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Editorial: Wasted And Wanting

There is more than one way to make the news.

Last weekend, a couple dozen high schools from Nassau County including Hicksvlle, went to Hofstra University to demonstrate their prowess at building robots in the 15th annual Long Island Regional First Robotics Competition. The teams have been working since early January, when they first got their assignment and parts kits from FIRST headquarters.

These are impressive students, who find joy—or at least satisfaction—in the putting knowledge to practical use. In 2012, the Hicksville team took home a Judges Award and in 2011, they won the General Motors Industrial Design Award. These students are building bright futures for themselves. They are the students who will build the future for all of us.

Contrast that group to the students using technology to flaunt their drunken stupidity on the Twitter account @LIPartyStories, which was suspended last week. Although one of the creators told The Daily News that it was designed to be “a good laugh,” the feed was rife with photos of people drinking, drunk, vomiting or passed out. Most of the individuals appear too young to drink, yet old enough to know better. These students are not building bright futures, either for themselves or the world.

Our teens are extraordinarily privileged compared to most of the world. They have better schools, better nutrition, better conditions—overall better opportunities—than the vast majority of the kids on the planet. The question is, will they use their power for good? Or waste it getting wasted?