Teens talk about concerning issues

May 7, 2008 5:36:31 PM PDT
Durham public schools let students out early Wednesday to talk about problems affecting teens.

Sex, drugs and alcohol were just some of the topics discussed.

The summit was a continuation from March when adults had their chance to weigh in.

All of it stems from a survey about teenagers. Durham County government joined with DPS last year and polled nearly 900 middle and high school students about violence, drugs, mental health, sex and obesity.

"The fact that our youth aren't leading a healthy lifestyle," said Ellen Reckhow with Durham County Commissioners.

At the youth summit, students from area high schools got a chance to weigh in on the subject.

"Gangs take a lot of our brothers, comes from the home. I was never brought up like that," said Ellis Monroe a junior at Riverside High School.

Nearly 45 percent of the students surveyed have said they already have engaged in sex. Eyewitness News sat down with a group of tenth grade students to see what they thought about the findings.

''It's not everybody; I just want everyone to know we're not doing it. They're not teaching abstinence," said Keia Faison, a sophomore at Riverside High School.

The survey also found 35 percent of high school students used marijuana and 30 percent of middle school students admitted to drinking alcohol.

Students had a chance to break out into groups, where they could say whatever was on their mind.

And if they felt they could not say it aloud, they wrote it on a sheet of paper --called trash talk-- and threw it in the trash. Later the group would take it out and use it for the group discussion.

Students hope leaders will take their discussion seriously. Leaders say they plan to take the information and find solutions.


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