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December, 1980

January, 1981

General Meeting on Women's Issues
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
Confusing Ballots!
Money for ERA
Students' Voice on Viewpoint
Notes on Leaguers
Dollars and Service
Mayor-Elect "Brown Bags" it with LWV!
League in Action
Look at Children in the U.S. (Bernice Weissbound)
Sunshine Coalition (Romayne Karl)
Juveniles and the Justice System
Wanted Alive & Active

A Look at Children in the U.S.

Bernice Weissbound, Honorary Commissioner
International Year Of The Child

Imagine a classroom, a rather large classroom with 66 children in it -- one for each of the 66 million children in our country, one-third of our entire population. This classroom is rather like the old-fashioned little red schoolhouse -- it contains children of all ages and from widely differing socio-economic backgrounds, racial and ethnic heritage, and with widely differing prospects for the future. What do we see?

18 of the 66, almost one-third, are poor, coming from families whose income for a family of four is under the poverty level.

8 are handicapped, and the odds are that four of those are not receiving help to overcome their handicap.

1 is the victim of abuse or neglect.

1 will probably run away before the year is out.

30 (close to half the class) are the children of working mothers and six of these are under the age of six.

16 will not finish high school, perhaps more than 16.

6 who do stay in school until 17 will not be able to read well enough when they're done to fill out a job application or get a driver's license.

? have a drinking problem -- we don't know exactly how many, but we know the number is growing. Since 1966 problem drinking has increased by 50%, the largest increase among the 7th and 8th grades with girls outdoing the boys.

16 or two out of four of the girls in the class will give birth before they leave their teen years, possibly as young as 11 or 12.

? will commit suicide -- again, we don't know exactly how many, but this is a small but deadly growing possibility. Almost three times as many youngsters took their own lives in 1977 as did in 1950, going from 4.5 thousand to 11.8 thousand.

Juvenile Justice Committee

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