youth without youth.
Rules? Program themes?
Evaluation topics? Activities? Making decisions for
youth without them is one way to end Youth Voice.
Worst still, making decisions for young people
without them while they are in the room further
disengages Youth Voice.
9. Be the designated
Telling youth what to
think and where to go is another way to end Youth
Voice. Whispering in the ears of children and youth
as frequently as possible, or assuming full
authority when there is a loggerhead, is another way
to end Youth Voice.
8. Filter what is said
perceptions of young peoples' inability and lack of
knowledge get in the way of action is another way to
end Youth Voice. Saying for children and youth what
they can say for themselves is another way. Telling
young people that you don't believe they can speak
for themselves or speaking for them also ends Youth
7. Throw young people into the
Neglecting to teach
children and youth about the issues they are
supposed to be addressing, or about the
possibilities they might not know about ends Youth
Voice. The adage of jumping out of the pot and into
the fire is not an appropriate way to foster Youth
6. Defeat young people
behind their backs.
When adults refute
everything young people say after they have attended
and participated in an activity or once they leave
the room or the program or the class leads to the
end of Youth Voice. Telling young people that you do
not have the time, patience or interest in what they
say, and working to undo everything young people
said or did in a deconstructive, anti-collaborative
fashion ends Youth Voice as well.
5. Privately deny
Saying things to the
effect of, "We don't want to hear from you right
now," or, "Kids are better seen and not heard" ends
Youth Voice. When young people speak up or show up,
and adults stand in front of them or speak over them
- no matter the time or place - leads to the end of
Youth Voice. Showing adult power and gloating to
young people about adult power as often as possible
ends Youth Voice.
4. Sabotage young people
as often as possible.
When adults go behind
the backs of children and youth and undoing the
successes they've experienced they successfully end
Youth Voice. Showing that adults connect with other
adults better than youth, and demonstrating that
they know the system better than those kids is also
a Youth Voice ender. When adults use their ability
to vote, drive, go to movies and generally do
whatever they want to that also ends Youth Voice.
3. Publicly deny young
When adults stand in
front of the TV cameras and microphones and refute
the actions of young people after they have been
successful creating change or transforming cultures,
that ends Youth Voice. Going to parents and teachers
and youth workers, politicians and officials and
others, and explaining to them that "those" youth
were wrong, as well as being adamant, showing
evidence and research, and simply exerting adult
strength and willpower over the actions of youth
also ends Youth Voice.
2. Manipulate youth -
and then tell them.
When adults lure
children and youth into youth activities by
promising them rewards like class credit or cash
they can show that Youth Voice is not significant
without adult acknowledgment. Squeezing the words
and actions out of young people by making them write
a book, lead a course, facilitate a conference or
some other such thing further suffocates Youth
Voice. When its all said and done, telling young
people that you simply used them to fulfill a grant
objective or assessment item effectively ends Youth
Voice. More so, telling them what they did does not
really matter seals it off.
1. Punish young people
for becoming engaged.
When young people
become enthusiastic and connected to the task at
hand or goal in mind, sometimes adults explain that
they should not be so connected. After they spent
all morning on the bus to get there, then they get
there, telling young people they are not going to
meet today thwarts Youth Voice. When adults take the
accomplishments of young people away from them by
letting it "rot on the vine" they also end Youth
Voice. Finally, when adults show children and youth
that caring hurts,
and act like it, they end Youth Voice.