Pubdate: Tue, 24 Feb 2004
Source: Canadian Champion, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing Ltd
Author: Christine Marshall


Dear Editor: I'm writing in response to a letter in the February 17 Champion
in which the main theme appears to be that the lack of movie theatres and
other entertainment in Milton is the main cause of drug use and suicide
among teens.

This is one of the most ignorant things I've heard in a long time. I
think it's ironic that as a teenager -- who according to the couple
who wrote the letter must be into heavy drug use and bent on ending my
own life due to my manic boredom -- I'm the one who's rebutting this

And no, I do not now, nor have I ever in my life experimented with
drugs, committed a crime or contemplated thoughts of suicide.

I've lived in Milton my entire life, and as far as I know, suffering
from Lord of the Rings deprivation isn't a key factor in driving teens
to substance abuse -- or worse.

I take it as a great insult to both myself and my peers to be accused
of being so shallow and weak that we have nothing better to do than
ruin ourselves with outside substances. There's nothing more
ill-mannered than ageism and teenage stereotypes. Give my age group
some credit here.

Suicide and drug prevention starts at home. The responsibility doesn't
rest on the shoulders of the big movie corporations. And don't even
drag the Playdium into this.

Parents need to instill within their children the notion that life is
valuable, and that you need to appreciate it to its fullest potential.

To prevent more tragedies, parents need to take a more active role in
their child's life -- at any age.

A 14-year-old has no business being out on the street at 1 a.m.

If they need something to do, they should get a job, or volunteer
their time to those who need assistance. And there's one ample source
of entertainment that seems to be overlooked here -- high school
extra-curricular activities.

Too often I've heard it muttered that "this town sucks." You know who
usually says this type of thing? It's the students who make no attempt
to get involved within the school. Life really is what you make of it,
and these clubs exist for a reason. It's the responsibility of the
student to either dive in and have a great experience, or to waste
everybody's time by complaining about having "nothing to do."

Drug abuse and suicide are serious matters, not to be taken lightly.
Those unfortunate few who must endure these terrible things need
clinical help because of deep underlying problems -- of which 10
frames of bowling won't cure.

That I'm sure of.

Christine Marshall
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