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Teenage Rights Essay, Research Paper

The Rights of the Young American Dismissed

Under the eyes of god we are all created equal, and under the foundation of the country with gods blessing all patrons of the great USA are created equal. Right? Well that s what I thought until my eyes were opened this summer to the cruel REAL world. Is there any reasoning that befalls the United States Police Force to undermine the future of the USA? Are we so evil that we must be Plagued by the constant harassment of the police to follow us wherever we go no matter what we do? Are we so naive as to let this continue in the world that is supposed to be our Peaceful and Humble abode? No. We are the ones that will soon run this country and change starts with us. So here is our voice. Listen if you will, or listen if you wont. Either way you will hear our voice. We are of millions in size and will not fall to the beck, call, and command of those who only hold age higher than us.

Inside this document of our complaints, compliments, and worries you will hear how the young leaders feel and suffer. Points will be explained and many voices will talk. This is not just the viewpoint of me, but that of the entire generation around me. I am just the message bearer. Take offense to the following if you wish. Though this is not meant to offend, it is meant to constructively criticize. We are here not to exploit ourselves within the name of heroes. We are here to undermine the wrong and uphold the right.

POINT 1: Stereo Typical Teenager

On Sunday night, September 5th 1999, friends and I were eating outside of Apple Valley McDonalds. Two Apple Valley Police Officers approached us in their vehicles and asked us to leave. Upon a friends departure I threw, a hand signal, which is known as Peace. Deriving from the old hand signal of victory from the war. It is a hand motion that consists of the middle finger and forefinger being placed in the upright position and the thumb crossing behind them. Do not let this be confused with a gang sign, as did the two police officers. I was told that I was to receive a citation upon the next time I threw this Gang Sign in public, for Disorderly Conduct. Upon our leaving a police officer followed the car of John Doe for a block and a half and then pulled over his vehicle. There was no reason for the officers to follow his car in the first place. Upon pulling over his car I walked over to John and proceeded to ask what they pulled him over for. I was told to back away from his vehicle by the police. As I did this I was then told to place my hands on the hood of their vehicle. I was placed in the back of the police car and detained for about 25-30 minutes. I was now able to view the procedure in which the police take to write and deliver a ticket. What I know now scares me. When did the United States Rules and Statutes for the Police Force of the United States include criticizing, laughing at, and joking about the situation in public? In fact when was this all included even in a private conversation. Now I am no lawyer but as a voice of many I can say that I know this is Non-Ethical and Unjustified behavior coming out of anybody, and especially a citizen highly upheld by society as a whole, that is their to protect and serve. Though I maybe wrong they are not there to humiliate and disrespect, as we are not allowed to our elders. This situation may seem easy to solve to many people. You say, Don t throw the peace sign anymore. Why should we as a culture have to change our behaviors that in no ways have effect on the society as a whole or as a part? In fact all it is, is a sign of respect and departure to those whom you know and respect. Is this so wrong? Is it so hard as to understand that we may be different but not dangerous?

Point 2: Destination for the Minor

This summer was a summer like most for many. We hung out around the metro area and talked over food. Problem, we were not allowed to hang out. We received many warnings from multiple police officers over this span of Rosemount, Apple Valley, Farmington, and Lakeville. Warnings about loitering in the lots of businesses and parks of these cities. We have nowhere to go. Nowhere to play. Nowhere to park our cars and hang out with friends and to meet new people. What are we to do? Where are we to go?

The question, after time, rose up within our crowd. We were not allowed in parks after the time of 9 and would often receive complaints before then for noise. So we were left with the decision to go back downtown. Upon arriving here it usually took about 1-2 hours before storeowners would call the police about our loitering. So where do we go? What is the city going to do for us? We have until 11p.m. Weeknights and 12am Friday and Saturday nights. Asking the police officers of these cities got us nowhere. The only responses we got were; Well Not Here. Or Honestly, there is nowhere for you to go. Well if the city wants us to help with their constant calls of loitering designate a place for us to go. Give us a park, build us a building, find us a business or let us use a lot. To protest our dissatisfaction with the way the city is handling our situation, we will begin to place our cars in the city hall parking lot. Away from businesses and companies. Away from where we will affect business. This is our way or your way. The situation now lies within your hands.

Point 3: Stereotypical Teenagers

When the word teenager is heard by many of the people in this country their first impression is as follows: Noisy, Disrespectful, Dirty, Annoying, Trouble, Bad Drivers, and immature. The young ones now rise. We decided that the country fixes this misconception and stops the lies or we make society a truth speaker. If this is what society wants then it is what society can get. This is not what we want and I am sure this is not what the rest of society wants, but you have left us with no choice. We are now the oppressed. African Americans, Indians, Women, and now us. Teenagers. You may argue, fight, or criticize this comment but this is true. We are followed constantly by the police force, constantly looked down upon by adults, and even kicked out of restaurants, stores, and buildings. Not because we have said or done anything but because of our age. We are discriminated against and hated by much of the older part of society. What is your basis of demeaning behavior, which seems to have no second thought upon your treatment of us? We are sick of the being followed by police for no particular reason. Blocks at a time. Being harassed when defending our rights, which have been violated by certain officers and citizens. We are sick of respecting those who don t respect us. We will not anymore. Respect is something earned not just given.. You will treat us with it or we will treat you as you do us. You spend an entire year devoting your attention to us building our trust within you to protect and serve us. This program is known as D.A.R.E. We gain your trust only to somehow break it within a matter of years. What has caused this? What is your reasoning? Why? Well until an explanation is given we rise. This is the time of a new generation of minds. We don t need your guns. We don t need your armor. We have our minds. We think differently than the world has ever. When our time comes we will make change. That is now. Our time. Sure we are young but who said we were stupid. We have taken our share and we are not going to let the next generation endure what we have for decades. Give us reason. Sit with us and talk. You give us a time and we will show. We thank the police officers that do this already. We thank Sergeant Joe Shaw, of the Apple Valley police department, for doing this. We know there are still people like you out there but we must crack down on those who are not. We do not say that all adults, officers, and political figures are all the same. We do know, though, that some of your viewpoints of us are wrong and that we will change this.

We are done for now. Organize a time to speak or retaliate with what you wish. This can be the end of everything right here or the reactions and treatment you have received from us in the past can continue. Life may not be fair, but the balance shouldn t be entirely tipped one way either. Justice will arise and our voices will be heard.


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