I just heard about "Juvies" from friends, followed by relatives, yesterday, 2/10/07. I found an episode on today. And it turns out I know one of the kids, his group of friends has been one of the thorns in my side in the relationship with my now 18-yr-old son. The boy on TV had been to my home several times, and kicked out once, for which we were chastised by our son for "embarassing" him. Tough.
My younger son was adopted in the courtroom shown with the same court personnel four years ago. The court personnel are extremely nice, a pleasure to work with.
I have also been "inside" the Lake County, IN , juvie system twice within the past year: once to have kids prosecuted after being burglarized by teens, the next time after my own son pushed me, I had a concussion and I pressed charges.
Although not entirely the fault of the "Four-Star" Lake Central School District in Northwest IN, a great deal of the juvenile problems (drug use, fights, theft, etc.)IN THIS AREA of Northwest area direct result because a building meant to hold under two thousand students is holding around four thousand students: and until last week, there was only one security officer and the kids have it all figured out as to where he'll be and when. In other words, the inmates are running the asylum.
I have heard, over and over, from dozens of parents and many more students: drugs are sold, snorted, smoked, etc., in and around the school: in bathrooms, under the stage,in the auditorium, in shop classes. Fights break out daily. Kids leave and return to school to buy fast food, drugs, etc, as they please.
The administration is good, but not good enough. These kids are, smart and sneaky (but not intelligent), Probably why Indiana has one of the highest HS dropout rates in the country as I read last spring in Time magazine. Oh, and this is no poverty area, either. I believe there is less than 10 percent poverty level in this school district, Lake Central.
As for the show Juvies, the reenactments, looked to be filmed in California, are HORRIBLE. The will be the ruination of this otherwise good show. It brought my rating of the show down by 3 points.
As for the reality side, I have a feeling I am going to see many more young people I have met, that have even been in my home. I ran cub scout camp here in IN for many years and what upsets me most is that some of those same kids needlessly ended up in the system. They could have stayed in scouts, but found it boring or an embarrassment.
I am almost afraid to watch the other episodes. I wonder how many of the people I will know. If there are more kids I know I just hope they are not from the weakest link of the Lake Central Schools: Westlake Special Education.
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