Las Vegas Sun

February 15, 2019

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Students speak: Views from the Sun Youth Forum

62nd Annual Sun Youth Forum

Steve Marcus

Madison Coffey, of Liberty High School, participates in a discussion during the 62nd annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum at the Las Vegas Convention Center Thursday Nov. 29, 2018. Over 1,000 juniors and seniors from 50 high schools participated in the event. The Clark County School District and Barrick Gold Corporation partnered with the Las Vegas Sun to put on the forum.

62nd Annual Sun Youth Forum

Kahlin Lindholm of Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) registers to vote during the 62nd annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum at the Las Vegas Convention Center Thursday Nov. 29, 2018. Over 1,000 juniors and seniors from 50 high schools participated in the event. The Clark County School District and Barrick Gold Corporation partnered with the Las Vegas Sun to put on the forum. Launch slideshow »

High school students from the Las Vegas area participated in the 62nd annual Sun Youth Forum on Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center, discussing current affairs and suggesting solutions to some of the world’s problems.

Here’s a sample:

Law and crime

Jim Owens, chief of the Las Vegas Paiute Police Department, asked if a 16-year-old should be tried as an adult.

  • Matthew Walker, Basic High: “It depends on the severity of the crime. If it’s premeditated murder, they should know better. They should know there are consequences for their actions.”
  • Nova Campos, Del Sol High: “The moral compass develops at 13, but it also depends on the environment, who raises them.”
  • Elliot Bowerman, Bonanza High: “You can’t generalize based off this number. I know some people my age who are more like fifth-graders.”

 

School days

Mike Barton, chief academic officer for the Clark County School District, led a discussion about whether more students should be encouraged to consider trade schools as a pathway to success.

  • Surafael Tamre, Spring Valley High: “There are more ways to be successful than to go to college.”
  • Alex Tralles, Coronado High: “Trade schools are training for jobs that are going to be phased out in the future.”
  • Cindy Mora, Rancho High: “We encourage students to go to college because that’s the societal norm.”

 

Around the world

Janie Greenspun-Gale, director of The Greenspun Corporation, led a discussion about getting young people more engaged in voting.

Mya Alva, Rancho High: “The best way to get the youth involved is to talk to them person to person.”

  • Shareen Basyari, Southwest Career and Technical Academy: “What my school did was have a candidate night where we had to call up the candidates and invite them to come talk. Many kids at my school voted.”
  • Brandon Anaya, Arbor View High: “The best way to get the youth out to vote is through using social media.”

 

Teen topics

Alex Bybee, Nevada state director for Teach Plus, led a discussion about how social media impacts mental health.

  • Jennevee Morales, Palo Verde High: “People only post what they want you to see.”
  • Eliana Torves, Mojave High: “Social media — I’ve seen it do a lot of bad things to people I know, but for me, because I’m the only kid [in the house] and my parents are older, it gives me a way to connect with others.”

 

Home in Nevada

Brian Greenspun, CEO, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun, led a discussion about whether young people should have more influence on society.

  • Olivia Armstrong, Foothill High School: “It’s not that we aren’t doing anything. It’s that we’re not being heard. I feel like schools should practice more civil discourse, and classes should include current events, too.”
  • Naomi Atnafu, Valley High: “Voting is your way of voicing your opinion.”
  • Amanda Chambers, Palo Verde High: “One thing that’s happening a lot is people are participating in protests. But that can only go so far. You’ve got to call your representatives.”

 

America

Terri Janison, president a CEO of Grant A Gift Autism Foundation, led a discussion on gun laws.

  • Remington Vincent, College of Southern Nevada: “There’s a lot that goes into gun control. It’s poverty, gang violence and mental health. There are common sense gun laws to pass, but it isn’t going to tie the knot.”
  • Bennett Gardner, Palo Verde High: “Just because you can’t solve it with one blow doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.”

 

Potpourri

Lindy Schumacher, CEO of the Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas, led a discussion about whether kneeling for the national anthem is disrespectful.

  • Avery Nguyen, Northwest Career and Technical Academy: “A lot of veterans feel that it is disrespectful, but there are also a lot who said that they fought for their right to do this.”
  • Autumn Mastrodomenico, Basic Academy: “When there’s a fallen soldier, it’s a sign of respect to take a knee. The NFL players, they’re doing this for a reason.”
  • Jaylah Wilson, Foothill High: “This is just another form of peaceful protest. It seems miniscule in the moment, but it can have lasting effects if executed correctly.”