City needs more activities for youth, says reader

On the subject of the recent vandalism of the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, it is sad to see that something like this has happened in our wonderful City.

The worst part of all is that it may have possibly been youth, which seems to be a growing problem in many neighbourhoods. Our youth need something better to do with their time, and it seems the City hasn’t acknowledged this problem.

There needs to be somewhere for teens to ‘hang out’ or go later at night where they don’t feel they’re being watched or blamed for everything. It truly isn’t their fault there is nothing to do. Sure they could go home and sit and be bored, but the only good thing about the cemetery vandalism is that it means whoever it was was outside, and not playing hours of mindless video games.

If Red Deer had somewhere like an arcade, or roller rink or something that keeps them active, out with their friends, and out of trouble. Youth today need some encouragement to get out, as all they are often introduced to are screens of moving pictures, computers they can hunt information down on, or these little computers they can take everywhere that people want to call cell phones. These are not ways to engage our youth. Nor are they ways to prevent vandalism.

In a community I lived in many years ago, we had an old warehouse that the county converted into a youth hang out, no liquor, but all ages were welcome at all times of day into the wee hours of the morning. Here they could rollerskate or blade, play arcade games, play pool, foosball, air hockey and all sorts of other interactive games with their pals.

The other thing the municipality introduced was a ‘graffiti’ wall where the youth could simple spray paint whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. At the end of each week the wall was given a white powder coating and the kids could start again fresh. Perhaps the City needs to look at the cemetery vandalism as a sign- someone, whether it was youth or not, is bored. They need something new, something fresh, and something fun.

Sherry Creighton

Red Deer