Took a trip down memory lane today, back to my old school, to chat to the A level sociology students about crime and deviance.
My school was a very good school, for clever girls (because back then, I had considerably more brain cell matter than I do now!) However, I always wanted to go to drama school and dreamed of being in the limelight. Having to repress this inner thespian had its disadvantages as it often led me to loud outrageous mischievous outbursts, which as a result, led me to having to take the “walk of doom”.
The walk of doom was the corridor that led down to the staff room. Yet on the left hand side and half way down, was the office I spent quite a few occasions, quivering in front of the head mistresses and awaiting my fate. Yes, I was a bit of a rebel at school!
Hence why today it was so strange and nerve wrecking for me, taking a walk down that same corridor today, except this time I made it all the way to the staff room without getting detention.
Yet even stranger, was talking to the students about crime and deviance, which I’m sure is something my form tutors expected me to get into, rather than prevent!
But I love speaking to the younger generation and giving them the opportunity to air their views and ask the questions most youths want to, but don’t have the opportunity to. Its so incredibly rewarding. In the majority of cases, I see so much of me in them, when I was their age. Curious and wanting answers, freedom, responsibility, respect, hope… and to be heard.
I am really inspired by the youths I engage with and feel so honoured to be able to work with them. And how many people can say they really, really enjoy their job? I can. I just wish there was more that I could do to put them up on their pedestal and have them heard. To create more forums whereby youths can express their concerns, fears, hopes and desires and come face to face with the government, local authorities and police.
And the hot potato topic that always pops up and raises its ugly head during most of the sessions I attend, is the 2011 riots.
I feel that the riots of 2011 highlighted some of the frustration that has been bubbling away within some of our youngsters. But have the issues really been addressed? Has anything been learned from it? Could we all do more to prevent a re-occurrence? Are we speaking to the people at the heart of this to find solutions?
I personally don’t see that much has changed since the riots which I think is a huge shame. We could have used it as the perfect catalyst to tune into the thoughts of our youth and utilise, even empower them, to help make positive changes.
But I’m just a lickle fish in a big old pond. I don’t know the answers. I wish I did!
In the meantime, I’ll keep doing what I do, whilst searching the few brain cells I have left as to what more I can do to make a difference. If not now, at least for the next generation… and for my boys.
And on that note, brain is frazzled, so I’m off to bed:)