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State Wastes Money on Non-existent Problem

In 2002, the state of Missouri awarded a grant to their police department's Youth Outreach Unit. The purpose of the $273,000 grant was to battle Goth culture.

Although Goth and Gothic are terms with historical significance, beginning in the late 1970s the word Goth began to refer to devotees of a certain type of music. The music has punk-rock origins, and fans developed a gothic look. That look includes dressing in black, wearing white face makeup, painting fingernails and lips black, and a fascination with death and the supernatural.

Funded by the state grant, the Youth Outreach Unit attempted to tackle the problem of "saving" young people from that subculture. The initial cost of setting up the program was $141,000. In the course of their efforts, the unit made a discovery that necessitated returning the remainder of the grant to the state. A total of $132,000 was given back after the Youth Outreach Unit was unable to find any Missouri youth who were influenced by Goth culture.

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