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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 17:50 GMT
MP quizzed on image of youth
Fort Hill students
Fort Hill students Hazel and Hannah put their questions to Maria Miller
School Reporters at Fort Hill Community School in Basingstoke are unhappy with the way teenagers come across in the media and don't believe it's an accurate portrayal.

Four reporters - Hazel, Charlotte, Hannah and Zoe - met Maria Miller, Conservative MP for Basingstoke, to air their concerns and to find out what she thinks could be done to help teenagers.

Giving local teens a safe place to hang out together was one idea.

They were encouraged to hear her say: "Young people are as concerned about teenage crime as other people in the community are and what we need to do is spend more time listening to their concerns and how these things can be addressed."

Other 12 and 13-year-olds at the school taking part in the BBC News initiative also talked to police officers, local community officers and a local shopkeeper about their perception of teenagers and what they think could be done to improve relationships between young people and adults.

Hoodie issue

Hazel said: "Most of the students at the school wear hoodies and people always stereotype them as being involved in crime and stuff, so we thought it would be good to show people that teenagers who sometimes wear hoodies aren't as bad as they seem and look."
Charlie interviews Jackie
Students talked to community members for their take on youth

She also felt that teenagers "could promote themselves as being good people and doing good things".

Ben said he felt people sometimes looked at him as if he were a hooligan simply for spending time with his friends.

He added: "If you're just trying to go out with your mates, and people start treating you differently, it kind of annoys me."

New experiences All the students are enjoying the experience of working on School Report.

Hannah said: "I enjoyed doing the research and using the camera - that's quite fun - and practising the stuff, because it would be handy if we wanted to do this when we are older."

Zoe agreed: "I think it's really interesting because it gives people new experiences that will help when they are older."

Most of the students at the school wear hoodies and people always stereotype them as being involved in crime

This is the second year that Fort Hill has taken part in School Report, but the first time English teacher Caryll Sayers, has been involved.

She said: "It's been a fantastic experience. It has been great to see how engaged the students have been with the work that they have been doing.

"It started off very low-key - they were thinking about what happens to them in their community - but what this has done has made them think very much outside of that, out in the wider world and how that's affecting them."

Ben on the perception of youth

Students review report

Interview with Maria Miller

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