This week American students headed back to school after their holiday break. 2017 was a dynamic year in current events, many of which will impact the lives of these kids, tweens, and teens for decades. We, at YouthBeat®, have identified four issues and trends in 2017 that we see as relevant enough to keep an eye on in 2018:
Women’s Rights Are Children’s Rights.
From taking kids of both genders to women’s marches, to publicly taking a stand against sexual harassment with the #metoo campaign, to women—particularly African-American women—impacting an Alabama election,—2017 saw women claiming their rights and setting examples for boys and girls of all ages and races on how people should treat each other.
Come on Over.
Bans on people entering the US are sort of counter to what the US represents. But children can’t control politics. What they care about is the connection between family members—95% of kids say that mom is the most important person in the world to them, 85% say it’s dad, and 76% say it’s a sibling.* Children need their families. Threats on DACA stand to impact over a million Dreamers.
Peace in the Eye of the Storm.
For children in Texas, Louisiana, or anyone with a relative in Puerto Rico, last year’s hurricanes were devastating. In Houston, the community rallied to provide free school lunch for the entire 2017-2018 year. But for children with a relative in Puerto Rico, the tragedy will likely impact them for a lifetime.
While climate change is threatening the lives of people and animals, some organisms are gaining vitality for youths’ future. Scientists have found a way to foster growth again in the Great Barrier Reef. Snow leopards have been removed from the endangered species list. Honeybees are making a comeback, and new pesticides are being developed that will keep them around.
At YouthBeat®, our POV is that youth—and their parents—can feel reassured that Earth will be habitable for their progeny. Parents—and citizens—are making strides to make the US a better, more equitable, safer environment for the next generation.
*YouthBeat® Jan-June 2017