The Instigator
luvx
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Xosl3git
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Runaway laws for youth should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Xosl3git
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/27/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,132 times Debate No: 39509
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

luvx

Pro


The definition of runaway is "an unmarried child under the age of 18 years who is absent from the home of a parent or other lawful placement without the consent of the parent, guardian, or lawful custodian" so they need their parents permission to leave home. The reason behind runaway laws is teens don't know what they are getting into if they can't move out. If that's the case, why punish them for running away? We don't call an elderly person with Alzheimer's a "runaway" when they wander off.


To evade capture by the authorities under terms of runaway laws, some youth will turn to the crime. If we allowed them to move out, work without restrictions, and to sign a lease, this problem would go away.



Xosl3git

Con

Hello all,
Luvx, best of luck.

O my brothers, Little Jimmy was 14 when his mother stuck him undeservingly. Jimmy facing intense pressure and stress at home decided to fly the coup. Where he was going, he could not say... Years later he is living in the slums selling drugs to make a buck. Never knowing the life he could have had if he just persevered or found help. Little Jimmy could never understand that the laws and rules in society were there to protect his best interests.

The intrinsic truth of adolescents is they cant possibly conceive or understand the importance of the rules and regulations of our system. Although, the circumstances that they are reluctantly forced upon are unfair and harsh, in many cases, it still beats the streets. The reason for most runaways is a dysfunctional family; problems for young adults may include neglect, divorce or abuse, but even so many teens who leave their home end up living in poverty, malnourished and uneducated. Statistics show that runaway teenagers are at a higher risk of being involved with prostitution and alcohol and drug abuse.

An equal important matter is that few places in America actually consider the act 'illegal.' Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, consider running away from home a status offense.
In which the runaways in theses districts that are apprehended are tried before a judge as a delinquent or a child in need of services (CHINS) and for the most part these youths will be held in custody until they are of age or relocated to a foster home. Other punishments include probation and a suspended drivers license-nothing more that a slap on the wrist, in my opinion-. The only punishment being that many foster homes maintain even worse conditions for theses youths then their previous homes.

Accordingly, perhaps it would be better if more places considered running away an offense, maybe a universal law would educate individuals and there adolescents the dangers of poverty. According the US department of Justice, an estimated 797,500 youths under 18 went missing last year, not including the parents who don't give a crap that there kid is missing and are to lazy to report it. The truth is whether its illegal or not, the government should be making more of an effort to reach these adolescents, providing programs such as talk lines or abuse prevention groups.

My concluding point will be, if the intimidating shadow of the Law can save one youth from going running away and ending up a missing persons case, its worth it. These kids need to learn structure; the importance of rules and regulations. Life isn't fair and even though laws are naturally oppressive of true liberty they work to protect society and its best interests.

Finally, If you could I would like if you expanded on your statement "To evade capture by the authorities under terms of runaway laws, some youth will turn to the crime." As it is unsupported and vague.

Thank you Luvx, I look forward to your retort.
XosL3git- "Here's looking at you kid."
Debate Round No. 1
luvx

Pro


I will refute your arguments.


1. Little Jimmy could never understand that the laws and rules in society were there to protect his best interests.


These rules don't protect youth best interests. Throughout most of human history there was no adolescence. "Adolescence" was created when compulsory schooling laws and child labor laws strengthened. Before the industrial revolution, people were getting married at/around 13 and had a lower divorce rate.


2. Statistics show that runaway teenagers are at a higher risk of being involved with prostitution and alcohol and drug abuse.


That is because of other oppressive laws like child labor laws. We know poverty causes crime and child labor laws prohibit youth from getting a decent job and earning a good income (because of child labor laws, there are very limited jobs available to youth where they can earn a decent income) and in addition, under terms of child labor laws, a runaway needs parental consent before getting a job, which will not happen. This is why runaways turn to crime.


3. These kids need to learn structure; the importance of rules and regulations.


How can they learn that through runaway laws? They are not learning anything because of restrictive laws or youth laws like the juvenile system. If youth are tried as juveniles for their crimes and not as adults, how do they learn structure? Many adults don't follow the rules of this society. You watch the news about bank robberies, beatings, frauds, child abuse and many crimes on the news committed by adults. This shows many adults don't understand the importance of rules. So we might as well place curfew laws for adults so they can understand the importance of rules and regulations.


Some people might say "teens are not ready to be responsible for themselves and their actions" or "they don't have life experience to make good decisions" that is not true. How are they supposed to gain experience under restrictive laws? What if their parents don't let them gain experience? And even if we do gain experience, we don't always learn from them. Like spending 12 years in a classroom and not learning anything.


Finally, the "teen brain" was found to be a myth.


http://www.mercatornet.com...


They are telling people the brain is not developed till 25. The truth is, teens brains are influenced by their outside environment, including schooling, and all teens are required to go to school, so it makes sense that all their brains are the same. Lets compare those brains to the brains of teens in countries where they don't go to school and are married young. We might see a big difference. If it were the norm to finish high school at 25, there would be a new study saying the brain has not matured till 30.


Elliot Valentin, a retired neuroscientist wrote a book called Blaming the brain, published in 1998. He wrote,


“A persons mental state and experience can modify the brain just as surely as the other way around. When there is a correlation between these two events, we should not assume that we always know which way causation flows….


It has been shown in numerous experiments, for example. That exposure to stressful situations can produce long lasting brain changes.”


Of course when you get a new job your brain will rewire itself when you get a new job, to help you settle into your new career.


Xosl3git

Con

Thank you for a speedy reply.

I will begin by defending my argument and addressing your riposte. Starting with:
1. Little Jimmy... :)
Now, by stating that "[The] rules don't protect youth best interests." is outlandish and the same as saying a bicycle helmet isn't in the best interest of your head. I am curious how living a life of drugs, poverty and prostitution is considered an adolescences "best interests." You go on to exclaim that the term of adolescence was coined with compulsory schooling laws. I am curious Luvx, do you think compulsory school rules are a sham as well?

"Before the industrial revolution, people were getting married at/around 13 and had a lower divorce rate." Well I hate to break this news to you Luvx, but the truth is that the world changes with time. What was considered proper ages ago, like being married at 13, is subject to that era's culture, technology, life expectancy and many other factors. I can't say whether its right nor wrong to be married at 13, but I can say in this era. the era in which the argument is in question, frowns upon 'adolescent' marriage. and has constructed laws against it. To add to that, like current states with runaway laws, this isn't meant to be considered an 'oppressive' law. It is intended to safeguard these kids from potential problems they may have, possibly financial insecurity or a degraded quality of life.

2.Statistics...
Again, not really "Oppressive laws." Is telling someone they can't commit murder oppressive? I repeat, Laws are in place to protect everyone's best interests. NEXT! You declare that these laws prevent "youth[s] from getting a decent job and earning a good income (because of child labor laws, there are very limited jobs available to youth where they can earn a decent income)" I apologize for my rudeness but no. Just no. Even with parental consent kids who are under the legal adult working age and don't run away from home aren't finding 6 figure salaries. They are working in restaurants, super markets, delivering papers. I hope that is not what you consider a "good job" as this job does not provide for the future in all likelihood will only support a paycheque to paycheque lifestyle. Furthermore, the reasons theses kids have a difficulty with both finding a job as well as a job with a good pay cheque is because simply they are uneducated. Seriously, no one is going to want to hire a high school drop out who didn't complete basic math. In fact the importance of education is only being held in higher and higher regard. Many schools won't even allow you to apply for a trade without a high school diploma.

"This is why runaways turn to crime." If they followed the law in the first place and didn't runaway they would have never been forced to plunge towards crime. And if they were educated they would be smarter than taking that route anyways.

3. Kids need to learn structure...
Well gosh darnit. You say that some people don't follow the rules and some people never learn? Quite right you are my brother. I mean why even have any laws if SOME people aren't going to follow them right? Lets just thow out the whole system and take drugs and live like hippies and sell coke. The reason society has prospered and made the leaps and bounds that it has is simply structure. From a young age we are cultivated and grown like a seed, being watered with nutrients and left in the sunlight of knowledge. Structure, designed through knowledge, is the key to our development. Without structure we would still be savage hunter gathers living in the mud and dying in our early thirties or less.
Criminals are proven to have a much lower average intelligence then non-criminals. Runaway laws are a resource employed by society to take all measure to prevent kids from making a life long mistake.
The concludes my defense. I am sorry as I realize some of my criticism may be overly sharp.

And now for my rebuttal.
"Some people might say "teens are not ready to be responsible for themselves and their actions" or "they don't have life experience to make good decisions" that is not true. How are they supposed to gain experience under restrictive laws?"
I believe your aforementioned quotation is in fact true. As the social sciences cannot explain many phenomenon, including the rate at which a person learns and develops. The ultimate being that some kids develop far quicker then others and as a safeguard we release kids when they are legally an adult, as many adolescents may not quite fully understand the implications of there actions. And as far as experience, have you ever heard "Learn from others mistakes". If you think a child who sees the number of missing children in the United States alone and decides he should runaway to "experience" this himself is prudent then your mad. And honestly who "spend[s] 12 years in a classroom and [has] not learn[ed] anything." Not to mention I am sure the margin of kids who actually claim to have learned nothing is pretty thin.

You continue to introduce the "teen brain." Which is an argument manly supplemented to address development and unintelligent decisions after the age of 18, whereas the focal point of our contention lies within a legal implication geared towards kids under 18. Therefore I will not address this argument.
And I am not sure how getting a new job allowing your brain to rewire itself has anything to do with anything.

Finally, your humble XosL3git will finish up here. Society, in a modern standpoint in developed countries, is geared towards progression and attaining a higher quality of life. In earnest we take many measures and supplement many laws to attaining the aforementioned societal goal. Including laws that make running away illegal. In these regards, its should remain a law.

XOSL3GIT SIGNING OFFFFFFFFFFF----bzzzt!
"I believe that the children are the future." - Whitney Huston
Debate Round No. 2
luvx

Pro

1. "[The] rules don't protect youth best interests." is outlandish and the same as saying a bicycle helmet isn't in the best interest of your head. I am curious how living a life of drugs, poverty and prostitution is considered an adolescences "best interests."


Bicycle helmets are not the same things as runaway laws. That would be like comparing helmets laws to alcohol prohibition. We can argue alcohol prohibition prevents problems associated with alcohol just like bike helmets prevent head injuries while on the bike, but those are two different things and can't be compared.


I never stated that living a life of drugs, poverty and prostitution is in the best interests of adolescents. In fact, in round 2, my rebuttal (#2) states that child labor laws and other oppressive laws cause those problems.


2. Even with parental consent kids who are under the legal adult working age and don't run away from home aren't finding 6 figure salaries. They are working in restaurants, super markets, delivering papers. I hope that is not what you consider a "good job" as this job does not provide for the future in all likelihood will only support a paycheque to paycheque lifestyle.


Even with parental consent, youth are only allowed to work certain hours and (in my state NY,) have to get a medical exam before obtaining an employment certificates (they have to be "in good health" to work. Adults don't have to do this, why should juveniles? Limits on working hours prevent youth from earning decent money. I don't consider restaurants and supermarkets a "good job" but if we allowed youth to work the good jobs they can be earning a good income.


3. Furthermore, the reasons theses kids have a difficulty with both finding a job as well as a job with a good pay cheque is because simply they are uneducated. Seriously, no one is going to want to hire a high school drop out who didn't complete basic math. In fact the importance of education is only being held in higher and higher regard. Many schools won't even allow you to apply for a trade without a high school diploma.


How do you define "basic math"? Just basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or advanced high school algebra? While many jobs require a high school diploma because of the belief that those with a high school diploma are more skilled. But many things we learn in high school we forget. Some things we learn don't really apply in the job market, so education can be tailored more to our job interests.


4. Lets just thow out the whole system and take drugs and live like hippies and sell coke.


I never said that's what I wanted.


5. Structure, designed through knowledge, is the key to our development. Without structure we would still be savage hunter gathers living in the mud and dying in our early thirties or less.


True, but can we accomplish the same ends with a different structure?


6. Many adolescents may not quite fully understand the implications of there actions.


That is not true. The "youthful brain with an inability to link actions to consequences" has not been proven. While there was a study that said that the rain is not fully developed till 25, and I will link the study, but 1st a quote from the link in the bottom paragraph, 1st page.


“The researchers speculated in their article that this may be due to a plethora of life experiences in young adulthood such as pursing post-secondary education, starting a career, independence and developing new social and family relationships.”


http://www.news-medical.net...


Elliot Valentin, a retired neuroscientist wrote a book called Blaming the brain, published in 1998. He wrote,


“A persons mental state and experience can modify the brain just as surely as the other way around. When there is a correlation between these two events, we should not assume that we always know which way causation flows….


It has been shown in numerous experiments, for example. That exposure to stressful situations can produce long lasting brain changes.”


There was never proof that teens are more likely to take risks as a result of their age.


Xosl3git

Con

Thank you for your reply Luvx,
And thank you for criticizing my comparasion of bike helmets to runaway laws, I think you missed the point of the simile and I guess among many other things, I will explain it to you... Well Luvx, most states require you to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, but that doesnt mean everyone actually wears a helmet. This was compared to the fact that some states have laws about running away, but again, this doesnt mean everyone abides by these rules. And in both items compared we have a law that is created with the safety, well-being and protection of citizen alike.
In addition, you begin to retort a point of mine meant to be rhetorical. I stated "I am curious how living a life of drugs, poverty and prostitution is considered an adolescences "best interests." This was to exhibit that by abolishing runaway laws and supporting kids to abandoning their families you are increasing their risks of poverty, drug abuse and prostitution. Luvx, I believe you missed the mark as instead of defending my attacks or making counter points you are strictly criticizing my writing style. You must address the subject rather.

You move forward by criticizing the labor laws of NY and restrictions on wages and 'good jobs'. Now 'good jobs' could be debatable as a fun and flexible job at Mcd might be considered a 'good job'. However since I believe in your ambiguity you are referring to high paying jobs I will reiterate one of my previous points that these kids have absolutely no chance of getting jobs with high wages and good working conditions without an education. Those jobs are basically reserved for the population with post-secondary education.
And possibly your exaggerating as it is.
"The Fair Labor Standards Act. In general, for non-agricultural jobs, children under 12 may not be employed, children between 12 and 16 may be employed in allowed occupations during limited hours, and children between 16 and 18 may be employed for unlimited hours in non-hazardous occupations." [1]

Kids over 16 can be employed for "unlimited hours".

Now before the 20th century it might have been necessary to have kids working at extremely early ages to help support the family financially. But in 1904 thing for kids were looking up when the states introduced Child Labor laws. Further, "[Child labor] laws were often paired with compulsory education laws which were designed to keep children in school and out of the paid labor market until a specified age (usually 12, 14, or 16 years.)[2]

The government and law makers clearly understand the importance of having an educated working class.

Now I am sure you knew some of the current labor laws restricting kids from employment, however I bet you did not know that in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which placed limitations on underage labor, excluded agriculture.
"Human rights organizations have documented child labor in USA. According to a 2009 petition by Human Rights Watch: "Hundreds of thousands of children are employed as farmworkers in the United States, often working 10 or more hours a day. They are often exposed to dangerous pesticides, experience high rates of injury, and suffer fatalities at five times the rate of other working youth. Their long hours contribute to alarming drop-out rates. Government statistics show that barely half ever finish high school. According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the second most dangerous occupation in the United States."[3]

Pretty self-explanator, Luvx. Clearly the labor laws that the states currently abide by, if anything, could be more strict.

Moreover, you are right in saying somethings do not apply to our job interests, but Luvx... dear Luvx, that does not mean we should learn them. Does this mean that because I want to be garbageman I should only learn about garbage? Luvx, thats garabage and it stinks. School doesn't only make us remember useless information, but it teaches us how to think. Logically, pragmatically and creatively. It is a machine that takes the raw material of adolescence and spits out a mahogany vehicle driven to benefit society. It creates a class of well informed and skillful professionals wherever there passion my lie. Obviously there will be bad apples, but my obliterating certain restrictive laws that are intentional made to protect adolescents from making lifelong mistakes and forcing them to follow a different path, we minus well condemn them ourselves.

"True, but can we accomplish the same ends with a different structure?"
I don't know, can we just throw around completely vague ambiguous statements and call it debate?
Can you learn to construct an argument with viable points and compelling comparisons?
Can I poop a balloon?
These are all philosophical questions subject to opinion. Except the 3rd question. Which is irrelevant and absurd. Luvx, how could you?

Finally your "Teen brain" argument, which I really feel you are failing to highlight the relativity and purpose of the study presented. Even if the "youthful brain with an inability to link actions to consequences" has not been proven, it has not been disproved either, it is however logical to infer that many adolescence could reason the near certain maladies of running away.

You continue by addressing Elliot Valentin's theory that experiences can modify the brain. Okay great!
"It has been shown in numerous experiments, for example. That exposure to stressful situations can produce long lasting brain changes." Uh-huh, cool cool.
"There was never proof that teens are more likely to take risks as a result of their age."...Andd??? What is your argument and how does it tie into runaway laws...? I am sorry Luvx, but you have run off on wild tangents, which can be a wonderful tactic if you can link it back to the issue at hand.

Since there seems to be minimal argument pertaining to why runaway laws should be abolished I hope we can all conclude that these laws are geared towards protecting our kids best interests and simply should continue to exist.
Thank you for reading all.
Thank you for the debating Luvx, although I feel your commitment to the debate was lacking.

"Look at all those people down there. Letting fear lead them, and for what. Life is simple, you make choices and don't look back" -Han, Tokyo Drifit

[1][2][3] Wikipedia BOIIIEEEEEEEE!
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
luvxXosl3gitTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I was originally planning a full RFD for this debate, but the entire argument boiled down to one point, whether adolescents and children could survive on their own in today's society, an argument Con took. However, Con's sarcasm grew to a rather rude level, so conduct to Pro.