Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 National Teen Survey Finds: Teens Regularly Using Social Networking Sites Likelier to Smoke, Drink, Use Drugs

PR Newswire (Washington DC) August 24, 2011

"American teens ages 12-17 who in a typical day spend any time on social networking sites are at increased risk of smoking, drinking and drug use, according to the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVI: Teens and Parents, the 16th annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia).
For the first time this year, the survey asked 12- to 17-year olds whether they spend time on Facebook, Myspace or other social networking sites in a typical day. Seventy percent of teens report spending time on social networking sites in a typical day compared to 30 percent of teens who say they do not. This means that 17 million 12- to 17-year olds are social networking in a typical day." Read More

They Should Have "Just Said No"

Clinton Patch (Clinton, CT) August 25, 2011

"Two Clinton establishments allegedly failed a state liquor compliance check conducted this month and will face a future administrative hearing.
Town and Country Market at 153 Glenwood Road and the new Ortega's Mexican Restaurant at 192 East Main Street allegedly sold alcohol to an underage person working under the guidance of the Department of Consumer Protection.
On August 11 in the early evening hours, agents from the Department's Liquor Control Division and officers from the Clinton Police Department were in town conducting a series of compliance checks of 18 establishments that sell liquor including package stores, grocery stores, bars and restaurants.
A volunteer minor who had been trained by the Governor's Prevention Partnership assisted with the checks." Read More

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teen Power Conference Tackles Underage Substance Abuse

Killingworth-Durham-Middlefield Patch (Durham, CT) August 22, 2011

"Durham Middlefield Youth and Family Services (DMYFS) teamed up with Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council (MCSAAC), East Haddam Youth and Family Services and MADD (Mothers Against Destructive Decisions) to hold a conference called 'Teen Power' on August 10-11. The conference’s goal was to empower teens to address prevention of underage drinking and substance use among their peers.
The middle school and high school teams came together with a common goal – a desire to make a difference for underage substance use in their school and community." Read More

Malloy signs new anti-bullying law

West Hartford News (Hamden, CT) August 22, 2011

"Gary Jones, regional director of the Connecticut Office of the Anti-Defamation League, joined Gov. Dannel Malloy at the State Capitol for the ceremonial signing into law of Public Act 11-232, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws, last week.
At the signing ceremony, the governor thanked ADL for its leadership nationally and in the state in confronting the bullying problem. He also noted that he was pleased that the Connecticut law now incorporates so many components of ADL’s model statute on bullying.
ADL has long been at the forefront of national, state, and local efforts to deter and counteract intolerance and hate. ADL’s diversity and anti-bias educational initiatives, reaching over 25,000 people each year in Connecticut alone, have shown the extent and scope of bullying in Connecticut’s schools." Read More

Laughter, Learning, and Leadership, An Eleven-Town Success Story

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) August 22, 2011

"On a recent summer morning in Madison, you might have noticed a large group of 60 teens on the Madison Green laughing, talking, thinking, cheering or eating ice cream from Papa Joe’s famous truck. What you witnessed was the first annual LEAD (Leadership Encourages Asset Development) Youth Conference, a day-long multi-community event to provide training and support to teach students to lead healthy lifestyle activities in their schools and communities.
Most of the approximately 60 teens participating from area towns already knew that the more developmental assets a child has, the less likely s/he is to use drugs and alcohol and they learned ways to implement activities to build community support for sharing that message." Read More

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Talking Points for Parents with Teens Going Back to School

PR Newswire (Wernersville, PA) August 10, 2011

"Whether teens are entering high school for the first time or advancing grades, heading back-to-school can be both exciting and stressful. As teens face new challenges, new environments and new social influences in heading back to school, these stressors can lead teens to experiment with illegal substances. Recent studies have shown high stress teens are twice as likely as low stress teens to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs.
'When parents and teens have open lines of communication and are able to speak authentically about the dangers of illegal substances, there is a dramatic reduction in the likelihood that teens will engage in this type of high-risk behavior,' explained Tammy Granger, student assistance program coordinator, Caron Treatment Centers, a nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment. 'Many parents underestimate the role they can play in preventing their teens from using drugs and alcohol, but an effective conversation can make a surprising amount of impact.'" Read More

Students Invited to Join Battle Against the Bullies

Bethwood Patch (Bethwood, CT) August 10, 2011

"The war against bullying in schools has just adopted a new and hopefully potent weapon against the social disease that leaves in its wake shattered self-esteem, fear, self-loathing, and all too often, suicide. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) today announced a new initiative called Students on Board: A Conversation Between School Board Members and Students that is designed to get school board members across the country talking with students about school 'climate', a buzzword for the quality and character of school life.
This new weapon? Oddly enough, it’s conversation and communication, and the focus of the dialogue will be the students themselves." Read More

CT schools crack down on bullying (Hartford, CT) August 10, 2011

"Kujuana Ezell and her husband moved to the upper class Hartford suburb of Glastonbury because it looked like a nice place to raise their children. That image was shattered when her 16-year-old daughter was targeted by bullies tossing the N-word.
'A student had called her the N-word. Wanted to know why so many N's were in her school. And she left the classroom, crying, upset of course and when she returned to the classroom after prompting by myself she sat at her desk, picked her head up to look at the teacher who was teaching the remainder 18 students in the classroom to find her name across the board saying 'Tiana is the N-word,' ' said Kujuana." Read More

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New School Bullying Laws Take Effect this Fall

Stamford Patch (Stamford, CT) August 3, 2011

"On July 27, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed new legislation requiring schools statewide to take a comprehensive approach to identifying and preventing bullying of students. Stamford Public Schools will begin reviewing its own bullying policies to become effective in the upcoming school year, said SPS Director of Student Support Services Mike Meyer to the Board of Education Tuesday evening.
The new legislation, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying, requires schools to explicitly define cyber-bullying, appoint a go-to person in the school for bullying complaints, know when to intervene if bullying occurs off school grounds, train all staff and faculty, collect data to assess the level of bullying in schools, and focus more closely on school climate." Read More

Bullying Takes Toll on High School Test Scores

HealthDay News, August 8, 2011

"Students attending high schools dominated by bullies are more likely to have lower standardized test scores, a new study shows.
In fact, researchers in Virginia found that schoolwide passing rates on three different standardized exams (Algebra I, Earth Science and World History) were 3 percent to 6 percent lower in schools where students reported a more severe bullying climate. The findings, they added, highlight the fact that bullying is a pervasive problem in schools." Read More

The 2011 Anti-Bullying Leadership Conference (Hartford, CT) August 5, 2011

"On August 10, 2011, Connecticut parents, students, teachers, administrators, and school board members will meet at the state capitol to discuss the consequences of discriminatory bullying in Connecticut schools and to propose positive solutions. Participating in the event will be school climate and bullying consultants to the Department of Education, Connecticut state legislators, attorneys from the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Program Manager from the Governor’s Prevention Partnership.
The conference also provides parents of students who have been bullied and students who have faced bullying in school the opportunity to speak out and share their experiences." Read More

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

East Haven mom charged with giving middle school kids booze; claims she was 'arrested on hearsay'

New Haven Register (East Haven, CT) August 2, 2011

"Police arrested a mother after she allegedly rented a limousine for her daughter and five friends to go to their recent graduation at Joseph Melillo Middle School, then gave them alcohol in the limo, according to police and court records.
She also later allegedly smoked marijuana with some of the kids at a beach in West Haven, police and court records said.
Lisa Marie Avery, 35, of 8 Maplevale Court, was arrested on a warrant Friday evening after a complaint was filed Wednesday, Deputy Chief John Mannion said." Read More

Communities, Officers Bond To Fight Crime

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) August 2, 2011

"About 250 residents of the Upper Albany neighborhood joined police and firefighters Tuesday evening for a National Night Out Against Crime event at the Wilson-Gray YMCA.
The annual community-building event included plenty of free entertainment and food, but the program also encouraged discussion of serious local issues and stronger police-community partnerships against crime and drug abuse. The Upper Albany event was one of several National Night Out events held around the city on Tuesday.
At the Wilson-Gray YMCA, speakers included teens from the YMCA's summer youth employment program who urged youths to avoid drugs, alcohol and violence. Representatives of local police and fire departments shared safety tips." Read More

Stamford's Bullying Policy To Include Teachers

The Daily Stamford (Stamford, CT) August 3, 2011

"A revised bullying policy for the Stamford Public Schools will address not just acts between students, but those by adults also, the Board of Education was told Tuesday night.
'School climate is all-encompassing,' said Mike Meyer, director of Student Support Services for the schools. He said the new policy will cover instances where teachers bully students, administrators harass teachers, and parents harass teachers and administrators.
Meyer said he has sought guidance from Jo Ann Freiberg, a consultant with the Connecticut Department of Education. Board President Polly Rauh added that she has called the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education to see what other districts have done." Read More

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bullying prevention initiatives take root across the nation

America's Promise Alliance, July 28, 2011

"Bullying has become a major issue in schools all across the country, affecting the emotional well-being of many students and leaving some afraid to attend classes at the risk of further victimization. Leaders ranging from the President to students have taken a stand on the issue, tackling the problem through a variety of campaigns, ads, initiatives and support networks aimed at ensuring the safety of all youth. These efforts have been successful in spreading awareness about the impact of bullying and have led to a greater focus on the need for bullying prevention measures in schools." Read More

Stickers to stop under-age drinking

WTNH News-8 (Old Lyme, CT) July 26, 2011

"A group of young people in Old Lyme are trying to get the message out about the dangers of under-age drinking by putting warning stickers on six-packs.
These stickers have been popping up on cases of beer and also on six packs of flavored alcohol drinks. Some people say these are the drinks young people like best.
Karen Fischer said, 'As you can see this wall here which is the primary source for young men who use it for binge drinking.'
Fischer is working with the Lymes' Youth Service Bureau to put stickers on cases and six packs all throughout Old Lyme. So far, they have stickered four thousand and counting.
Fischer said, 'I have spent a lot of time in coolers putting stickers on alcohol.'" Read More

Gov. Malloy signs new anti-bullying law

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) July 27, 2011

"Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law legislation that takes comprehensive steps to ensure every child’s right to learn in Connecticut public schools without fear of teasing, humiliation, or assault. The new law—Public Act 11-232, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying laws—takes effect immediately.
The law has its genesis in a November 2010 Commission on Children forum where more than 500 people heard the Obama administration’s point person on bullying, Kevin Jennings of the U.S. Department of Education, recommend that every school do the following: 1) adopt a clear policy against bullying behaviors; 2) train all staff who interact with students on how to observe, prevent, and stop bullying; 3) ensure that all staff members take immediate action whenever they observe bullying; and 4) gather data to assess the level of bullying in the school. The new law requires all of these steps." Read More