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The student voice of Detroit's High Schools.

Should students be working?

<p>A Western student waits tables at a southwest Detroit restaurant.&nbsp;</p>

A Western student waits tables at a southwest Detroit restaurant. 

“Stop being lazy!” “Go out and do something!” “Why don’t you work?” These are just some of the statements many teens hear, but the true question is: Should a teen work? 

I am 18 years old, and I go to school and work on weekends. Yes, it’s a little stressful, it helps a lot if parents are tight on money, and it will help them out a lot when you can buy your own things. Most of the working teens I interviewed spend half their free time working a part-time job. They said they usually use their money to purchase things for themselves. 

Out of 26 teens I surveyed on the subject of teens and work, 16 said teens should make their own money, and 10 said that teens should make school their No. 1 priority. Sixteen students also said that working a part-time job would help them become responsible with money, while 10 students disagreed. Almost half of the students interviewed said that working would not give them more freedom, because a teen who works is always at work or at school.

Will young people be able to live on their own making the hourly minimum wage, which is $9.45 in Michigan? “No,” said one student. “It will be very challenging and if you would like to go to college you wouldn’t make ends meet.”  

Two expenses most teens don’t have are car and health insurance. When a teenager buys a car that’s a huge expense, but it is more than likely their parents will put the car under their insurance. If a teen doesn’t have the option of putting the car under their parents’ insurance it will be very expensive.


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