Opinion: Teenagers Aren’t Too Young To Know About Politics

Teenagers should not be shunned away from caring about their future based on their age.


Aidyn Pacl

CKHS students take part in a nationwide walkout against anti-LGBTQ+ bills, on April 1st, 2022.

by Aidyn Pacl, Reporter

Teenagers getting involved in politics is on the rise due to many different factors.

There’s the fact that they are more polarized there than ever before, how we are getting more exposed to politics in everyday life and conversation, or just how politics are affecting teenagers lives as a whole.

But with every teen that has ever gotten involved in politics, including me, a common saying seems to be heard from people in the older generations. Something about us being too young.

“You’re too young to be worrying about that.” “You’re too young to know what you’re talking about.” “You’ll change your mind when you’re older.”

Anytime a teen mentions something about the minimum wage, LGBTQ+ rights, racial inequality, or anything to do with politics, there seems to be a 50/50 chance of getting one of those responses back.

Not only is it demeaning and invalidating to say that we are too young to think for ourselves regarding politics, it’s also extremely ignorant to just assume that teenagers have some kind of protection from the effects of politics because of their age.

There are a whole plethora of issues that affect teenagers that just seem to vanish from existence in one of these conversations. Issues such as taxes, LGBTQ+ rights, gun violence, the fate of public schools, and many more.

As the minimum wage rises across the nation, after calls for it to do so for decades, $15 an hour is becoming a common wage. Many teenagers work with this salary full time and end up earning as much as $31,500 annually. Some earn even more.

Legally when a person of any age makes over $12,550 annually, they are required under law to file taxes. This means that teenagers are being forced to give up a portion of their income to pay for something that they did not even vote for.

As times have changed over the last several decades, more and more teenagers have been self identifying as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Because of this and the sharp rise of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced and passed in state legislatures, many teens are being forcibly pulled into politics.

Bills such as Alabama Senate Bill 184 have completely criminalized gender affirming care for anyone under the age of 19, considers anyone who provides such a felon, prohibits any classroom discussion even closely related to LGBTQ+ topics, and forcibly outs trans teens to their unsupported parents even if it means putting them in danger.

Gun violence is one of the most common causes of deaths for kids in America. School shootings have been on the rise for years and affect both young kids and teens.

For years politicians have refused to help teenagers whatsoever, and have not made any change. All they have done is watch the slaughter of kids and teenagers from school shootings continue while they get bribed by the NRA.

Just recently the third deadliest school shooting ever occurred in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. The shooting left 19 students and 2 teachers dead.

And yet, the senator of Texas, Ted Cruz seeing this shooting still decided to go to the NRA conference being held in Houston, showing that he still cares more about guns then children.

And even if the fact that these issues greatly affect teens doesn’t convince someone to drop this argument, this one question just might.

Why shouldn’t teens be involved in politics? Being involved in politics prepares teens later on in life. They will know how to vote, how to get involved, and how to make change later on in life if they start early on.

So why not?