Youth and Youth Engagement

It a shame that Paris Brown has had to step down from her role as the youth crime commissioner, I understand why she has done it and I think the speech that was written for her made the point very well.


The question I ask you is what really was her crime?

The fact that she had a past? – don’t we all have.

The fact that she was young? – I think we have all been there.

The fact that servers remember everything? – now wer are getting closer

The difference is that in my youth there was no Twitter or Facebook, so if I did something stupid (which of course I never ever ever did) then it stay with that group of college or school friends and as the annals of time erase the grey cells of our minds, the event is forgotten. However the servers of twitter, facebook are sadly not like that, the incident remains and is always traceable and searchable.

I remember about a year ago listening to a debate on the radio on the topic of Facebook and the fact you timeline is there laid out for all to see you school days and the message that says “bunked off today just could not be arsed”  Through college and that underage drinking episode where you vomited into next doors flower bed And culminating in university where sex drugs and rock and roll are played out to the full.

The thing that struck me most was that one of the debaters said

“employers will search Facebook and can see the kind of person you are what you have done and think your potentially not a suitable candidate”

the response came that

“everyone has a past and there will come a time when employers search Facebook and if you have no profile and show that you have not told your friends you news or been social employers will question what you are trying to hide”

What do you think are we the generation of managers that will be googling potential new employees?

I digress

Youth empowerment is on the lips of everyone in scouting so much so they have recently released their own version of Hart’s ladder of youth engagement called the Wall.

The Wall – from the Scout Association

However looking back at the case of Paris I wonder if we are to real empower young people do we as adults have to realise that as part of growing up young people will not always be a model citizen and support them in moving forward not keep forcing them to look back at what came before.


  • I think there’s been a bit too much hysteria about this. Her potential employers were a bit naive for not checking her social media. All the ‘iffy’ bits could have been deleted before she became a public ‘face’. That’s not to condone what she wrote, but when I read the Facebook statuses of some of the Explorers I know, I do have to metaphorically avert my eyes. It’s all about being young, a bit silly and having the freedom to write what you want.
    I think the press are also a bit to blame here. They seem to have been rather harsh on her. Same as some of the MPs who need to get down from their high horses!

    ‘When I were a lad’ all the silly things I did were within my circle of friends and family and not available for people worldwide to see online. Also because my teenage years are not online, they cannot be retrieved for people to read – of course that past 10 years or so are another matter.
    Young people need to be educated about the consequences of what the they post on the internet. A good place to start is here –

  • Unfortunately these days your not allowed a past, you have to be squeeky clean. Typically the right wing press will jump on anything like the Paris Brown story, of course we must all remember that these right wing journalists have never done anything wrong sat in their ivory towers. The Paris Brown story is just the thoughtless ramblings from a teenage girl, it’s what you expect surely of someone that age.

  • I totally agree with both comments I was trying to make the point that adults sometime focus on what young people do when they are young.
    So when picking they Scout to attend the District Youth forum we look at our YP’s and say “we can pick Chris, remember that incident with the custard three years ago, he is not suitable”

    We need to look beyond those silly incidents and look at the person now would they be suitable now did they learn for the silly incident.