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Fri Nov 9, 2018, 11:57 AM

We shouldn't disregard the ideas that come from teens' developing brains

We shouldn't disregard the ideas that come from teens' developing brains
Teens may be works in progress, but they help society evolve.

By Eleanor Cummins February 28, 2018

When the students of Stoneman Douglas High School started class on February 14, it seemed to be a Valentine’s Day like any other. But by 2:30 p.m., it was clear it was a day that would live in infamy. Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who was expelled from Stoneman Douglas last year, killed 17 students and injured 14 more, making it one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.

In the two short weeks since, many of the teenaged survivors have spoken out against gun violence to national papers and TV news networks, and organized protests and legislative meetings to fight for stricter gun control in the United States. While many have spoken out in support of their efforts, from political figures to celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, others have taken issue not just with the survivors’ message—but with the notion they have the right to say anything at all.

Stoneman Douglas High School students have been called immature, disrespectful, and overly emotional; their motivations have been called into question, as has the clarity of their thinking. A 2008 tweet by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch that said “Teenagers piss me off” recirculated following her combative interactions with Stoneman Douglas survivors and their supporters. For many, it seems the students are too young to have an opinion on the shooting that so dramatically affected their lives.


More recently, scientists have begun to identify empirical and biological markers of adolescence. Physically, the human body undergoes incredible change in the teenage years, thanks to the onset of puberty. Puberty—and the racing hormones that go with it—causes enormous changes in cognitive, social, and sexual development, too. Teenagers, for example, naturally feel tired later in the evening than children or adults. And, famously, their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain linked to executive functioning, is thought to be incomplete until age 25.

Much more at the link.

♡ lmsp

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