It’s always easy to be cynical about youth. It’s too easy to find news that casts teenagers in a bad light. Television talks about gang activity and drug abuse. There’s even a whole television show dedicated to pregnant teens and teens trying to be parents.
But a quick look at real statistics, on the front page of this issue, provided by a recent assessment of the health of Fulton County teenagers, shows a different story entirely.
Bad habits and dangerous behaviors are down, practically across the board. Many are down significantly since 2005.
How did this happen?
Of course, the teens themselves deserve praise. They’ve taken the lessons they’ve been taught to heart.
Praise is also in order for all the adults who work with youngsters, from pre-school and sports programs, to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and FFA, plus other programs too numerous to mention. Also remember all the fine parents and teachers.
Adults give of their own time, and often their own money, to provide programs that steer boys and girls down the right paths to become successful adults. Everyone must work hard to overcome the lures of alcohol abuse, tobacco, drugs, violence, and sex.
They have taken on the challenge, and statistics prove they have made some headway. The proof is in the numbers.
Now, however, is not the time to rest on the laurels of success. It is hard, but important work, and we applaud those who take it on.