Teenagers | KCUR

Teenagers

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — A proposal to ban all fruity and sweet vaping flavors in Kansas has upset both pro-vaping and anti-tobacco groups.

Hundreds of popular flavors would disappear. Menthol would remain. The flavor restrictions wouldn’t apply to traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes.

Segment 1: An article from The Atlantic sparked debate over the merits of gym class last year.

Gym class in school is supposed to be fun. But according to a study, it may have a negative impact on students. In today's conversation, we explore the merits of gym and how a new crop of physical education teachers is trying to make P.E. enjoyable for every kid.

Segment 1: Kansas City's transportation stories to watch in 2020

A preview of the transportation issues KCUR will be following this year included the Kansas City, Missouri streetcar, free bus rides for those in the city, equity and mobility in the single-terminal KCI project and that futuristic 30-minute ride from Kansas City to St. Louis via the Hyperloop.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Growing up in Northeast Kansas City, Kansas, LaNya Meade, 14, remembers her mom saying she didn’t want LaNya to get stuck here.

“And so I always thought like, okay, I need to work my hardest and be the best so that I could make it out,” she says.

It’s a familiar refrain for many teens in the area around Quindaro Boulevard. But it’s a refrain many residents, young and old, are hoping to change.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is expanding the Safe Place to include bus routes in Independence, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kansas.

Arnetta Young, 55, has been a Kansas City bus operator for 20 years. Kansas City busses have been part of the national Safe Space program all that time.

Author releases her second novel featuring her teenage black female superhero.

L. L. McKinney's experience as a woman of color in the publishing industry has required patience and persistence, but it has resulted in two young adult novels. Both revolve around the heroine Alice, caught up in a Wonderland very different from the Lewis Carroll original. McKinney talked about the importance of representation in fantasy fiction and said, when it comes to writing for teens, "you have to come at them with respect, with understanding."

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — Bullying just won’t go away. If anything, the advent of smartphones and social media has made it worse.

That’s forced a conversation on what Kansas schools can do to help. The problem? It’s easier to get adults to weigh in than students.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / Side Effects Public Media

It’s the middle of summer but Harrisburg Middle School is a hive of activity. Between summer school classes and renovations, it’s a little chaotic for counselor Brett Rawlings, who just wrapped up his first year at the school.

Harrisburg is a town of fewer than 300 people, midway between St. Louis and Kansas City. But the school also serves the surrounding area, which is primarily farmland. As the K-8 counselor, Rawlings is responsible for some 400 students, and he deals with a range of issues.

Segment 1: Why the cost of bras that fit is an issue for teens.

Talking to grownups about wearing a bra is hard for pre-teens and teens in any income bracket, but getting bras that fit is that much harder when the social barrier is compounded by a financial one. How a lack of access to bras affects girls in school, and what one local activist is doing about it.

Segment 1: Busing to desegregate schools: then and now

For some, busing throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s held a negative connotation. But education professor Erica Frankenberg and reporter Lynn Horsely say it ultimately benefitted students and communities, including Kansas City, Missouri.

Savannah Meyer

A 17-year-old Lee's Summit artist is among those in the Kansas City area who now have something in common with Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath and Lena Dunham: a national medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The list of past winners indicates the caliber of work a student must produce to win, and the possibility of winners' future influence on high and pop culture.

Segment 1: The Kansas City Public Library has joined a movement toward eliminating late fees.

Following the announcement that the Kansas City Public Library is no longer charging late fees, we dig into the reasoning behind the decision, as well as the larger movement it's a part of.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Now that it’s July, Wyandotte High School senior Tahj Harris said he hears gunshots every day.

“I’m used to it,” he said. “I don’t think much about it.”

For many teens in the northeastern corner of Kansas City, Kansas, violence feels normal.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It all started in August 2016.

Natasha Hays, a young mother of three, was killed in her sleep in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Kansas City, Kansas.

Days later, another drive-by took the life of 15-year-old Brannae Browne. Hays’ teenage son, Michael Adams Jr., was charged with first-degree murder, though a jury later found him not guilty.

What followed was a string of killings that left four teenagers dead in less than a year — one that doesn’t seem to be over yet.

Segment 1: Candidates for the Kansas City's 3rd District debate for Councilman Jermaine Reed's seat.

We asked candidates Melissa Robinson and Joey Thomas their thoughts on affordable housing, development east of Troost and how to improve community policing.

Preventing Teen Suicide

Mar 29, 2019

Suicide rates among teenagers are higher than the national average in both Kansas and Missouri, according to the Center for Disease Control. This issue was named a "public health crisis" by Dr. Kimberly O'Brien, and while the statistics are only part of the story, the problem seems to be getting worse. 

Brian Ellison hosts a panelled discussion with experts from around the country to address this. KCUR in partnership with American Public Square brings you Lifelines: Preventing Teen Suicide. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

About five years ago, Ruskin Heights in South Kansas City was the third most violent neighborhood in Jackson County.

But a new approach to tackling crime changed that, and it has a little something to do with how COMBAT, the county’s Community Backed Anti-Drug Sales Tax is becoming an anti-crime sales tax.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

In 2017 in Missouri,  75 children and teenagers killed themselves — the most on record, according to an analysis of the most recent available data for the state.

That same year in Kansas, 99 young people took their own lives. Another record.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On Tuesday night, 15-year-old An'Janique Wright was shot and killed outside of Central Academy of Excellence during a basketball game. Two women have been charged with her murder.

Though Wright was not a student at Central, her killing hit hard — especially because this week marks one year after 17 teenagers were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  in Parkland, Florida.

Segment 1: Community newspaper check-in with Camp Magazine.

From a continent-wide softball competition, to a ‘rainbow wave’ in local government — there’s a lot of news in Kansas City’s LGBTQ community. We visit with the editor of Camp Magazine, to take a look at recent headlines. 

Segment 2, beginning at 13:20: A local icon hangs up his cape.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Bella Price was blindsided when a good friend at Spring Hill High School took his own life. 

She had every reason to believe Josh Hoston, a great student and athlete, was looking forward to freshman year as much as she was. 

She was equally shocked when another classmate killed himself the following summer.

African American Chris Harris seated in front of a KCUR microphone wearing headphones during his interview.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: A rise in teen suicide has led to a Johnson County, Kansas, school district to make a change. 

The Signs of Suicide initiative, a nation-wide program that school systems can opt into, has been implemented in some Olathe schools this year. It administers a mental health survey to students as a preventive measure against suicide. So far, five high schools have completed training and administrators say the program has already saved lives.

Ken Zirkel / flickr

Segment 1: Missourians have the choice this November to gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.85 to $12 an hour by 2023.

Can Kansas Citians live comfortably on Missouri's current minimum wage? What would happen to our economy if it were higher? Can small businesses afford to pay more without laying off workers? Today, we discussed the pros and cons for Propositon B, a statewide minimum wage ballot measure.

Matthias Herrmann / Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

It's a commanding image: an enormous close-up photograph of a tongue sticking out from bright-red-lacquered lips, underneath facial-hair stubble.

"It goes against the stereotypes of men and their masculinity," Anthony Moses III said of Matthias Herrmann's "Untitled (Lips)," a 43-by-53 inch chromogenic color print at the entrance to a gallery at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

For years, teenagers in Kansas City, Kansas, who have committed a crime served their time in the adult detention center in Wyandotte County, putting the county jail near or over capacity every day.

But the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has invested time and money toward a building for the teens, which is being built behind the juvenile court building. County officials hope to see the project completed by 2020. 

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

In the new young adult novel “A Blade So Black,” the main character, Alice, doesn't have long blonde hair, and the other side of the looking glass isn't a place full of innocently quirky tea parties.

Latrice "Elle" McKinney, a Kansas resident who writes under the name L. L. McKinney, has created a  fantasy world full of adventure and imagination but infused with real-world issues and black girl magic.

Teens in Transition

Ricky Greer, a senior at Central High School, watched the 1961 movie version of “West Side Story” for the first time this summer. While the movie was a lot like reality with the “gangbanging and people dying,” he says, he didn’t buy the entire story.

Adib Khorram

Jul 26, 2018

Kansas City author Adib Khorram talks about his new buzz-generating novel for young adults, Darius The Great Is Not Okay. It turns out, Khorram has a lot in common with his teenage protagonist, from growing up half-Iranian in the United States to navigating life with depression to being obsessed with Star Trek and hot tea.

  • Adib Khorram, author, Darius The Great Is Not Okay

Herb Hardwick, the chairman of the Central City Economic Development Tax Board in business attire seated before a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How and when will Kansas City use funds from Central City Economic Development Sales Tax?

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Police Department is spending its summer reaching out to some of the younger members of the community.

KCPD wants to improve officers' relationships with teens. “Just because a kid lives at 28th and Prospect versus 135th and State Line, a 13-year-old is a 13-year-old," says Deputy Chief Karl Oakman.

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