I am a middle-aged person who works as a substitute teacher and has written a facts-of-life book for teens. My favorite fantasy is living in a summer camp type community with the young, and the young-at-heart.
Being "in the middle" age-wise, I've noticed a lot of adults my age and older (and younger, in some instances) tend to look down on teens. They believe they're rebellious, and have no sense at all. One friend says I wasted my time writing my book, because no teen is going to pay attention to it. Another friend used to lead a folk dance group in my area; I had her help me introduce some high school students into the scene, and she recently told me she was traumatized by this. She dislikes teens, even fears them.
My personal experience with teens is that they tend to be idealistic and driven, like in the movie "Fame". The "bad" ones are usually like that because they don't know better. True, I live in Hawaii where even the ghettos aren't that bad. Oakland CA would present with an entirely different picture - but how many places are that awful?