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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Katie Lamont, East Lake High
Their parents don't accept them. Maybe there are drugs involved. Or abuse. For these and other reasons, teenagers can end up homeless, wandering endlessly to seek refuge in parks or roadsides, anywhere to stay invisible.
Such were the stories this week at a forum in Tampa, told by formerly homeless young adults. All of us are guilty of not batting an eye at the homeless problem, in one way or another. But statewide, about 6,000 children, including teenagers, are homeless. That's hard to ignore.
Some students at Armwood High didn't ignore that grim statistic. They drafted a bill to make it easier for homeless teens to acquire important documents, such as birth certificates and other papers needed to get jobs and places to live. Gov. Rick Scott listened to the young people at the forum, then signed the bill into law.
What would you do if you were homeless? And what can we do to stop the growing problem? Check out the stories about life on the streets and coverage of the forum, and don't forget to add your input below.
Photo: Christopher Martinez, 18, has lived with a friends since his father kicked him out for being gay. Elisabeth Parker | Times