News & Views - May, 2002 Issue
HOW TO KEEP YOUR TEENAGER OUT OF TROUBLE
(December 5, 2001) Dr. Neil Bernstein, a clinical psychologist in the Washington D.C. area, has published an intriguing
book titled How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can't, ISBN: 0-7611-150-6, 512 pages. A
glance indicates this can be a good handbook for parents in trying to learn more about their teen. Of course, we appreciate having
Woodbury Reports included in the list of resources. Author Bernstein's previous book Treating the Unmanageable Adolescent
was a best-seller for the Psychotherapy Book Club.
ZERO TOLERANCE DEVASTATES ANOTHER CHILD
(April 4, 2002)
Channel3000, Madison, Wisconsin, reported the possible one-year expulsion of a sixth grader who needed a knife to cut
an onion for a science project. "District officials consider this a no brainer. There is 'no tolerance' for weapons in school."
The boy's father reported to the news organization the he was told his son could return to school "if he admits he committed
a 'crime,' submits to psychological evaluation and completes an anger management course."
OVERSEAS EXPERIENCES WITH EDUCATION CHOICE
(April 5, 2002) Lewis M. Andrews, Ex. Dir. of the Yankee Institute for Public Policy in Hartford, Connecticut,
presented a study prepared for the Council for Exceptional Children that appears in
Policy Review. It concludes that overseas experiences with education choice for disabled children have had some great
and popular successes.
FIRST WAVE OF HOMESCHOOLERS COMES OF AGE
(April 5, 2002) Fox News, reports some young adults who were homeschooled
are grateful that what they missed by not attending traditional schools was stuff that they were better off not being subjected to,
and that they missed out on a lot of dysfunctional activities.
FATHERLESS HOMES NO LONGER ON RISE
(April 9, 2002) The Washington Times,
reports a finding by the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) showing the decades’ long increase in the number of fatherless
homes has leveled off. "From 1960 to 1996, the number of children who lived in homes without a father or a stepfather rose steadily,
from 7 million to 20 million.... Since the mid-1990s, though, the number and proportion of children in father-absent homes has leveled
off, while the number of children living with both parents has remained fairly constant."
YOUTH CRIME DECLINING
(April 9, 2002) The Washington Post,
reported that contrary to social scientists predictions, youth crime has been decreasing since 1994, while the number of youth has
been increasing. The usual prediction by social scientists has been that youth crime is a direct function of the number of youths.
CALLS FOR REMOVAL FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS
(April 16, 2002) WorldNetDaily, reported that Dr. James Dobson,
in his Focus on the Family radio broadcast on March 28, advised parents to remove their children from California public schools. Radio
talk show host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, on her April 9th broadcast, agreed with Dr. Dobson. Agreement was also expressed by Christian
talk-show host, Marlon Maddoux, in his April 9th broadcast.
42 PHILADELPHIA SCHOOLS TRANSFERRED TO PRIVATE CONTROL
(April 17, 2002) The Philadelphia public school system transferred control of 42 failing city schools to seven outside managers,
including Edison Schools Inc. and two universities, representing “a milestone in the decade-long growth of the movement to
turn troubled public schools over to private operators.” Edison now operates more than 130 schools in 22 states. Other managers assigned
include: Chancellor Beacon Academies Inc., Foundations Inc., Victory Schools Inc., and Universal Companies. Panel officials
said that, in many instances, sweeping changes in school curriculum would be made, with school administrators and many of the teachers
MASSACHUSETTS PARENTS FOR RESIDENTIAL REFORM
(April 18, 2002) Andrea Watson, Founder of the Massachusetts Parents for
Residential Reform (PFRR), Boston, Massachusetts, 800-672-7084, firstname.lastname@example.org,
announced a Summer Solstice Celebration for June 21st, 2002. Special guests include Honorable US Senator John Kerry.
PFRR "is a grass-roots family-to-family support network" to help Massachusetts parents of children with special needs, needing
"intensive residential educational settings."
WHAT DID I JUST SAY!?!
(April 29, 2002) Denis M. Donovan, M.D., M.Ed., F.A.P.S., with the
Children's Center for Developmental Psychiatry in St. Petersburg, Florida, 727-345-2400, announced the publication
of his new book co-authored with Deborah McIntyre, M.A., R.N., titled What Did I Just Say!?!, How New Insights into Childhood
Thinking Can Help You Communicate More Effectively with Your Child. Donovan summarizes the what he hopes will come out of this
book: "If American education and mental health had understood 15-20 years ago what we expect 'plain old parents' to be able to
understand AND USE today, we would probably have been spared the disastrous Broken Brain epidemic and the equally disastrous false
accusations/recovered memory debacle."
INTERNET RESOURCES FOR DEPRESSION
(May 5, 2002) Parade Magazine, in observance of May as Mental Health
month, offered resources for teen depression on their website: and the
National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, at with the phone number, 877-495-0009, for local referrals and crisis intervention.
Also reported was the work done by Center for the Advancement of Children’s Mental Health at Columbia University with
schools to administer the Youth Depression Screening Initiative, a test allowing kids to hear questions over headphones and
respond in complete privacy on laptop computers. Also, the National Institute of Mental Health has launched the Treatment
for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) to compare the effectiveness of Prozac, cognitive-behavioral therapy and a combination
of both. More information can be found by calling 866-458-7425; to participate, one parent’s consent is required.
NEW PARENTING TOOLS FOCUS ON EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
(May 6, 2002) Promo for Nurture Your Child’s Gift describes this program as “an inspired-parenting tool that challenges parents
to nurture their children’s innate personal vision and unique talents, and to view their children as spiritual beings who have come
into this world with unique dreams to fulfill. It encourages parents to help their children discover life as an exciting journey,
offering constructive alternatives to "shoulds", "shouldn’ts", "oughts", and "nots". Models
and activities shared with the children create more joy and laughter in the home, less stress, and physical and emotional well- being.”
Targeting “children who suffer from stress, aggression, worry, eating disorder, learning impairment, antisocial or violent behavior,
loneliness, depression, even thoughts of suicide,” it claims to help “children develop a sense of personal safety, so drugs, self-hatred
and acting-out are not attractive or intriguing. Instead, the children develop a sense of purpose and personal values that guide them
throughout life.” It was developed by Dr. Caron Goode, of Inspired
Living International, Inc., 520-886-0538, email@example.com,
courtesy of PRWeb.
STUDY: PLACEBOS WORK AS WELL AS ANTI-DEPRESSANTS
(May 7, 2002) Shankar Vedantam reports for the Washington Post: “A new analysis has found that in the majority of trials
conducted by drug companies in recent decades, sugar pills have done as well as – or better than – anti-depressants…Placebos cause
profound changes in the same areas of the brain affected by the medicines, according to research published in early May. One researcher
ruefully has concluded that a higher percentage of depressed patients get better on placebos today than 20 years ago…clinicians and
researchers say the results suggest that Americans may be overestimating the power of the drugs, and that the medicine’s greatest
benefits may come from the care and concern shown to patients during a clinical trial …The number of doctor visits for depression
rose from 14 million in 1987 to almost 25 million last year.” In January, Andrew Leuchter, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA
published a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, which tracked brain changes associated with drugs such as Prozac
and Effexor, both Serotonin reuptake inhibitors, showing that many placebos caused changes in the same parts of the brain that
are thought to control important facets of mood. “Once the trial was over and the patients who had been given placebos were told as
much, they quickly deteriorated. People’s belief in the power of anti-depressants may explain why they do well on placebos.”
BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO ENCOURAGE SINGLE SEX SCHOOLS
(May 9, 2002) The New York Times, reported
"the Bush Administration is planning to reinterpret the nation's education law to encourage the creation of single-sex
public schools, which had been largely denied federal financing under 30 years of Republican and Democratic administrations."
DRUG AD CAMPAIGN FAILED
(May 14, 2002) Kevin Zeese, President of the
Common Sense for Drug Policy, announced a report in the Wall Street Journal saying "Federal government research
shows that the $1.5 billion advertising campaign aimed at preventing adolescent drug use doesn't work," but "Drug Czar John
Walters plans to seek an additional five years of funding for the campaign." Zeese claims that "We know what works -
investing in our youth....These ads seem more designed to prop-up drug war budgets than prevent adolescent drug use."
SPIELBERG PASSES FILM-MAKING COURSE
(May 16, 2002) World Entertainment News Network reports OSCAR-winning movie legend Steven Spielberg, has finally
passed his college degree in filmmaking, 37 years after first enrolling at a university. The 55-year-old director, who has notched
up three Academy Awards and five nominations in an impressive 30-year career, first enrolled at California State University
in 1965 but dropped out three years later to pursue films. Desperate to add the one missing link to his glittering curriculum vitae,
the movie-maker re-enrolled nearly a year ago and has finally earned his bachelor's degree in film and electronic arts, with flying
colors. Spielberg plans to attend this month's graduation bash, resplendent in cap and gown. The director, who chose not to attend
classes with other students, preferring instead to work from home says, "I wanted to accomplish this for many years as a 'thank
you' to my parents for giving me the opportunity for an education and a career, and as a personal note for my own family - and young
people everywhere - about the importance of achieving their college education goals. But I hope they get there quicker than I did."
On the other hand, he is a glowing example of someone who didn’t need college to succeed.