Exam results: where can they celebrate their successes?
The 'A' level results came out last week. Hurrah - our young people can slough off the anxiety of recent months and celebrate. They have much to be proud of - and a little partying is a just reward for all that hard work and effort.
So where can they go?
The youth centre? Would you want to celebrate in a building that is so clearly unloved?
Not the Priory Gardens - they lie about and leave litter and we want that kept pristine for the rest of us.
Not the churchyard - it's sacrilege, lying about in a churchyard.
And some people find groups of young people enjoying themselves threatening.
Not outside Lloyds Bank - to be fair, since the loss of Woolworths, they spend less time hanging about the bus stop.
Some of the pubs might let them in - but please don't let them spill into the streets and spoil our evenings with happy singing.
Surely they should go home to their families and celebrate at home? I'm sure many will raise the champagne with their families, and wallow in the pride of their parents. But these are young people - they want to be out with their friends, chatting, laughing, playing on their phones, and maybe even having a beer or two.
This week, it's GCSEs. Young people who have worked their socks off for a couple of years, and are faced with big decisions about 'A' levels surely deserve time and space for a party or two?
If you were in your teens, and had just had exam results, where would you go? Up to the forest, away from critical eyes and the tutting of older people who have made it very clear people of your type and age are unwelcome in any open space in the middle of town? Or would you hold your head high, walk down the middle of the High Street and yell, 'I'm young, and I live here. Get over it.'
I know: I've not seen any young people so brazen. But I wish I had.
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