Monday, February 28, 2011

Congress could doom mentor support for inmates' kids

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) February 26, 2011

"Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Greater Memphis has launched a petition drive against a congressional budget proposal that would end funding for mentoring children of people in prison.
If passed, House Budget Proposal H.R. 1 would remove $400,000 from the BBBS's $1.2 million annual budget and about $1 million from BBBS organizations across the state, said Adrienne Bailey, president and CEO of the Memphis BBBS.
The loss of federal funding for the seven-year-old program would cut in half the approximately 450 children now being mentored, Bailey said.
'I understand that there have to be cuts. I think there should be more thought into what should be cut and how it should be cut,' Bailey said. 'We're not even talking about a cut here. We're talking about total elimination. It's devastating.'" Read More

Beyond Bullies Launches Web Site to Connect Bullied Teens with Online Peer Mentors to Meet Digital Needs of Targets of Bullying and Cyber Bullying (Los Angeles, CA) February 28, 2011

"Beyond Bullies Launches Web site to Help Bullied Teens Connect with Peer Mentors.
Beyond Bullies has launched in an effort to help bullied teens, who are the targets of bullying and cyber bullying, with real time online peer mentors. Peer mentors offer teens support via instant messaging (IM), discussion boards and email.
Beyond Bullies is the first online program in the United States, dedicated to helping teenagers who are the targets of bullying and cyber bullying, primarily through online and offline help from peer mentors. Bullied teens now have access to peer mentor online they can chat with in real-time using personal computer or other electronic devices at" Read More

Community volunteers meet with Courtney in D.C.

Middletown Press (Washington D.C.) February 25, 2011

"The Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth, Inc., Healthy Communities-Healthy Kids Coalition is a substance abuse prevention coalition made up of dedicated community member volunteers.
Three coalition members and coalition staff had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Joe Courtney in Washington, D.C., while attending the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Forum.
The coalition was able to discuss its work on reducing drugs and alcohol in the Haddam-Killingworth community, and emphasized the importance of the Drug Free Communities Support grant." Read More

Feds: Cutting Jokes Can Kill

New Haven Independent (New Haven, CT) February 25, 2011

"Charles Grady proved his coolness to middle-schoolers like Randall Redd by demonstrating he knew the 'Dougie,' an old-school hip-hop move. Next came the real lesson: His personal tale of how he saw a young teen bullied, with tragic consequences.
A senior investigator with Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, Grady told a story that gripped kids at the MicroSociety Magnet School on Valley Street in West Hills Thursday afternoon. It emerged as part of a presentation by Connecticut U.S. Attorney David Fein and his staff on the history of the civil rights movement.
It was part of the school district’s marking of Black History Month, and the U.S. Attorney Office’s efforts to publicize its new initiative to pursue more civil rights cases. Those cases include what speakers referred to as a spike in cyber-bullying and predatory behavior incidents online." Read More

Parents Talk: Teenage Alcohol, Substance Abuse

Greenwich (Greenwich, CT) February 25, 2011

"Parents Talk is a new feature on Patch that's part of an initiative to build a community of support for families in Fairfield County.
Each week in Parents Talk, our parent council comprised of local residents will take your questions, give advice and share solutions on a variety of issues affecting children and families.
Moms, dads, grandparents and many diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about local neighborhood schools, how to deal with tough situations, how to find the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while raising children." Read More

Allow a teen drinking party? You might get billed by the town

The Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) February 28, 2011

"Hosts of underage drinking parties may one day face a fine from the town of Ridgefield, in addition to potential criminal charges, for allowing minors to possess alcohol on private property. First Selectman Rudy Marconi has asked State Rep. John Frey to introduce a bill to the state General Assembly that would allow towns to collect a civil penalty for those who allow underage drinking. Mr. Marconi worked with Rep. Frey, the town’s attorney and Police Chief John Roche on the bill.
Rep. Frey introduced the Proposed House Bill No. 5861 in late January and it is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill would allow towns to 'impose recovery costs for such violations' — meaning, the cost of the time, manpower and resources police and fire departments may use at the scene of an underage drinking party can be charged to the host." Read More

Friday, February 25, 2011

Experts: Alcohol, teen brains are a toxic mix (Peoria, IL) February 23, 2011

"There is no safe amount or safe location for teens to consume alcohol, experts say.
Alcohol consumption and the teen brain are a toxic combination.
Diane West, a nurse and clinical educator in behavioral health services with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, said while the old belief was the brain was fully developed by age 3, it is now clear the brain still is developing through the teen years up to about age 24.
'The teen brain is developing and changing. It has more receptors for alcohol to bind with,' she said. 'Teens can get addicted quicker. Parents really need to educate teens on their vulnerability.'
Alcohol consumption by a teen can be more damaging to the brain than alcohol consumed by a 35 year old." Read More

Teen leaders form plans for a safer prom, graduation season

Middletown Journal (Middletown, OH) February 24, 2011

"The message of sobriety and safety on prom night can never be too clear.
About 140 juniors and seniors from various Butler County high schools met on the campus of Miami University Middletown Thursday to discuss strategies for persuading their peers against drinking driving in the months ahead, proven to be dangerous ones for teens.
Statistics show about one-third of alcohol-related traffic deaths involving teens occur during April, May and June — prom and graduation season." Read More

What Parents Need To know

San Saba News and Star (San Saba, TX) February 24, 2011

"For the coming New Year, resolve to talk more often with your family about healthy decisions and choices. Our research shows that kids who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use than those who do not get those important messages at home.The Partnership at celebrates the positive influence of parents in the lives of their kids. Together, we can help you start the New Year with '10 Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care.' 10 Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care." Read More

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Girl Scout Council to Explore Hidden World of Girl Bullying in March 26 Seminar in New Orleans

PR Newswire (New Orleans, LA) February 24, 2011

"Spreading rumors, forming cliques, and making fun of others are just a few of the ways girls have been mean to one another for years. However, with the advent of social media, bullying in today's society is more complicated than ever. The increased exposure to a variety of social media puts teenage girls at greater risk for online or text message bullying, commonly known as cyberbullying. This type of bullying and other forms of relational aggression will be addressed by experts in their field during a one-day seminar hosted by Girl Scouts Louisiana East, and funded in part by the Louisiana Children's Trust Fund. The Girl Bullying – Awareness to Action seminar is being held Saturday, March 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center, and is open to troop leaders, parents, educators, and community leaders." Read More

Hundreds of students gather at Rutgers anti-bullying youth summit

The Star-Ledger (Piscataway, NJ) February 24, 2011

"Revved up by the event organizers, nearly 500 high school and college students gathered at Rutgers University began a chant Wednesday to take back their schools from anyone who has ever abused, taunted or picked on a weaker classmate.
'Stop bullying! Stop bullying!' the group shouted.
The students, who were gathered for a 'Youth Summit Against Bullying,' donned anti-bullying t-shirts and cheered loudly. But all of the participants acknowledged it will take more than chants to solve what many educators believe is a growing national problem." Read More

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Releases Report on Alcohol Misuse Among Youth, Young Adults

PR Newswire (Harrisburg, PA) February 22, 2011

"With recent survey results showing alarming rates of underage and high-risk drinking among youth and young adults nationwide, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and its agency partners today renewed their commitment to combat the prevalence of this dangerous and potentially deadly behavior.
'No substance is more widely abused in America by those under the age of 21 than alcohol,' said PLCB Chairman Patrick J. 'PJ' Stapleton. 'This survey's findings should serve as a reminder to parents and the entire community that no one is immune to the dangers of alcohol misuse and abuse.'
With preventing sales to minors as its top priority, PLCB store employees in 2010 checked the identification of nearly one million minors at its more than 600 stores statewide." Read More

The Partnership at Responds to National Institutes of Health Study on Effectiveness of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

PR Newswire (New York, NY) February 23, 2011

"A new independent, scientific analysis of the Office of National Drug Control Policy's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (NYADMC) found that teens who were exposed to 'Above The Influence' drug abuse prevention messages, an integral part of the NYADMC, were less likely to use marijuana than those who are not exposed to the campaign. The study is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and is published in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal Prevention Science.
Data from the study of more than 3,000 students, across 20 communities nationwide, found that by the end of 8th grade, 12 percent of those who said they had not seen 'Above The Influence' drug abuse prevention messages reported marijuana use compared to only 8 percent of students who had reported familiarity with the campaign.
'The new data confirms that the campaign messages are having the intended positive effect on teens and that they are in fact working,' said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at, a nonprofit organization that assists in facilitating the creative development of the messages used in the NYADMC." Read More

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nearly 50 Percent Of Children Receive Alcohol From Parents, Relatives

Daily Health Report, February 19, 2011

"A survey carried out from 2006 to 2009 was published Thursday this month by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The study revealed that just under 6 percent of teens had consumed alcohol in the last month. That converts to over 700,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.
The survey found that under 7 percent of this group bought the liquor themselves from either stores or bars. The other teens were able to access the alcohol at no cost from a variety of sources including other minors, adults who were both related and unrelated, and their house.
Just under 45 percent of the group received their liquor from their house or relatives." Read More

Stamford High Cracks Down In Wake Of Alcohol Poisoning

CBS New York (Stamford, CT) February 18, 2011

"A tough cell phone search program is being credited for saving a Stamford High School freshman who got into trouble with alcohol. She was part of a group of students who were binge drinking on school grounds Thursday.
As CBS 2′s Lou Young reports, the school is making it clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.
'We’ve had a very serious incident that happened on campus this week,' Stamford High School Principal Donna Valentine said. 'You really need to think about what you’re doing.'
Principal Valentine spoke to the freshman class about drugs, drinking and the close call of one of their classmates." Read More

Mentoring programs give youths a little extra boost

CT Post (Stamford, CT) February 18, 2011

"Nearly every month, Nicole McFarlane has a lunch date that is not to be missed. The menu is simple, typically some pizza and soda, but the conversation is rich and the company is always priceless.
McFarlane, 33, is a mentor to Shannon Garcia, 17. McFarlane is one of 17 employees of Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment who are matched with high school-aged students from Stamford's Alternative Routes to Success program.
Mentors and mentees keep in touch online once a week, and once a month, the entire group gets together for lunch and conversation in a conference room at WWE headquarters.
McFarlane, who works in TV production, got involved when the program launched two years ago." Read More

Friday, February 18, 2011

How It's Changed: Bullying in the 21st Century (Altanta, GA) February 17, 2011

"It has gotten softer, and louder.
Bullies may have the same motivations as in the past, but the methods have changed, starting with the most obvious: technology.
'That's what technology does,' said Dan Rauzi, senior director of Youth and Technology Programs for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 'It just magnifies everything.'
The percentage of youth using social networks nearly doubles that of adults. In addition, the bulk of teens with cell phones first get them in middle school. On top of that, many studies say parents aren't getting any better at monitoring their kids online." Read More

Counselor Arms Fairfield Parents Against Bullying

The Daily Fairfield (Fairfield, CT) February 17, 2011

"Monica’s kids are still a bit too young to worry about bullies. Her girls are still in elementary school, so the prime bullying years of middle school are still ahead of them. But she showed up for Bill Bosch’s talk at the Fairfield Public Library Thursday night just in case
'We’re not going to get a memo at any time that says, 'Bullying is about to start next week,' ' Monica says. 'You can never be too prepared.'
Bosch, a guidance counselor at Tomlinson Middle School, has seen how bullying occurs in Fairfield’s schools. He says the most common type is no longer physical violence but emotional attacks. He highlighted two types of harassment: verbal bullying (name-calling and teasing) and relational bullying (when kids exclude others from their group)." Read More

Connecticut Bullying Laws

Ridgefield (Ridgefield, CT) February 17, 2011

"This past week a fight at Ridgefield High School that involved a number of students which caused some parents to contact us regarding Connecticut’s School Bullying Law.
On June 12, 2008, former Governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law a measure designed to strengthen state and local efforts to prevent school bullying. The law, An Act Concerning School Learning Environment, was codified in Connecticut General Statute Section 10-222d requiring local and regional boards of education to develop and implement a policy to address the existence of bullying in its schools." Read More

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Many Kids Who Drink Get Liquor From Home: Report

HealthDay News, February 17, 2011

"Some 709,000 youngsters aged 12 to 14 in the United States are drinking beer, liquor and other alcoholic beverages, a new federal study found.
And the surprise is that many of these underage drinkers aren't just getting a friend to buy a six pack for them or smuggling alcohol out of the family liquor cabinet. Some are getting the alcohol directly from a parent, guardian or another adult relative.
In the past month alone, more than 200,000 kids were given alcohol by a parent or other adult family member, according to a report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
That's not counting the youngsters who are drinking on the sly." Read More

Men's Basketball Team Kicks Off Mentoring Program With Students At King-Robinson School (New Haven, CT) February 16, 2011

"A newly formulated mentoring program between the Southern Connecticut State University men’s basketball team and students from the King-Robinson School in New Haven kicked off on Wednesday evening. The entire Owls team and coaching staff, along with members of the athletic administration, met with the King-Robinson students prior to the home basketball doubleheader. Following a question-and-answer session, the King-Robinson students took part in a pizza party and then ventured inside Moore Field House to cheer on the Owls’ in their game against Adelphi.
SCSU student-athletes will continue to work with the King-Robinson students on both academic, social and athletic development as the 2010-11 academic year moves forward and beyond.
This program is just one example of many community outreach events that SCSU student-athletes will take part in as part of the Tim Greer Insurance Agency Community Service Cup." Read More

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Area Program Address Bullying Heads On

Tolland (Tolland, CT) February 16, 2011

"Joel Waldron believes the term "bullying" is a euphemism that simply shouldn't be used anymore.
'As a society we need to shift gears and start thinking about bullying for what it really is. It's assault. It's abuse. It's slander. And kids are dying because of this,' he said.
A martial arts instructor life coach, lecturer, and consultant for Manchester High School's 'Bully Busters' program, Waldron said he also has first hand experience with what it is like to be bullied, having stayed home most of his 8th grade year in school due to his fears of being bullied." Read More

Problem teen drinking is not just a phase

CNN Health, February 15, 2011

"Problem drinking during the late teenage years is a real problem, not just a phase, that can signal problem drinking in young adulthood, according to a new study. The findings are published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
'The key finding was that the more drinking-related problems experienced by an adolescent at age 18, the greater the likelihood that adolescent would be diagnosed with alcoholism seven years later, at age 25,' said lead study author Richard R. Rose of Indiana University. 'The analysis of co-twins ruled out factors such as parental drinking and household atmosphere as the source of the association, because twins jointly experience these.' Rose said that because twin teens in the study had the same parental, environmental and genetic factors, the results provide strong evidence that drinking behavior at age 18 is a strong predictor for drinking behavior at age 25.
The study involved 597 twins enrolled in long-term Finnish study of twins. At age 18 the twins took the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index, which is a self-administered questionnaire designed to measure alcohol drinking related problems. Rose said the RAPI is one of the most widely used assessments of problematic teen drinking. Study participants were later interviewed in-person at age 25 to assess alcohol dependence." Read More

College Parties, Minus the Beer Binges

The Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2011

"Reports of binge drinking in college have long made headlines. As more schools offer increasingly creative alternatives to shots and beer pong, they say they see noticeable declines in drinking.
Surveys at Purdue University, for example, show a sharp drop in binge drinking among students, to 37.3% in 2009 from 48% in 2006, says Tamara Loew, health-advocacy coordinator. She attributes this in part to a boom in late-night, alcohol-free events on or around campus, from poetry slams and dances to carnivals and 'cabin-fever' parties.
Purdue senior Keith Brashaber knew there were other students like him who didn't want college to mean one big hangover. So he raised money and organized a free weekly movie program on campus instead, 'Thursday Night at the Theater,' screening films like 'Zombieland' and 'Paranormal Activity.'" Read More

21 is the legal drinking age for a few good reasons (Staten Island, NY) February 15, 2011

"The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan each year conducts and reports on a national study of youth in grades eight, 10 and 12, in order to learn more about drug, alcohol and tobacco use by young people.
Published as the Monitoring the Future surveys, the statistics that are reported annually are widely respected as providing some of the best current trends among our youth in terms of their use of illicit drugs as well as alcohol.
One of the numbers that stood out for me in reviewing the most recent Monitoring the Future survey results is the one that says that 15 percent of eighth-grade students reported they had drunk alcohol in the past 30 days. And that number is nearly tripled (44 percent) for 12th-grade students.
The significance of these numbers is related to what the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has reported about early alcohol use. Based on research with a random sample of 43,000 U.S. adults, the NIAAA found those people who began drinking in their early teens were at greater risk of developing alcohol problems in later life." Read More

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The teen brain … under construction (East Bay, RI) February 14, 2011

"Most would agree that unraveling the adolescent mind is not an easy thing to do. I clearly remember asking my own teenagers 'What were you thinking?' after one of them was caught in a risky behavior. Research conducted on more than 10,000 youths from across the country regarding such things as smoking, use of alcohol and/or drugs, or practicing unsafe sex found that one of the biggest reasons teens are so hard to figure out is because there is an impulsive element to their behavior.
As I looked further into the research I found multiple studies that were done over the last 10 or 12 years designed specifically to ask questions about what’s going through their heads, or what’s not going through their heads as they’re making these decisions and what’s not going through their heads is a big part of the story. What appears to be most interesting in the reams of research collected is that researchers have demonstrated that quite a bit of adolescent decision-making is not reasoned on – on any level. Often teens just go with the moment, they really don’t plan or even make a conscious decision, they get caught up in the crowd and just do it.
From a kid’s perspective, if you’re operating in a more reasoned, thoughtful mode – then you have the proverbial devil and the angel over your shoulder. If you’re operating in the more impulsive mode, you don’t even know the angel is there. Those things are not in your mind at all, and the devil’s only saying, 'This could be interesting.'" Read More

Students bear hearts on drug abuse

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) February 14, 2011

"On the day that celebrates love, local students opened their hearts about something that is ruining the lives of some of their friends -- drugs.
Peer pressure is not the cause of substance abuse in high schools, they said during a Valentine’s Day forum at Norwich Free Academy. Weak family units, boredom, and media glamorization of drugs are the real dangers.
'My friends have never asked me to do drugs,' Katie Baller of NFA said following the 'teen summit' held at Slater Auditorium. 'Friends don’t want to risk losing friends over drugs. For some kids, those friendships are the most important things in their lives.'
The Monday summit was organized by the East Lyme-based Community Coalition for Children. Students from Thames River Academy in Norwich and Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Regional Technical School of Groton participated along with NFA. About 10 students from each school took part." Read More

My Child is NOT being Bullied – Are You Sure?

Cascade (Cascade, GA) February 15, 2011

"It seems like only yesterday we were in an age when we sat around the dinner table talking about how our day was; having face-time, play-time and bonding-time.
Now as we go about our busy lives of convenience—with the mobile phone, the Internet, iPad, laptop, etc.—somehow, some way, our mini-mes have been reduced to automated, talking heads on steroids.
Imagine this: TV on, headphones in ear, studying, doing homework, texting BFF while on Facebook—all at the same time.
Is this a picture of your future leader of tomorrow?
The danger that lies within this reality: bullying (face-to-face and cyber-bullying) is a significant problem among our youth, and steadily increasing." Read More

Monday, February 14, 2011

Delaware schools: No fast solution to curb bullying, speaker laments

Delaware Online, February 12, 2011

"When a child confronts bullying, parents tend to panic, treating the situation like a fire they must immediately extinguish.
'They want the program, the book, the movie, the whatever that will get them through this,' said Shanterra McBride, founder of Preparing Leaders of Today in Washington, D.C.
If only it were that simple, said McBride, who has been interviewed as a bullying expert in several magazines and on National Public Radio.
Dealing with bullying takes time and constant attention from parents, teachers, administrators, even fellow students, said McBride, the guest speaker at a seminar Saturday morning at St. Anne's Episcopal School in Middletown called 'Stop Picking on Me.'
If your child is bullied, McBride told a few dozen parents, don't reach for the short-sighted, clich├ęd quick-fix. For example, some parents will suggest their children tell bullies they're 'just jealous.'" Read More

High at home: how to keep it from happening to your teen

WECT News 6 (Wilmington, NC) February 13, 2011

"With household items like nutmeg making headlines as ways to get high at home, parents have their hands full.
That includes Sherry DelVecchio, a Wilmington mother who wants to protect her 14-year-old son, Nicolas, as long as she can.
DelVecchio knows Nicolas is a good kid, but she also knows it's easy for middle schoolers to experiment with all kinds of drugs without ever leaving home.
That's why she agreed to open up her house and her cabinets to a drug prevention counselor and find out what she could do better.
John Dail is part of Wilmington's Coastal Horizons Prevention Program. He agreed to walk through the DelVecchio residence and advise Sherry on any at-home highs to watch out for and how to prevent Nicolas from experimenting with drugs." Read More

Taking on the cyber bully: Middletown schools battles social media networks

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) February 14, 2011

"While a series of incidents across the nation brought new attention to cyber bullying, Middletown school administrators have ramped up their efforts to crack down on such practices. Youth services director Justin Carbonella is well aware of the influence social media can have on society, as well as the impact online comments can have. So when students involved in a summer research program were asked to choose an issue, their topic was right up Carbonella’s alley.
'This year,' said Carbonella, 'the kids - appropriately enough - picked the issue of cyber bullying.' Six weeks of research later, including consultations with experts, Carbonella said the group came up with ideas, suggestions and data, all of which is available on the Middletown Public Schools Web site. Although the tendency to bully is no different, Carbonella said that the available avenues are much broader." Read More

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mentor's a cut above

The Tampa Tribune (Tampa Bay, FL) February 9, 2011

"Johnny Joseph has a dream to become a master barber one day.
Carlton Williams Jr., who's been cutting hair for nearly 20 years, is his guide, helping him fulfill that dream.
'It's about more than teaching him how to cut hair,' Williams said. 'It's about life as well.'
The two have connected through a Goodwill Industries program called GoodGuides, a youth mentoring program that matches teenagers who might have challenges at home or school with adults in the community.
Once a week at the 40th Street Barber Shop, the worlds of the 17-year-old student and the 43-year-old barber and teacher come together." Read More

Remarks by White House Drug Policy Director Kerlikowske at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Forum (National Harbor, MD) February 8, 2011

"Thank you, General Dean for that kind introduction. It's a pleasure to be here today with so many dedicated representatives of the kind of grassroots organizing that is always at the core of progress. As a former community organizer himself, the President understands the vital role that all of you play in making America the greatest Nation in the world. And your continued inspiration, hard work and contributions are especially important now, because of the continuing challenge we're facing as a Nation from drug use and its consequences.
During his State of the Union Address two weeks ago, President Obama announced to the Nation that we are in the midst of our generation's 'Sputnik moment' and that 'to win the future, we'll need to take on the challenges that have been decades in the making.' I cannot stress enough how all of you are part of this effort. Drug use and its consequences touch every sector of our society that is vital to a strong America. Drug use strains our economy, our healthcare and criminal justice systems, and endangers the futures of all of our young people. Simply put, our Nation cannot reach its full potential without a drug-free and healthy generation of young people." Read More

Study links teenage bullying to social status

The Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2011

"Scientists have confirmed an axiom of teenage life: Kids intent on climbing the social ladder at school are more likely to pick on their fellow students.
The finding, reported in Tuesday's edition of the American Sociological Review, lends an air of authenticity to TV shows like 'Gossip Girl' and the 2004 movie 'Mean Girls.' More importantly, it may suggest that efforts to combat bullying in schools should focus more closely on social hierarchies.
'By and large, status increases aggression,' said sociologist Robert Faris of UC Davis, who led the study." Read More

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Expert: Parents should watch for signs of vodka eyeballing (Toledo, OH) February 8, 2011

"Prevention experts say parents need to open their eyes to a disturbing trend in teens called eyeballing or getting eye-drunk.
Basically, some young people are doing shots of vodka by pouring the bottle directly into their eyes.
It can get them drunk and cause all kinds of damage.
Some medical experts call it wreck less and your teen could be trying it without you ever suspecting a thing.
It can be done in many ways, one right after another back-to-back-to-back shots or pours from the bottle.
People have been seen 'double-fisting' which is holding a bottle in each hand and pouring the alcohol into each eye at the same time. Or some keep a bottle in the eye for a long period of time." Read More

Fake Pot Concerns Officials and Health Workers

The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) February 8, 2011

"Extreme anxiety, racing heart and paranoia are among the symptoms patients have complained of after smoking synthetic marijuana.
All were teenagers or people in their early 20s, said Dr. Danyal Ibrahim, director of toxicology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and at least one had hallucinations. The most recent patient, he said, was sweaty, agitated, and 'felt a sense of doom and felt that he was going to die.'
More commonly known as 'spice' or K2, synthetic marijuana is easy to buy — at gas stations, convenience stores, head shops and online. A small envelope was selling for $9.99 at one Hartford gas station." Read More

Bullying Seminar Held at Manchester Memorial Hospital

Manchester (Manchester, CT) February 9, 2011

"Joel Waldron believes the term "bullying" is a euphemism that simply shouldn't be used anymore.
'As a society we need to shift gears and start thinking about bullying for what it really is. It's assault. It's abuse. It's slander. And kids are dying because of this,' he said.
A martial arts instructor life coach, lecturer, and consultant for Manchester High School's 'Bully Busters' program, Waldron said he also has first hand experience with what it is like to be bullied, having stayed home most of his 8th grade year in school due to his fears of being bullied." Read More

Mentoring makes a difference - for all involved (North Platte, NE) February 9, 2011

"It's not often you can put yourself into a situation where you are both the teacher and the student.
Experienced mentors will tell you that experience is at the heart of being a mentor, because while you mentor to make a difference in a child's life, the child gives back to the mentor in a lot of different, but equally important ways.
'Mentees have just as much to offer and teach to the adults,' said John Scharf, Tuesday night's guest speaker at the TeamMates Mentoring program recognition ceremony." Read More

Heavy Drinking in Teen Years May Continue Into Adulthood

Healthday News, February 8, 2011

"Heavy drinking in the late teen years often continues into adulthood and is associated with long-term alcohol-related problems, researchers warn.
There is sufficient evidence to show that reducing drinking among older teens not only prevents immediate harm, but also may lower the risk of long-term problems, the study authors pointed out.
The researchers reviewed 54 studies that examined the effects of alcohol consumption in adulthood, including alcoholism, criminal offenses, mental health problems, smoking, educational achievement and death." Read More

Package Stores Vs. Supermarkets Over Sunday Alcohol Sales

The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) February 8, 2011

"From a distance, Jay Hibbard has been watching the emotional, never-ending debate on Connecticut's ban on the Sunday sales of alcohol in supermarkets and package stores.
As the eastern regional vice president for a national liquor manufacturers association in Washington, D.C., Hibbard came to Hartford on Tuesday for a key public hearing in an attempt to persuade legislators to lift the ban. After more than seven hours of testimony by both sides, lawmakers adjourned the hearing without a decision.
Despite watching the issue closely, Hibbard still would not make a prediction on whether 2011 will be the year that the ban will be lifted." Read More

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Child Sense: Identifying if your child is being bullied, February 7, 2011

"Understanding what dominant sense your child is will make it easier to understand when they are being bullied and how to understand the signs. Being aware of behavioral exaggerations of their dominant sense, which may be different from your own, will help you gauge whether parental intervention is necessary, and what is manageable social interaction.
Tactile children will be most sensitive to physical bullying. They will be most upset by the pushes, shoves, the knocking of books out of one's hands. They will feel helpless by their inability to fight back, and the injustice of the breaking of rules and their inability to leave the school environment. You may find that they will be more physical when they get home, fluctuating between throwing their school bag around and slamming doors; to wanting to cuddle while watching TV.
They will require more physical closeness from mom and dad, perhaps by wanting to do their homework next to you or asking you to take them to school. They may be resistant to wanting to be outside, although often by doing a physical activity together, you as the parent will be able to help them process the events more clearly." Read More

Bullying May Accompany Drive to Be Popular

Health Day, February 8, 2011

"Teens who are already popular but trying to become even more so are the most likely to bully other kids, new research suggests.
The kids seem to think that antagonizing others will raise their own status in the eyes of their peers, according to the study, published in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.
Researchers asked about 3,700 students in 8th, 9th and 10th grades from three counties in North Carolina about their behavior toward others and how often they were the target of physical aggression, verbal aggression (such as teasing or threats), rumors or indirect bullying (such as ostracism). Teens were also asked how often they did this to a classmate." Read More

CCSU task force seeking input

The New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) February 7, 2011

"Identified party houses and apartments frequented by students may soon be listed online, members of the Central Connecticut State University’s Town and Gown Task Force were told at an open meeting Monday night.
This was the first of two task force meetings open to the public scheduled for the semester, both in the Connecticut Room of Memorial Hall. The second meeting will be held Monday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. Two closed meetings will also be held, one in March and the other in May.
The task force was first established four years ago as a collaboration between the New Britain and CCSU community as a way to facilitate cooperation and to find ways to head off disruptive off-campus behavior by CCSU students, particularly in the Belvedere neighborhood. Membership is comprised of city residents, law enforcement and community leaders as well as representatives of CCSU faculty and administration and the student body." Read More

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fair Looks to Boost Mentoring Volunteers

New London (New London, CT) February 4, 2011

"An informational fair held Thursday evening at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School reiterated a plea issued in December by its mentoring and tutoring coordinator: more mentors are needed.
Several groups came to the school to show what programs are available for prospective mentors. Peter Schulteis, community outreach coordinator for the city of New London, said the hope is to create a collaborative organization of all available mentoring services.
Dr. Nicholas Fischer, superintendent of New London Public Schools, said the schools try to find mentors for children who spend the majority of the day alone or have nowhere to go after school. He said mentors are critical for connecting students with services and activities available to them, and that for every person who signs up to mentor the schools could use four more. The school will let anyone who is interested know what the expectations of the volunteer work are, he said." Read More

Polls: Young non-drinkers up in down economy

USA Today, February 7, 2011

"The tough economy appears to be having a sobering effect — literally — on incoming college freshmen. Some new surveys of high school students suggest increasing numbers are beginning college as teetotalers.
Outside the Classroom, an organization that provides alcohol education training at colleges, finds that since 2006, the percentage of incoming freshmen who abstain from alcohol has jumped from 38% to 62%.
'It's a demographic trend among students,' CEO Brandon Busteed says. His organization surveys about a third of freshmen entering four-year universities and colleges each year.
Why the number of teetotaling 18-year-olds is up isn't clear. Busteed says the economy is a big reason. Students 'are taking (college) more seriously because they realize it's their future,' he says." Read More

Fighting underage drinking

The New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) February 5, 2011

"Public service announcements can in fact be meaningful and creative as it turns out, with Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut kicking off their annual PSA Contest Thursday to combat underage drinking.
Executive Director Peter Berdon announced the kickoff for the contest at Central Connecticut State University, accompanied by state and university representatives.
In its fourth year, any university student in Connecticut can compete in the PSA contest, provided they have a faculty advisor. With registration due to WSWC by Feb. 16, final submissions of 30 second videos about alcohol and underage drinking must be handed in no later than April 6.
The theme for this year’s contest is avoiding peer pressure. While it’s important for parents and educators to talk with kids about drinking, 'the most effective communicators are your peers,' said Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police." Read More

Friday, February 4, 2011

Desperate Times Call For The Anti-Bullying Coach

CBS 2 (White Plains, NY) February 3, 2011

"It’s one of life’s most difficult lessons — being bullied.
The Department of Education estimates as many as 160,000 children a day stay home from school because of the threat.
Now, a number of families are fighting back with the help of anti-bully coaches.
Remember the video of the father who stormed onto his daughter’s school bus to confront the kids who were bullying her? His response may have seemed extreme, but many parents who are fed up with feeling helpless against school bullies say they identify with him.
School should be a place where kids go to learn and make new friends, but one mom told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois it’s a place where her son gets teased and bullied." Read More

Tags on Beer Kegs Part of Strategy to Reduce Underage Drinking, February 2, 2011

"Michigan is the latest state to legislate 'keg tagging,' making it one of 32 states to implement this anti-underage drinking strategy.
'Keg tagging' requires that when kegs are sold, buyers must show identification and fill out a form writing in their names and addresses. The intent of the tagging law is to hold adults accountable for providing alcohol to minors. If law enforcement finds a tagged keg at a party where minors are drinking, they can track it back to the purchaser, who may then face civil or criminal penalties.
A law introduced by Michigan’s Sen. Alan Sanborn in 2009 and passed late last year, would subject a retailer to an administrative fine of not more than $50 for failing to attach an identification tag to a keg, intentionally failing to complete the required receipt, or failing to obtain the purchaser’s signature on the receipt. A person who was not licensed as a retailer or wholesaler by the commission and who removed the attached identification tag, allowed the removal of the tag from a keg he or she had purchased, and/or who provided false information in the purchase of a beer keg would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500, or both." Read More

Teaching kids about bullying early

CBS News 21 (Harrisburg, PA) January 31, 2011

"More teenagers are taking drastic measures to deal with bullying. Now some schools are starting early to put a stop to bullying.
Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier, and Perry County's Brandon Bitner; all teenagers turned to suicide after being bullied. That's why schools across the country are working to stop bullying before it starts and that means at a very young age for both boys and girls.
'It's something as simple as you're not invited to my birthday party, I don't like your haircut,' said Wendy Byerly a teacher at The Goddard School. 'So there's a lot of bullying with girls. It's not necessarily a boy thing which is a big stereotype.'
The program includes teaching basic skills the kids aren't born with, like sharing.
'It's important to learn this early because they're so absorbent,' Byerly said. 'They're learning everything around them because they don't know how to share, use kind words, and it needs to be encouraged as young as possible.'
The staff also works to teach the kids the difference between tattling and speaking up." Read More

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Alcohol & Teens: A lethal mixture

The News Journal (Wilmington, DE) February 1, 2011

"Over the years, Sue Spilecki has caught the stifled grins and rolled eyes of her Wilmington Charter School students whenever she talked with them about underage drinking. As she rattled off a litany of harmful effects and stats about drinking and driving, she could almost hear what they were thinking -- this is all a big joke.
So a few years ago, she began taking her students across the street to Silverbrook Cemetery. Most figure the outing is for exercise, much like when she makes them run around the track. There's plenty of talking and goofing off as they're walking, until they get to the spot Spilecki has in mind.
It's where her son, Jay, is buried.
'As soon as they see 'Spilecki,' everybody gets real quiet. I say, 'This is our lesson about drinking and driving,' ' she said." Read More

Teen Mentoring Program at Bowie High School makes difference in students lives

The Washington Post (Bowie, MD) February 3, 2011

"General contractor Dwayne Jones is a busy man.
Owner of Monster Painting and Advance Construction Services in Bowie, Jones spends much of his time traveling around the Washington area meeting with clients.
On Thursdays, however, he travels to Bowie High School to meet with sophomore Christian Bratcher over a hamburger or sandwich.
'I make my own appointments, and I make that a standing appointment,' said Jones, who is in his second year as a volunteer mentor for Christian." Read More

Mentoring event planned today at middle school

The Day (New London, CT) February 3, 2011

"An event to promote mentoring of the city's young residents is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School cafeteria.
The event, 'Help Them Get There,' was rescheduled from last month because of the weather.
Mentors and those interested in becoming mentors, as well as supporters of mentoring, are invited. The event is sponsored by New London Anti Violence, the city and the public schools, and the Connecticut Mentoring Partnership." Read More

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mentoring makes a difference in girls' lives

The Republican, (Holyoke, MA) February 1, 2011

"Mentoring a youth is a gift that comes with unexpected rewards for both the mentor and the mentee.
According to a national poll taken in 2005 by Mentor, nearly 3 million adults in America are involved in a one-to-one mentoring relationship with a youth. Research shows that youth involved in a caring relationship with an adult mentor experience a multitude of benefits.
From improved academic performance to increased self-worth, the mentoring relationship helps lay a foundation for success in the mentee's journey through life.
Girls, Inc., of Holyoke is an organization in the Pioneer Valley that is helping foster this life altering experience for adolescent girls.
Through its Match program, Jasmine Johnson and Kerri Sheppard were granted the gift of a mentoring relationship. Jasmine, a sophomore at Westfield Vocational-Technical High School, discovered the Girls, Inc. organization while watching television." Read More

UConn Senate Takes a Stand Against Spring Weekend

Mansfield-Storrs (Storrs, CT) January 31, 2011

"The University of Connecticut Senate took an official position against Spring Weekend and its 'drinking culture' during a meeting Monday afternoon at UConn's Bishop Center.
According to Senate Executive Committee member John Clausen, the Senate has discussed Spring Weekend before, but the adoption of the resolution marks the first time the Senate has formally opposed the event.
The adopted legislation lists three resolutions:
■That the Senate supports the voluntary moratorium recommended by the Spring Weekend Task Force;
■That the Senate continues to collaborate with other university bodies regarding Spring Weekend; and
■That the Senate starts a Metanoia, a time of reflection, focused on community civility." Read More

H-K implements drug and alcohol campaign

The Middletown Press (Haddam, CT) February 1, 2011

"The Haddam-Killingworth High School has implemented a marketing campaign to change students’ misperceptions on alcohol and drug use.
In Haddam-Killingworth, most teens don’t drink alcohol, use tobacco or smoke marijuana. At least that’s what many teens think. A Social Norms research based marketing campaign will aim to correct this misperception in the community starting this year.
The slogan 'What about You?' will be seen often on posters placed in locations throughout the school and the community for the next few months.
The posters will be part of the Haddam – Killingworth’s Healthy Communities-Healthy Kids Coalition Social Norms Campaign. In addition, there will be a parent focus which will remind parents that it is important to know the whereabouts of their teen and who their teen is with." Read More

Q&A: U.S. Department of Education’s Kevin Jennings on School Bus Bullying

School Transportation News, February 1, 2011

"About a month after he appeared at the NAPT Summit in Portland, Ore., to discuss the problem of school bus bullying, School Transportation News caught up with Kevin Jennings, the assistant deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools to discuss school bus driver-specfic training necessary to combat the problem.
In November, Jennings told NAPT attendees that a recent survey by John Hopkins University and the National Education Association found that students who take the bus to and from school are about 18 percent more apt to report bullying than students who ride to school using another mode of transportation. And bus drivers are more likely to report bullying incidents than other school personnel. But do school bus drivers have the necessary training and support from administrations to do something about it?" Read More

These Revolutions Are Not All Twitter

The New York Times, February 1, 2011

"In such situations, rapid shifts in behavior can occur with the mere introduction of information about actual peer preferences. Acting on this authority — the authority of one’s peers — is a powerful phenomenon. Studies have shown that the extent to which we are willing to litter, or to lower our energy use, is tied to our perception of what our peers are doing. Merely knowing about social dynamics changes social dynamics.
Health experts have used this insight to fight binge drinking. Studies on the Princeton campus revealed that a majority of students did not like to binge drink, but they wrongly believed themselves to be in the minority. So rather than urge students not to binge drink, health officials revealed the fact that a majority of students do not like binge drinking — and they had college students convey the message. Information about peer preferences, conveyed by peers, is a powerful influence on our behavior." Read More

Mentoring relationship brings mutual benefits (Norwalk, CT) February 1, 2011

"'You need a village for these children,' explains Helen Harriss, whose great-grandson, Andre Dawson, really enjoys spending time with his 'Big Friend,' Darren Humphreys, as part of Project Friendship, a mentoring program at Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk. 'Andre is crazy about Darren,' she continues, 'and they connect very well.'
For his part, Mr. Humphreys, a Norwalk resident who has worked with his 'Little Friend' Andre for about two years, feels, 'It’s very much a symbiotic relationship, and I benefit from it just as much as Andre does. I have no children of my own, so being with Andre helps me get a very good ‘vibe’ of what pre-teens are like, and what they’re going through. He keeps me in touch. And it gives me a sense of pride when he has a significant achievement at school or in sports.'" Read More