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Adults have a choice: They can keep their heads in the sand, or they can come to terms with what it's like
for many of today's teens. As one parent wrote to Allon Publishing, "Since I read Teens Fight Adult Corruption,
I have been more considerate of my teenager. I had no idea things had changed so much since
I was raised." This novel should be required reading for parents as well as teens.
Terence looked around at the others. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other and began,
"It's different for us than when you guys were coming up. Things are more difficult
for kids now. There are ten teens standing in front of you. One of us has been living in a
youth home. One has been molested by a family member. One has been molested by a psychologist.
Both of them are waiting to get HIV tests to see if they are HIV positive. Two others have had
abortions. Several have been sexually active. One has been beaten many times by his father.
One has watched his mother get beat up by her live-ins and one-night stands. One's parents
are getting a divorce and shoving her into the middle of it. Two of us have a weirded-out
relationship because our parents are having an affair. One of our moms died of AIDS; a brother
was killed by a gang in a turf war. One of us is living with her grandparents because her father
is an alcoholic and her mother is a cocaine addict. One of our grandfathers is in jail for
attempted murder. Only three of those standing before you have homes like most of you grew up
Terence summed it up, "These are the problems we've been trying to figure out how to
make it through. We have been trying to figure ways to help ourselves and to help each other.
I don't know. You may not be impressed. You may think we're, like, just a bunch of
"Now that you brought it up," Jeffries interrupted, "that is precisely what I
think. You have more than your share of problems. Professional research shows that only 10
to 15 percent of the student body is like you."
Terence turned around, faced the students, and said, "Everyone who has one or more of the
problems I mentioned, please stand."
Suddenly, the audience was alive with movement. All but a few of the students stood up. Terence
said, "If you don't think that almost all teenagers are dealing with serious issues,
then you are out of touch with our world. Lincoln High School is full of kids who are going
through all kinds of bad things. Welcome to the world of today's teenagers!"
Hope spoke up, "Terence didn't mention the other side of this story. Some of our
problems are our own fault. Most of you know my dad and mom. I can tell you that they are
good people. I've treated them like hel--heck, and I couldn't see it until
Dale became my eyes. I saw it through his eyes! Teenagers can easily get confused among
all the bad influences, uh, corruption we come in contact with, and we need