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Youth

Report: The Union Advantage For Young Workers

Though originally designed to neutralize the potency of May Day, Labor Day in 2022 comes at an inflection point for US workers in general and for younger US workers in particular. Amid an upswell in union enthusiasm and increased attention to union organizing in the popular press, the trajectory of the labor movement going forward has especially significant ramifications for adult workers under the age of 35. These younger workers have now endured multiple economic shocks during formative stages in their lives. Unions have the potential to both mitigate some of the damage done by recent economic crises and to provide a mechanism for building worker power to create lasting structural change.

‘These Attacks Are On Children And Their Families’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion calling gender-affirming care for trans young people “child abuse.” The state’s governor, Greg Abbott, doubled down, directing the Texas Department of Family and Planning Services to investigate parents who support their trans children in accessing care as child abusers. Abbott also suggested that teachers, doctors, nurses—anyone, really—could face criminal penalties if they don’t report parents and providers who support trans kids. It’s frustrating to read media accounts that say “LGBTQ advocates” disagreed with or were concerned about this event, because, actually, pretty much every relevant medical and legal authority weighed in immediately to say not only do those statements not reflect the legal understanding of child abuse, but they fly in the face of the fact that support for gender-affirming medical procedures comes from, for instance, the American Medical Association, which states that not only is gender-affirming care appropriate, but that the absence of it leads to poor mental health outcomes.

Judge Who Illegally Jailed Children Will Not Seek Reelection

Donna Scott Davenport, the juvenile court judge at the center of a controversy over the arrest and detention of children in Rutherford County, Tennessee, has announced that she will step down this year rather than run for reelection. Earlier on Tuesday, ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio published a story about a move by some Tennessee lawmakers to remove Davenport from her post. About an hour after that story was published on ProPublica’s website, Davenport, in an email sent by the county’s spokesperson, announced that she will not be running for reelection this year. Instead, she plans to retire when her current eight-year term expires this summer. Davenport, in announcing her retirement, said: “After prayerful thought and talking with my family, I have decided not to run for re-election after serving more than twenty-two years on the bench.

A Network Of Military-Related Programs Is Spreading In Schools

Seventy-six years after the U.S. dropped atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I am reminded of my own mindset during the Cuban missile crisis when American President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev were threatening a nuclear confrontation. I remember feeling that my life would soon end, clearly embracing a comprehensible existential threat even at the age of 7. I now understand the weapons of mass destruction deployed against the Japanese in 1945 as the two most horrible “singular event war crimes” ever committed by a state actor. Coming from and living in the most militarized culture of scale in history, I work to promote non-military careers for youth most susceptible to military recruitment offers.

Co-op Group Urges Help For The ‘Ghosted Generation’ Of Youth

Children as young as 10 are afraid the Covid-19 pandemic will set them back for the rest of their lives, a new study from the Co-op Group reveals. The report, the Ghosted Generation, is one of the largest post-pandemic studies of its kind, asking more than 5,000 10-25-year olds about their attitudes, life chances and aspirations. It finds that almost two thirds (60%) 13-25-year olds feel their generation will be permanently disadvantaged by the pandemic, starting with a devastating impact on their education. The Group is urging more support for young people as the UK emerges from the pandemic, and says it is making its own efforts to develop opportunities, through apprenticeships, virtual work experience and its Young Members Board. Among school-aged children, the research shows nearly 47% of 10-15-year olds feel they have fallen behind in the past year, with 59% also feeling the pressure to catch up quickly.

Returning To ‘Normal’ In Education Is Not Good Enough

As a nation, we stand with bated breath — waiting for public schools to reopen and for “a return to normal” while ignoring that for many, normal is not only not good enough, it was also never really good. Historical inequities and disparities in our public schools, as across all our public systems, operate along a constitutional fault line — an embedded caste system — that we need to find our way across. It is a fault line that is not only about race: class, identity and disabilities also block the path to equal educational opportunity for millions of students. Just like the right to vote in the 20th century, the lack of equal access to a quality education in the 21st century threatens to limit the future life choices for too many young people.

Nonviolent Security And Cop-Free Schools Are Not A Utopian Dream

At a school in North Minneapolis, the school day starts with a team of four peacekeepers escorting teachers and staff into the building. Then the team watches out for the students as they get off the bus and enter the schoolyard. Throughout the day, they’re on hand to de-escalate fights and aid the students in conflict resolution. They’re not volunteers. This is their job. They have replaced police (resource officers) in this school. This is not a fairy tale or a utopia story. Two blocks away is a hub of drug dealing. Gun violence is frequent in this neighborhood. These four peacekeepers are part of EMERGE, a program which provides internships, jobs and mentorship for youth who live amidst a cycle of violence, trauma, gangs and/or the justice system.

Oregon Bill Bans Police From Lying To Youth During Interrogations

Portland, OR –  On Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown signed legislation into law prohibiting law enforcement officers from using deception while interrogating people under the age of 18. The law bans commonly used deceptive interrogation tactics, including false promises of leniency and false claims about the existence of incriminating evidence. Both of these tactics have long been identified as significantly increasing the risk of false confessions, which have played a role in about 30% of all wrongful convictions overturned by DNA. False confessions are also the most frequent contributing factor in wrongful conviction cases involving homicides. And recent studies suggest that children under 18 are between two and three times more likely to falsely confess than adults.

Creating A Safe Haven for Black Trans Youth In Baltimore

In late May, a crowd descended on Central Baltimore’s 6,000 square foot Ynot Lot for a day of free food and entertainment. Local artists like the contagiously candid Lor Choc, the sharp-rapping Fmb Foreign, and decorated Baltimore Club DJ Scottie B took the lot’s stage. Onlookers danced in their respective circles, many holding cloudy, ice cold bottles of water to contend with the sweltering sun. Others occupied shady spots to permanently plop down in. Just outside the Ynot were mobile stations providing confidential STI/HIV testing, as well as COVID-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer. By all accounts, the star that day wasn’t the artists onstage, but the person who facilitated the event: Iya Dammons, founder of Baltimore Safe Haven (BSH), whose leadership was clear from the outset.

Illinois Set To Become First State To Bar Police From Lying To Minors

The state of Illinois is on its way to becoming the first in the nation to bar police officers from lying to minors during interrogations. In an effort to prohibit the manipulative tactics cops often use to coerce confessions that often turn out to be false confessions—to which people under the age of 18 are especially vulnerable—the Illinois General Assembly passed in a near-unanimous vote a bill that would make incriminating statements from minors inadmissible in court if investigating officers provided “false information about evidence or leniency” while interrogating their underage suspect. USA Today reports that Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming weeks.

Documentary Sheds Light On The Role Of Race In Sex Trafficking

On a clear night in February 2016, a group gathered in downtown Oakland for a candlelight vigil. The attendants were dressed in black; one wore a t-shirt that read “The Black Woman is God.” At the vigil, held in honor of the survivors of human trafficking, people spoke about the trauma held in Black women’s bodies.  Six miles away, girls strode in stick-thin heels on a strip of International Boulevard in East Oakland known as “the walk” or “the blade,” where hundreds of teenage girls are trafficked each year. Though sex trafficking happens across the country, Oakland has been identified since the early 2000s as a hub for the exploitation of girls; that exploitation is especially visible on the strip. But the vigil called attention to a fact that’s less widely discussed—Black girls are far and away the most common victims. 

The Major Struggle For The Rights Of Transgender People Is In The States

While the Equality Act that passed recently in the House is getting attention, the critical struggle for the rights of transgender people is taking place in state legislatures. This year, 26 states have legislation that would criminalize the provision of gender-affirming care to youth, ban transgender students from participating in athletics and more. This is an increase from 20 states last year. These bills are being pushed through by conservative Christian groups. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the ACLU LGBT project, who is tracking the bills and working to stop them. We discuss what these anti-transgender rights bills would do, where they are imminent and what people can do to stop them.

Report: Young People In The United States Are Overrun With Student Debt

Young Americans are overrun with student debt. This crisis is the culmination of waning government funding for higher education, wage stagnation, wealth inequality, and a misleading emphasis on obtaining high credentials—all leading to the financial gap between college prices and later earnings. In 2020, aggregate balances reached $1.66 trillion in 2019 dollars, 122% higher in real dollars than in 2010. Not surprisingly, the number of borrowers, the amount they owe, and the number of loans each borrower acquires, have all increased over the time period. In 2019, 18-35 year-olds with student loan debt owed nearly $35,000 on average compared to just over $28,000 (USD 2019) in 2009. Back in 2009 there were only 32 million federal borrowers; in 2019, that number swelled to 43 million.

Grace Is Out Of Jail And Back In School

Oakland County, MI - Ten minutes before her debut and three months after she became known as the Michigan girl sent to juvenile detention for failing to do her online schoolwork, Grace* hurried into a bustling doughnut shop in suburban Detroit and plopped into a leather chair next to her mother. She straightened her headband and searched her pockets, unsuccessfully, for lip gloss. She tapped a few final notes into her phone. Then, ignoring her mother’s request to sit up straight, Grace leaned in toward her laptop and, for the first time since her case gained national notoriety as a symbol of racial inequities in the juvenile justice system, she began to speak publicly about what had happened to her.
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