Teenagers, then and now.

Haley Turner and I bring the Back to School program to Region 11 today.  Hello Fort Worth!

Meanwhile, back at the office I’m still culling out old overhead transparencies. I’m getting rid of most, but hanging on to a few that are funny, or otherwise appropriate for mention in the Daily Dawg.  I came across two overheads that have nothing to do with the law, but might be of interest to high school administrators in particular, as they deal with teenagers.

The first is an 1835 quote from Alexis de Tocqueville: “In America, there is in truth no adolescence.  At the close of boyhood, he is a man and begins to trace his own path.”

Well…that was then and this is now. In a 1999 book entitled “The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager” author Thomas Hine notes the truth of de Tocqueville’s assertion, but then points out how things have changed:

Throughout history, Americans in their teens have often played highly responsible roles in their society.  They have helped their families to survive. They have worked with new technologies and hastened their adoption.

Young people became teenagers because we had nothing better for them to do. High schools became custodial institutions for the young.

We stopped expecting young people to be productive members of the society and began to think of them as gullible consumers.

We defined maturity primarily in terms of being permitted adult vices and then were surprised when teenagers drank, smoked or had promiscuous sex.


See you next week! May all of your football teams win glorious victories!!