Last night NYRA’s President, Jeffrey Nadel, took on New York State Senator and former police officer (better known for his crusade against sagging pants), Eric Adams, to defend the privacy and dignity of young people against his attacks. Sen. Adams published a video on YouTube urging parents to search the rooms and backpacks of their kids for drugs and weapons and giving them instructions on how. He defended his video on CNN, insinuating that any young person could be hiding a gun or a crackpipe and that it was a parent’s responsibility to spy on them.
Jeffrey Nadel responded by pointing out that 2009, the latest year we have statistics for, was the safest year in the United States since 1968. And drug use among 12 graders has plummeted 32.6% since the 70’s according to a Monitoring the Future report. Young people today are in fact safer, less likely to use drugs and better citizens than their parents were.
In response, Sen. Adams said, “I’m an adult, I have an obligation and a responsibility not to look to stats to try to beautify or to give a dream environment.” Sen. Adam wasn’t the only one on the show to assert adult privilege. Both he and the host continued to point out Nadel’s age and patronize him for being 17. Clearly in this case wisdom does not come with age. While somewhat confusing, Sen. Adams’ quote does make clear that as an adult, he does not think he has an obligation to look at stats. Apparently Sen. Adams believes statistics are more the realm of young people – as is truth and common sense.
During the interview Nadel made a cogent argument that instead of invading the privacy of their kids, parents should try talking to them. An open, trusting relationship in the family is the best guard against teen crime and drug use. If your kids trust you, they will come to you when they are in trouble or need advice and seriously listen to what you have to say. Going through their things breaks down this bond of trust, pushes your kids away from you and your home and potentially into dangerous situations. Nadel did an amazing job and this is a very important press opportunity for the youth rights movement. Be sure to check out the video and share it with everyone you know.