By: Lindsey Rogowski. 

I have looked up the word age-ism in several dictionaries and thesauruses and never found it. What are they hiding? Age-ism is real and there is no way to hide it any more. Unfortunately, it's gotten too big. Every day children are mistreated by adults because the adults think that they have the right. In Escape From Childhood by John Holt, he speaks about the needs and rights of children; I'd like to quote him: 

"For a long time it never occurred to me to question the institution. Only in recent years did I begin to wonder whether there might be other or better ways for young people to live. By now I have come to feel that the fact of being a "child," of being wholly subservient and dependent, or being seen by older people as a mixture of expensive nuisance, slave, and super-pet, does most young people more harm than good." 

Every day, I take a bus home from school. I stop at two other schools on my way. One day, I was looking out of one of the widows in the bus, and I noticed a young man with a skateboard. He was showing some younger kids how to do a kickflip, when a teacher spotted him. The teacher immediately walked over to the young man and confiscated his skateboard. I noticed that he attempted to speak up. But the teacher denied his right to speak and walked away with the skateboard. I immediately thought of how dominant that was. Is it not in the United States Constitution that one has the right to freedom of speech? People look at age-ism as a small problem. Is the Constitution a small thing? No. Adults have broken the United States Constitution by denying us our rights. Does it not say in the United States Constitution all men are created equal? (Although I would prefer to say all human beings are created equal). 

A few days ago I was writing an article, and I was using the thesaurus on my computer. I came across the word young. It defined the word young: "immature, childlike, juvenile, adolescent, youthful, inexperienced, infant, callow, green." Then, I looked up the word adult. It defined adult: "grown-up, evolved, bigger, mature, maturated, ripe, developed." Well, they left out one word. STEREO TYPE! Why is it that society assumes that if you're an adult that you are mature? I know kids that are far more educated and mature than most adults.  Adults tell me that the only reason that kids are judged is because most kids are very immature. And therefore they assume all of us are immature brats. Why should the kids that are mature suffer because of the "other kids"? Why tell me I can't go to a movie because some other kid cannot handle it? If a kid goes to see a movie and was not quite comfortable with the material, he doesn't have to go back. 

Kids are financially trapped, I am 11 but I must be 14 or older to get a job. And even at fourteen the jobs that are available to a fourteen year old are not near what would be needed to buy a house, food, and pay the mortgage. Kids are forced to be financially dependent. Age-ism is wrong and hopefully, one day will be stopped. 

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