Palm Beach Post
Teen’s Fully Aware of World and National Issues
Coronavirus and race issues are top concerns for today's teens.
This year has brought upon many issues in the world of politics, and young people have really been involved. Alta students were asked to fill out a survey to determine which political topics were most important to them, and the results are apparent in the current political climate.
Ranking first is coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, eliminating the question for why it was voted so high in the survey. Many Alta students who took the survey agreed with the statement that the problem isn’t the virus itself but people’s lack of safety.
“I think COVID is really nerve wracking. It’s disappointing because kids my age are the ones out at parties acting like nothing is wrong. It’s an important topic because it’s not just 100 cases anymore, it’s in our communities,” says Megan Palmer, a junior at Alta. “I have had several personal close friends who have had COVID. The United States could have definitely put a mask mandate in place or a lock down or something, I feel like our government did very little to try and aid health organizations in the reinforcement of their guidelines. And I really hope the vaccine comes soon, I miss my friends and I want to be able to go in public again without feeling guilty.”
Coronavirus is a very important topic to the students at Alta because the virus impacts us all. It strikes fear in every student and puts each student at risk of getting the virus.
The second most important topic was race issues in the United States. This year, people have become more divided. One way people have become in such a state is through opinions and views on racial equality. Especially over the summer of 2020, the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and many other black people due to the police have caused a world-wide protest to end police brutality. This has made the division even worse, but some don’t see a division at all.
“Personally I think there is a division within our society, and the fact that the color of your skin matters on what neighborhood you live in or what school you go to is absolutely terrifying,” says Mariam Safeudien, a junior at Alta. “After the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd more awareness has come to the issue but there is more division within the society and people pretend that they don’t care when deep down, I’m sure they do.”
Safeudien continues by describing the importance of Black Lives Matter through an analogy, “If there are two houses; one is on fire and the other is not, which one are you going to help?” She describes how it’s not all lives facing racial injustices, and though all lives do matter, the focus should be on black lives to protect black lives from “terrifying differences” Safeudien describes. “Black lives matter and neglecting the importance of it during these times will only make this divide worse.”
In 2020, the world has seen one of it’s darkest times. Throughout the pandemic and the rise of awareness for racial inequalities, and even other topics not mentioned have become important to many teenagers at Alta. Though people will not always agree with each other, it is important to remember that we can only get through these dark times together.