CCSD students have strong feelings about today’s hot topics

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at Liberty High School in Henderson, Beautiful Wiley, a student from Del Sol High School, and Jazmyn Espinueva, a student from College of Southern Nevada High School, talk about a marijuana-related question during the 64th annual Sun Youth Forum.

What did you think you heard at the Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum this year?

Each room sounded different, with 20 panels running concurrently on state, national, international, educational, and lifestyle topics.

Here are a few highlights from this year’s Sun Youth Forum, which brought together approximately 450 high school juniors and seniors from high schools throughout the Clark County School District to discuss various topics. Hank Greenspun, the founder and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, founded the Sun Youth Forum in 1956. Greenspun’s simple idea was that adults should listen to the thoughts and opinions of children. The forum this year was held on Tuesday at Liberty High School.

How can we change the abortion narrative, so we aren’t so polarize?

“This isn’t the easy way out. It is not only a physical pain but also a mental disruption that can last for years. I don’t believe that a foetus is a child or a human being until a certain point, but people need to recognize that this is not a choice that women want to make, but one that they must make — Kalynn Casanova, Green Valley High School.

How will equity and fairness be address if the Clark County School District is divid?

“I believe we’ve already reached a point where it’s not truly equal.” Some schools do not require the funding they receive because they waste it on frivolous activities. Many schools receive funding but do nothing with it. People frequently believe that funding is the solution. Support is the best solution. That is why districting will make things easier. It’s much easier to get help direct.” Spring Valley High School’s Audrey O’Donnell

“Our school’s band programme receives little to no funding. We only have about three working saxophones. Another school comes in with ten working saxophones when we play a football game. If we divided the district, we might be able to advocate for ourselves more effectively and obtain the funding we need right now.” — Eldorado High School student Kalem Perry.

Are there websites where you can listen to someone who disagrees with you but whom you respect and will attend to?

“Everything will be biassed in some way, catered to one thing in particular.” I believe that looking at multiple sources is the best way to get a general perspective on different worldviews or viewpoints on other issues.” — Arbor View High School’s Marek Peplinski.

What can address the growing scepticism of the United States Supreme Court?

“There is no reason for a person to be in power for 40, 50 years and not adjust to the times, completely ignoring the needs of the general public.” Along with term limits for Congress, we could consider term limits for the Supreme Court because “how long can a person truly be in power before becoming completely complacent and simply going along with whatever their party says?” Del Sol High School’s Donovan Mortensen. 

“While Donald Trump served four years, will hear his three justices from for the rest of their lives.” These three people — his voice is working that I will have to live in their jurisdiction for the rest of their lives, and they’re chipping away at my rights. The justices are old; they don’t understand our generation and aren’t attempting to.” Coronado High School’s Samantha Reagan.

Why do schools prioritize phone use and dress code over drug use and smoking?

“They want to maintain appearances. They are more open about dress code and phone use because that is something they can show the public. People don’t want to discuss the prevalence of drug use at schools in their dirty laundry.” Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy’s Ayleen Ramirez

The Sun also distributed questionnaires to students, asking them to write down their anonymous thoughts on President Joe Biden, the American dream, and their optimism for the future. Here’s an example:

What is your definition of the “American Dream?” Do you believe it is possible? Explain.

“I believe the ‘American Dream is the desire to live in America with a good job, good money, and a safe, happy life.” I believe it is attainable, but it is difficult to obtain, and few people achieve it.” — Senior at Chaparral High School

“The American Dream is an equal opportunity and the hope of a better tomorrow.” It is doable as long as people are willing to fight for it.” — A senior from Las Vegas

“I define the ‘American Dream’ as financial stability.” Also, being able to provide for my parents what their parents were unable to provide for them.” Senior at Valley High School

How confident are you in your future? What concerns you? What makes you hopeful?

Senior at Arbor View High School: “Our country’s division worries me, but I’m optimistic.”

“I’m excited about my future!” I’m concerned about how competitive the labour market is, but I’m optimistic because I’ve worked hard for it! ” — Senior at the College of Southern Nevada

“I’m not going to win because of how America is set up.” I’m concerned that prejudice will deter any potential achievements. “My hope stems from the idea of outperforming most of my family.” — Las Vegas High School junior.

Do you think Joe Biden has done well as President? What is your reasoning?

“I believe his values are progressive, but no action is taken, so I only partially approve.” — Del Sol High School sophomore.

“I disagree.” Biden has wrecked the US economy, in particular, and focuses on the wrong issues.” — Senior at Desert Oasis High School

“Any politician is not someone I admire. “It appears both parties are losing touch with what the public wants.” — Rancho High School. 

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