Teen Runaways: Should We Force Them Home?

Essay by grandtoyHigh School, 12th gradeA-, March 2006

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"Responsible Canadians should realize that children are not small adults. They do have rights, but those rights are not licenses to destroy future opportunities." (Crosby, Teen Runaways p. 161) When battling the issue of teen runaways, we must first address reasons that prompt their flight. Legitimate abuse cases or instances where teenagers are mistreated in their homes obviously debate against the idea of legislating the forceful restoration of a child to his or her family home where they will yet again be exposed to the very evil that they are trying to escape. What we must take into account are situations where teen runaways are nothing more than juvenile delinquents seeking to gain that extra bit of elusive freedom by running away from home, and essentially running away from reality.

The reasons behind teens running away vary in abundance but what is clear is that these teens have an agenda, a point to prove by their actions.

What happens after is inconsequential to them. Many teens who run to the streets are often victims of hunger and sickness, and "without legitimate means of support, the child falls prey to those whose offers of assistance nearly always involve activities outside the law" (Crosby, Teen Runaways p. 159). Henceforth, I feel that to protect the interests of youths and for the peace of mind of their minders, a law should be enacted to rightfully allow police and social workers to search and take the child into custody, at the request of their parents or guardian. If the government fails to resolve the problem of teen runaways in its early stages, it is safe to conclude that many of these vulnerable teenagers will be exploited and forced into a life of crime, thus causing a bigger problem for our society. The restrictions on...