MS
I liked the article “What’s for Dinner?” because it made me want to cook more complicated things without messing up. I know Chris Lee started to learn how to cook by messing things up, but he improved and that’s what I’m trying to accomplish. My mom has been cooking meals for my family and they taste divine. I have learned some of the more advanced cooking techniques such as marinating a steak and seasoning certain dishes, plus I know how to cook simple things such as eggs and pancakes. I think this article is helpful for people who want to learn how to start cooking and it helps tell people where to find sources that can teach them more complex dishes.
—Odin Blanton, S.O.C.E.S.
From the courts of L.A. to the NBA
The article “From the courts of L.A. to the NBA” really inspired me because I did not know what those players went through when they were young. The players worked hard all the way up through high school to college and then to the NBA. They really inspired me to work harder at what I am good at and give it all I got. Who knows—maybe someday I’ll succeed in life.
—Tyler Brush, Hutchinson MS
Foster youth share their fears of being on their own
When I read “Am I ready to be on my own?” I felt sorry for the people they were being let go at 18 years of age. I think they shouldn’t let them go at 18 until they know what goes on in life. I think they should let them go when they are [mature] adults who are capable of taking care of themselves. When they let them go they don’t have anywhere to go so they end up on the streets. That’s why they should wait until they are a little older and more mature so they can survive in life.
—Nicholas Ramirez, Hutchinson MS If a person is in foster care, this [article] would be good for him or her to read to find out what’s going to happen. Even if one is not in foster care, it is still interesting to understand what’s going on. I think it is unfair to kick foster youth out on their own. If they don’t have a family or anyone to support them, they should not be expected to do it on their own. This article taught me to be thankful that I have a family who will always be there for me.
—Shannon Mastopietro, S.O.C.E.S.
A cool medical job
This article was important to me because I want to become a doctor. This is important because some people say you can’t achieve your dreams, but he did. This has inspired me to follow my dream and never give up. This has made me believe that everything is possible if you don’t give up.
—Rebecca DeIorio, Hutchinson MS
Jerry De La O is a perfect example of an ROP (regional occupation program) student. ROP gives teenagers a chance to get work experience for free. High school students can take the class for free and adults have to pay a small fee to take the class. I took ROP in the summer. It gave me a chance to experience how it is to work in a very good bank. I did not get a job, but I did get great work experience. I encourage anyone who is interested in ROP to take the class because they have many other interesting careers to choose from other than banking.
—Tania Guevara, Paramount HS