Readers Respond: Opinions on Working Teens

This issue is discussed in Working Teens (Issue 8). Some people think it is okay for teens to work part-time while they are in high school; other people disagree. Readers of Topics express their opinions.

I believe that a teenager should voice his or her opinion in this matter. I am currently in eleventh grade, and I balance school, cheerleading, National Honor Society, volunteering at the hospital, two Advanced Placement courses and a college course at a local college. I applied for two jobs.

I think that if a student can handle a job, it is a great way to earn money and learn responsibility. My grades have not dropped, I am maintaining a 3.9 GPA, I am captain of the cheerleading team and vice-president of NHS. So, it would be incorrect to say that I do not do each of these activities well.

If a student is both well-rounded and mature enough to handle a part-time job, he or she can benefit greatly.

Stephanie, U.S


I honestly think that if teenagers can handle working part-time and attending school, then they should be able make that choice themselves. I don’t think they should be restricted from working, or have such a hard time finding a job. Teenagers are highly motivated people, who have a desire to work and are good at it. Parents can’t provide for the kids all their life, so in order for teens to feel responsible, they have to be able to provide for themselves!

Dee Dawson, U.S.

I think that students ought to seek part-time jobs. Since the economic downturn in 1997 in Malaysia, parents can’t seem to have enough money to support their children’s education fees in the universities or college. So, by working part-time, they can help their parents with their burden. Parents will be proud to have a child helping them to lighten their family burden.

Another thing is that by doing part-time jobs, students can get their own allowance. They won’t be counting on their parents to get their money to buy their education stuff and their needs. They can just earn their money by doing part-time jobs. At the same time, they can learn to be independent. This will help them when they grow up in the future.

Ahmad Faiz, Perak, Malaysia

I think it is great to be able to get a job as a teen. I really think this because it helps you to prepare for the future and what to expect, and it is also a great experience. It also gives you a chance to see what it is like to earn and spend money of your own.

Eve, U.S.


In Japan about 30 % of teenagers have experienced working part-time. The main reason they work is to buy things such as clothes, electronic products and groceries. Few of them have to work to make money for college. On the other hand, most students who have jobs want to spend money just for fun.

I want to introduce a serious case that happened in Tokyo. Some high school girls who worked on the streets were exposed by the police. They wished they had more money to buy nice clothes and designer goods because having designer goods is a trend that was created by the Mass Media. However, they need to know they sometimes have to take responsibility on their own.

Parents should know what kind of jobs their children have and keep them away from violence. In my opinion, students’priority should be school, however,if they have a lot of time ,even their finished homework ,part time job will be valuable experiences for them.

I have learned a lot of things through my job. They have a choice. So whatever they choose, a part time job or extracurricular activity, I hope they fill up their school lives.

Fumiyo Watanabe, Japan

Teenagers should be allowed to work. They have the right to decide whether they work or not. Some people say that their first priority should be school, but I think it’s not necessary to say that. Their priority should be what is most important for them. It can be sports, music, art, or of course, work. School is just one of their choices. However, if a student decides to work, he or she has to be responsible on the job. Even if the work is very hard, he or she must not work with neglect. People who neglect their work should not have a job.

My opinion is a general one, so I do not intend to deny that some parents or schools do not allow students to work. Students should follow their rules, but if they really want to work and if they are allowed do that, they should work. It’s their right.

Goto Shoko, Japan

There are some good effects if teenagers work. The biggest effect is that they can have some experience that they cannot have in the school. Those experiences are frequently needed in society situation when they get out of school life. Especially, experience that they endure other persons (customers of the shop or company’s staff etc.) and bring them around to another person’s way of thinking must help to live in the many kind of situation in the future.

What’s more, work experience in the tender sensitive time that is different from work experience in future. They can also make some kind of mistakes and then they can innovate themselves.

I agree teenager’s working has a lot of bad effects, but I also think extra-curricular activities have a lot of effects. Everyone says that students’ first priority is study. I think so too. But they don’t have to focus on only studying. If they wish, they can concentrate to another activities. including part time jobs.

I think we don’t have to decide which is better, if a teenager should work or should not work. Every person has a different situation. If his parents don’t have a lot of money to pay for his education, he should work. If he really wants to be independent, he should work. If he loves to talk with his friends, he should enjoy talking with his friends. And if he cherishes time with his family, he should be with family more much time.

There is one good word. Too much is as bad as little. If teenager works at part time job for too much part of his time and he loses himself, it is a bad experience for him. The most important thing is balance of life. We should understand that working experience is one of many experiences for teenagers.

Hiruta Hideaki, Japan


I think teenagers don’t have to work because it is time to study. Parents, when they made the decision to get married, they knew what would be their responsibility about their children, and one of them is providing an education.

People who agree say jobs provide their kids good work experience and more responsibility. However, the responsibility of students is school, that is the first priority. When they began to earn money, school will be the second or third priority.

School statistics say these are problems of students who have part-time jobs:

  1. Teenagers come into class sleepy or distracted.
  2. They never finish their homework.
  3. Grades drop.
  4. They cut back on their social life.
  5. Always they are exhausted at school.

If you want to do something very well, you can’t do two things at the same time. May be you will be able to, but there isn’t any good quality of life.

Fernando Antonio Vega Guillén, Costa Rica

Why shouldn’t teenagers work? If they work, they can learn how hard it is to get money in society. Also, this is a good chance to understand how they are supposed to be in society. They can’t learn this in school.

Kohei Furuya, Japan

If they can keep studying enough, teenagers do not have to give up their part time jobs. Although they do not always have to work, they can get great experience if they work. Because they meet a variety of people, they can obtain different perspectives. They can also learn about society.

Of course, teenagers’ first priority should be school; however, part time jobs can be useful experience for them. Teenagers who can keep studying successfully have the right to take part time jobs.

Shota Sato, Japan

do not think that teenagers should work while they are in school, Teenagers have to study hard to enter the college or university that they want to attend. If they work after school, maybe, they can’t concentrate on their studies. And social life is still very difficult for teenagers and has a dangerous environment.

There are so many reasons that teenagers try to work. They want to buy new stuff, have expensive things, and imitate adult life. So, in my opinion, school and parents have to persuade their children or students to study hard, and prepare some system that can attract teenagers to study hard.

Daeho-Choi, Korea


In fact, I support that teenagers can work instead of should. Teenagers can work during their summer or winter vacations. While they are working, they can get in touch with the society more. However, they should have a clear look at their jobs. Some of them were full of crime and sex. If teenagers want to find jobs, their parents and teachers should give them a hand. The society is dangerous, beyond teenagers’ thoughts. Therefore, choosing a good job is important, and teenagers will learn a lot through this way. More working experiences will also help them to find better jobs after their graduation. Most important of all, they can get money to buy something they like, or to share a little of parents’ burden.

Rudy Chen, Taiwan

It’s a common phenomenon that teenagers working while they are still in school. That’s no big idea. For me, it’s advantageous for teenagers. They can prove they are mature enough to stand on their own feet. They are independent of their parents. What’s most important, they would cherish and value what they possess now. Because lots of teenagers rely on their parents too much, and that drives some of them might live a luxurious and prodigal lives.

Only when one is able to earn his own money by himself can he understand and realize how hard his parents work. Until then he does not know how to make good use of his money because it’s not so easy as he thought before to make some money. He has to offer his labor or time left beyond the school.

Of course, that must be based on the condition that working won’t take too much of the students’ time. Otherwise, he may have no time left studying and what’s worse, he might perhaps fail all his exams. After all, student’s main responsibility is to study and acquire some lore in school. But, there is no denying that teenagers working while they are still in school provides them a chance to learn something they cannot get from formal schooling, like social experience, is there?