Young voices deserve a considerate hearing

The adage that children should be seen and not heard is as archaic as keeping a potty under the bed for night-time relief. Each month this newspaper offers a page to the Youth of the Borders (YoB) to air their views – we believe that if democracy is to serve its true purpose the young must be heard.

Secondary school pupils writing on today’s YoB page are articulate and obviously sincere in their views.

Lauren, 13, challenges the right of her parents to check her mobile phone or internet visits. She sees it as an invasion of her privacy and a breach of the trust that exists between her parents and herself.

Euan, also 13, takes a sound approach when he cautions about what people should post on social network site Facebook. The wrong posting could haunt, he says, when applying for a job or cause great embarrassment to family and friends.

Claire, 12, has the confidence to suggest that reducing the drinking age from 18 to 16 could be a good move for society. She argues her case well. She can leave school at 16 and get married, but can’t have a drink. She maintains that cutting the age would reduce secret drinking sessions and suggests we could learn from the European continent.

We don’t have to agree with all that our young people say. But we should never turn a deaf ear. In 2014 our 16-year-olds will be given the opportunity to help determine Scotland’s future – and they will be the future.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings...?