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News & Views
Apr 28, 2004
SCHOOLBOYS GROW MARIJUANA IN GARDENING CLASS
(March 2004) The Ananova, a publication in the Czech Republic, reported www.ananova.com that teachers caught three teenage boys growing marijuana in their horticulture class. The teachers thought the boys were growing tomato plants until they busted them smoking the leaves.
YOUTH CARE WORKER CONVICTED IN DEATH
(Mar. 19, 2004) The Ledger, in Lakeland, Florida, reported www.theledger.com that a jury convicted youth-care worker Sandra Trotter at Lippman Family Center of child neglect for snapping Polaroid photos during a successful suicide attempt.
PARENTS, SPECIALISTS HELP BOY DEAL WITH DYSLEXIA
(Mar. 22, 2004) The Houston Chronicle reported on a new noninvasive imaging test to map brain function and dysfunction for dyslexia. University of Texas Medical School at Houston researchers are experimenting with a new test called magnetoencephalography (MEG,), which allows scientists to take snapshots of brain activity every millisecond. Scientists hope the machine and its ability to map brain function may one day also help those who suffer from epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, spina bifida, autism, brain injury and stroke.
ANTIDEPRESSANT USERS ALERTED ON SUICIDES
(Mar. 22, 2004) The Washington Times reported www.washtimes.com on the federal government's recent request for drug manufacturers to include an added caution to warning labels. The new warning indicates a possible relationship between antidepressants and suicide, and instructs doctors to closely monitor patients for any signs of a possible suicide. Although the Food and Drug Administration investigation originally focused on children receiving antidepressants, the new warning is directed toward adults and children.
MOTHER OF TRUANT SENT BACK TO PRISON
(Mar. 24, 2004) The Guardian http://education.guardian.co.uk reported on Britain's truancy laws and the effects those laws have on parents. After becoming the first parent ever jailed in Britain for letting her children play truant, Patricia Amos, received a second prison sentence on March 23 after her youngest daughter repeatedly skipped school. Rob Allen, the director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment said, "sending parents of truants to prison is both cruel and ineffective."
RESEARCH INDICATES TEENS ARE SAFER
(Mar. 24, 2004) The Washington Post reported http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com on new research from Duke University and the Foundation for Child Development indicating young people today are less likely to become criminals, crime victims or parents than they were in 1975. The national survey showed that high school seniors are less likely to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs, however, children and youths are more likely to commit suicide, be obese and live in single-parent homes. Kenneth C. Land, a professor of sociology at Duke, said "we are in a no-growth or slow-growth era, and if it continues, we may see another generation of parents raising families in an environment that will negatively impact child well-being."
GOOD PARENTING KEY TO HEALTH
(Mar. 29, 2004) A report based on research conducted at the State University of New York at Albany and the University of Michigan and published in the March issue of Psychology and Aging concluded "People with abundant parental support during childhood are likely to have relatively good health through adulthood" and the positive influences "persist throughout adulthood into old age," spanning "several decades."
TEEN ATHLETES ON STEROIDS
(Mar. 29, 2004) Brian Grasso, executive director of the International Youth Conditioning Association, issued a press release citing a recent nationwide survey of 50,000 teenagers which indicated that one in 30 adolescent male athletes is currently taking anabolic steroids. The study also showed that one in 100 pre-adolescent athletes are consuming steroids, these include children as young as 10. For more information visit Grasso's website at www.DevelopingAthletics.com
EDUCATIONAL REGIMES, ANGLO-AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
(Mar. 29, 2004) The TES ePaper in the United Kingdom reported
www.tes.co.uk on a 150-year-old debate over the educational regimes in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In his book, Ronald Manzer of the University of Toronto Press illustrates the historical background behind many of the questions surrounding today's educational system, including religion's place in public schools, how schools deal with minorities and the place of vocational training in schooling.
COURT APPROVES PHYSICAL FORCE
(Mar. 30, 2004) The TES ePaper reported www.tes.co.uk on a Canadian Supreme Court decision to uphold teachers rights to use force to preserve discipline in schools.
REFERRAL FEES TOPIC OF GROUP HOME CONTROVERSY
(Mar. 31, 2004) The Fayetteville North Carolina Observer Online reported www.fayettevillenc.com a controversy where a group home owner claims she received no clients because she didn't pay a "referral fee" to mental Health Center employees. The Mental Health Center stated they were unaware of the practice, and would disapprove of it if it happened. The article reported the reimbursement rate for group homes is between $7,020 and $8,587 a month.
AERO's 15th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE & CELEBRATION
(April 2004) In preparation for their 15th anniversary celebration, the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)
www.educationrevolution.org announced it is hosting a "Setting the Agenda for the Education Revolution" conference on June 25-27 in Troy, New York to illustrate the dire need for change in the education system. Additionally, the conference is an effort to strengthen AERO in reaching its goal of "Building the critical mass for the education revolution by providing resources to support self-determination in learning and the natural genius in everyone."
(April 2004) The Children's Health Council, in their Spring 2004 newsletter report from the autism society, www.autism-society.org state that "1.5 million Americans are affected by autism; 50 children are diagnosed with autism every day; and autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US"
MEDIA INFLUENCE ON CHILDREN IS OVERWHELMING
(Apr. 1, 2004) Matthew E. Seward, MarketResearch.com, 301-468-3650 x205, in a review of the latest "The US Kids Market", 6th edition, reports www.packagedfacts.com that "watching television is a universal activity among 98% of 4- to-6- year-olds, and is slightly lower for 0- to-3-year-olds, at 87%." These statistics, combined with the fact that 70% of 4- to-6-year-olds and 31% of kids 3 and under have used a computer, help to explain why the influence of media on US children, and children on parental buying decisions through "pester power," is growing. The report shows that 41% of parents agree that kids significantly influence brand purchasing, while 69% agree that kids are over-exposed to materialism."
ANTIDEPRESSANT USE BY PRESCHOOLERS ON RISE
(Apr. 3, 2004)The Washington Times reported www.washtimes.com that despite the questions surrounding the safety and effectiveness of antidepressant use in minors, US preschoolers age five and under are the fastest-growing segment of the non-adult population using antidepressants today. A study conducted by Express Scripts Inc., in St. Louis found the antidepressant use among preschool girls doubled from eight per 10,000 to 16 per 10,000 during the four-year study. Among preschool boys, antidepressant use rose by 64 percent, from 14 per 10,000 to 23 per 10,000.
AMERICANS LOSE 10 WEEKS PER YEAR WATCHING TV
(Apr. 4, 2004) Barbara Bartlein, Great Lakes Consulting Group, Milwaukee Wisconsin, 888-747-9953, firstname.lastname@example.org, refers to research that people who do not have enough time for activities they want, need look no further than the TV, which the average person watches 1,669 hours a year, or ten weeks of their life each year.
PARENTING SOLUTIONS - COACHING FOR PARENTS
(Apr. 4, 2004) Lynda Swan, email@example.com, teacher of Social Education in the UK, contacted us about a complimentary taster session she would like to offer for Parenting Solutions. Lynda "currently works with 11-16 year olds who have been permanently excluded from school." To experience coaching and how it can benefit parents in terms of preparation for the transition home, contact Lynda at the e-mail above.
ADHD DRUGS MAY STUNT KIDS' GROWTH
(Apr. 5, 2004) An Associated Press story on the Times Dispatch www.timesdispatch.com said a study led by University of California at Berkeley researcher Stephen Hinshaw indicates that stimulants like Ritalin used for attention-deficit problems may stunt a child's growth and reduce weight gain. But it did not address whether the effect was permanent.
RESEARCHERS FEAR TV 'REWIRES' DEVELOPING BRAINS
(Apr. 5, 2005) An Associated Press story in the Washington Times www.washtimes.com discusses how young children who watch television face an increased risk of attention-deficit problems by school age. With 1,345 children participating in the government-sponsored national health survey, the study suggests television may over-stimulate and permanently "rewire" the developing brain.
COLLEGES TELL STUDENTS TO LIGHTEN UP
(Apr. 6, 2004) The New York Times reported www.nytimes.com on a women's group who plastered photographs of naked undergraduate women (from the neck down) all over a Maine college campus to illustrate the perfectionism driving some students to spend two-hours a day on the treadmill. After more than a decade of seeing students arriving on campus with serious mental health problems, colleges are responding to the rising number of students seeking help for stress-related conditions, and many extend the therapeutic culture far beyond treatment for clinical depression and bipolar disorders.
EXPERTS BELIEVE PARENTS PRESENCE STEADIES KIDS
(Apr. 6, 2004) The Denver Post reported
www.denverpost.com that Denver area child experts concur with a recent study published in the American Pediatrics Journal, and are now saying a generation of children with short attention spans, lack of focus and hyperactivity are a troubling outgrowth of the decade-long technology explosion. They warn parents to unplug the DVD players in cars, computerized toys, video games, etc., and interact with their kids one-on-one if they want to prevent behavioral problems.
DOCTORS TRYING TO CONVINCE PARENTS ADHD IS REAL
(Apr. 7, 2004) The Arizona Republic reported www.azcentral.com on how parents are becoming wary of many doctors quick diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder without appropriate testing and fears that ADHD does not exist. Some doctors and child advocate groups say the drugs are dangerous, the disorder doesn't really exist, and they need to stop diagnosing the disorder altogether. Some pediatricians stress that although the drugs can be helpful, they are not enough to control behavior problems, and parents need to maintain a schedule for their children that includes three meals a day, exercise and proper discipline.
VILLAGES OF VISION FEATURED
(Apr. 11, 2004) Scott Huhn, founder of Villages of Vision, a group counseling program for teens and parents in Bakersfield, California, was featured in a story titled "Teen drug counseling program makes parents equal partners in recovery" at www.bakersfield.com.
THE BATTLE TO IMPROVE TEEN LITERACY
(Apr. 14, 2004) The New York Times reported
www.nytimes.com on a new high-intensity reading program many urban schools are using to deal with adolescent illiteracy. Read 180, now owned by Scholastic, supplies software that tracks each student's results on all computer drills, provides lesson plans for teachers and keeps a library of short easy books. Data from the federal Department of Education's 2003 reading assessment shows that nationwide, 25 percent of the students arriving in ninth grade are unable to read well enough to take high school courses, let alone rigorous courses to prepare them for college.
STATUS QUO VS. COMMON SENSE
(Apr. 14, 2004) Education Week reported, www.edweek.org that America's schools are in a state of crisis because the performance we deemed adequate 50 years ago is neither tolerable nor defensible today. Researchers estimated that in 2001, 32 percent of all 18-year-olds graduated from high school with basic literacy skills and had completed the courses needed to attend a four-year college. The 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress reported just 31 percent of 4th graders and 32 percent of 8th graders were "proficient" in reading while a full 37 percent of 4th graders and 26 percent of 8th graders scored "below basic."
RAPE CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST TEENAGERS
(Apr. 28, 2004) The Washington Post reported www.washingtonpost.com that charges filed against the three teenagers accused of raping a classmate earlier this month were dismissed for lack of evidence The three males, acknowledged being in a Mount Hebron High School restroom with the girl on Apr. 15 but told authorities that what occurred was consensual sex. The school is located in Howard County, Maryland, and is reportedly a highly affluent school with the highest number of suspensions -- 223 -- in the county last years.