Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2017

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Sun Youth Forum :

Clark County Youth Having Its Day As Annual SUN Forum Gets Started

Each year the Las Vegas SUN programs the SUN Youth Forum. which is held in Convention Center.

Ruthe Deskin, director of the program stated, “The purpose of the SUN Youth Forum is to give the youth of today an opportunity to speak out on affairs that concern its country.”

Harvey Dondero is the coordinator, representing Clark County School District.


When the Forum was first established, it was held in the Royal Nevada and later changed to the Silver Slipper and Last Frontier.

Now representatives are selected from eight schools: Rancho, Basic, Gorman, Boulder City, Virgin Valley, Moapa Valley, Las Vegas and Western High School.

These students are chosen to give discussions on seven topics, which were divided into “A” and “B” panels. Moderators for the group were Mrs. Peggy Phillips and Billy Briare, politics; City Commissioner Mirabelli and Chief County Probation Officer Robert Mullens, civil rights; Charles Cheatham and John Wawerna, national affairs; Dr. Robert Kittredge and Zel Lowman, juvenile affairs; Mrs. Marjorie Phillips and Bob Bailey, education; Mrs. Marion Bunker and Bill Willard, man in out society.


The panel began discussions at 9 a.m., equivalent to a full day at school, broke at noon for lunch and returned to resume discussions at 1 p.m. The afternoon session ended at 3:30 and a summarist was chosen from each panel discussion to represent that group.

Politics, first on the agenda, proved to be a heated discussion when the topic of “What is an extremist” was brought up.

Bruce Adams, president of Teenage Republicans, defined an extremist as one who gets what he wants any way he can. “The ends justify the means.”


Peter Chase from Western High School described an extremist group as a group that totally believes something that opposes the American way.

David Harman, also from Western, stated he disagreed that extremist group was totally opposed to the majority. Great leaders of America were opposed to the majority of people at times.

The discussion was halted by one of the members of the panel who asked for a definition of subversive and extremist.

Russel Lawerence defined a subversive person as one who would try to overthrow the government. An extremist is a politically-minded person who leans to the far right or far left.


Peter Chase stated an extremist could be labeled a person who loves his country to such a degree that he would give his life for it, or wanting freedom from communism so bad he would be willing to go to war for it. Dennis Conners from Boulder City, said extremism covered a broad topic and unless an exact definition was established, an extremist could be anyone who believed in Americanism or communism.

Also discussed under the same topic was the recent election. Jon Brannon from Boulder City stated that too much mud slinging was in the campaign. The candidates should show people what they are able to do for the country instead of tearing each other down, he said. The campaign was started in the City High School stated the ex-negative direction and continued that way, he concluded.


Eva Hunter, also of Boulder City, asked why did President Johnson back down from the debate against Republican candidate Barry Goldwater when the broadcast was taken care of by Goldwater.

Mike Everman, of Boulder City, said he believes Johnson turned the debate down because he isn’t as much of a political speaker as Goldwater, “so why take the chance of ruining something he has built up?”

Sue Blosser, co-editor of the Campus Journal at Rancho, said, “When talking about the attitude of Americans today, if America took a blase attitude, we would still be under the rule of England.

“If war is what it takes to rid our country of communism, than that’s what we need.”


In the discussion of civil rights, Jim Pack of Basic said it was natural for a man to employ one of his own kind. The Negroes fought in every war and are the only race not accepted.

Ann Johnson from Western feels that integration in school teaches not to be prejudice, and that most race riots were started by individual arguments and fights.

Candee Wilson from Gorman High School stated prejudice begins in the home.

Harold Morse said prejudice is high in Clark County.


Under national affairs came the controversial topic of should prayer be held in schools.

Mark Weber of Rancho said there are three groups in which the disputes fall: 1) prayer in school; 2) no prayer; 3) either way.

It was said that silent mediation before assemblies was best, because if students were a different denomination they could pray the way they chose and not be offended.

Another panel member stated silent prayer gave students an opportunity to mature in their religion.


The topic under international affairs was centered on our relations with France and President De Gaulle.

It was felt that De Gaulle wants to restore France as a world power or “the” world power. It was also felt that the U.S. should try to keep its alliance with France.

Groups of teenagers discussing juvenile affairs decided for the most part that they were against having children the first year of marriages, against having children the first year of marriage and continued a fiery debate on the pros and cons of going steady.


They discussed juvenile delinquency and the many factors causing it. The group felt that a great deal of juvenile delinquency stems from the home, and most of it comes when the teenagers vie for recognition from parents. On asking if they brought most teenagers outgrow their devilishness, the groups answered yes. Nancy Ramsey of Moapa Valley, stated, “I think a number of criminals are juvenile delinquents that never grew up.”

The discussion also covered voting age - some members feeling it should be lowered and others disagreeing.

Teenage problems such as drinking, smoking and moral problems, underwent fiery debates.

The education panel was concerned with dropouts and their problem in society, along with many topics concerning education as it stands today. Rancho’s modular scheduling entered the discussion when dropouts were mentioned. Some felt that it would increase dropouts.


Virgin Valley students Ella Jones and Twila Hughes stated they enjoyed the modular system. Comments were brought up by Rancho student James McKnight and agreed to by the Virgin Valley students. He said, “Students as well as teachers were confused the first six weeks.” Those under the modular system were in favor of it while those remaining under the older scheduling seemed leary of the new system. One individual stated, “The modular system does put the responsible on the students and forces the student to decide which path to follow. Even if there were a greater number of dropouts because of the system, it doesn’t necessarily mean those students would not have dropped out under high school system. Graduation from high school is no ticket to success.”

On discussing dropouts, the group came to the agreement that sophomores should not be allowed to drop out from school, that there should be a state law prohibiting this.


One panel agreed that teachers should form organizations like that of unions but on a more professional level. They felt that teachers, as a group, should not strike, as it would be as detrimental as doctors striking.

The panelist said they respected the teacher’s dedication to his field and felt the teachers should be paid more. The lack of a suitable salary, students agreed, was keeping many people from this field.

The panels on “man in our society” discussed capital punishment, along with rehabilitation of criminals, birth control, the family unit, new religious attitudes, change in moral attitudes, the war on poverty and automation.

Greg Mlynarczyck pointed out that automation “is not necessarily a dirty word.” He explained that automation has provided thousand of jobs in the past and will help provide jobs in the future. Susan Halligan pointed out, “The higher your education, the less chance of your being replaced.