Journal Address: Societal changes prevent kids from being kids

Journal Address: Societal changes prevent kids from being kids

Editorial Board

Six hours. That’s how long teachers, parents and school administrators fought to prevent the new Indiana graduation requirements from not going into action. After voting, the plan won 7-4, making class of 2023 students and any class after that, go through an extraneous amount of steps to receive their high school diploma.

According to Indiana’s State Board of Education, students will now be required to learn and demonstrate employability skills and complete a postsecondary-ready competency.

Now, you may be wondering what this means.

The finalized graduation pathway states that students will have to complete a learning experience to demonstrate employability skills along with their choice of one of many options to show they’re ready for education after high school.

Changes like this from the twenty-first century have forced kids to grow up way too early.

As stated in an article on the Manhattan Institutes’ website, “Ninth and 10th grade used to be the starting point for what a lot of what we call risk behaviors. Fifteen years ago, they moved into the eighth grade. Now, it’s seventh grade.”

Many factors have affected this change. Specifically, drugs and alcohol have filled the brains of “tweens.”

“The past decade has seen more than a doubling of the proportion of eighth-graders who have smoked marijuana (10 percent today) and of those who no longer see it as dangerous,” states the Manhattan Institute.

Therapists also say that they’ve seen an increase

in eating disorders in kids, such as anorexia and obsessive dieting.

The market also has a huge role in children growing up quickly. Fatty foods are advertised everywhere, commercials are sexualized and it’s not uncommon to hear of teens smoking or drinking now-a-days. This is what’s being exposed to the young generations.

In the first episode of “Jessie,” a Disney comedy series and hit show among children, 8-year-old Zuri Ross is seen wearing makeup and tight pants. Throughout the show, she also talks about dating. Inappropriate comments are made by the main character, Jessie, who is also the nanny.

Jessie said “…as long as he doesn’t touch my end zone.” Some may claim that kids “won’t get what it means,” but to others, it is clear.

According to a nonprofit behavioral health organization, an average of 24 occasions of sexualization  occured in children’s T.V. shows. This included wearing revealing clothing, heavy makeup and “more aggressive forms of sexualization” such as harassment and unwanted touches.

People can’t control what is put on T.V. or advertisements around town, but parents can control how their kids live their lives at such young ages. Kids shouldn’t be lip singing “Gucci Gang,”  which says 26 curse words and promotes drug use, sex and money. Kids shouldn’t be worried about their future at such young ages. They shouldn’t be exposed to such explicit material.

We believe kids should stay kids for as long as they can. They should be climbing trees, hanging out with grandma, riding a bike or reading. Their generation deserves a real childhood, like the ones we got.