Kids being kids or kids screwing up their lives?

So on my flight home this evening I was reading ‘Soul Circus’ by George Pelecanos. He often features Petworth prominently in his books. So I came across this passage about Petworth by the protagonist named Strange:

“The school year had not quite ended, and night had fallen, but there were plenty of kids out, hanging on corners and walking the streets…Strange wondered, as he always did, what these kids were doing out so late, and he wondered about the adults who were responsible for them, why they had let them out of their sight.”

Still true today? I see this all the time. It frustrates the hell out of me. Some of the kids are great but some are so out of control I don’t know who can be accountable for them. It makes me very angry because I can see these kids ruining their lives. Now, I was no angel as a youth but lines were drawn and there was certainly no boozing and loitering at one in the morning on a school night. Where is the balance between normal adolescent behavior and “out of control” behavior? Who is ultimately responsible for these kids behavior?

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