There is more out there than just what you see. Youth are being lowballed everywhere, all of the time.
Many organizations and individuals today are calling for youth to be informants to adult decision-making in schools. They say they want youth voice to be heard. They want a seat at the table for youth.
There’s a lot more at stake for youth than simply being able to talk or be represented somewhere. In reality, youth comprise up to 94% of any given school building’s population, and 26% of the entire population of the planet.
Youth should be fully integrated into the operations of every single organization in our society, if only for their energy and to educate them about democracy. That means schools, nonprofits, government agencies, community groups, faith-based organizations and others have to make room.
Every layer of government should infuse youth as well, positioning in them in powerful roles that effect not only individual youth, but all youth; not as recipients, but as active partners who design, implement, critically assess, and make substantive decisions about the education system as a whole.
I say this with a love that is critical and necessary: Many people and programs in the youth voice movement simply don’t get it.
Reduced to reacting, they rally youth around the apparent problems throughout society without recognizing the deeper issues.
Reaching much further than simply acting like the flavor-of-the-day, the Freechild Institute works with partners to position youth as constant, deliberate, and fully engaged partners throughout all of education, all of the time.
Its time to stop lowballing youth.
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