Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cigna Launches Drug and Alcohol Awareness Series

Market Watch (Bloomfield, CT) September 28, 2011

"Cigna has launched a free monthly drug and alcohol awareness series. These seminars will help people better understand the physical, mental and emotional signs of individuals who may be dealing with substance abuse, with an emphasis on child and teen substance abuse.
Registration isn't required and people can listen to the entire series or any individual seminar. Each seminar features an expert who will speak for about 45 minutes followed by a question and answer session. Playback of each seminar will be available for those unable to listen live." Read More

Connecticut education leaders take on bullying

WTNH News-8 (Farmington, CT) September 28, 2011

"State education leaders held an anti-bullying summit today in Farmington.
It's called 'School Climate and Bullying: Implementing the new Connecticut Anti-Bullying Legislation.'
More than 400 superintendents, principals and other administrators were at the Farmington Marriott. The conference focused on bullying in schools and how the new law affects Connecticut schools.
'This legislation is going to affect every student in every school in the whole state,' said Dr. Dennis Carrithers, CT Association of Schools." Read More

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Online Bullying Pervasive Among Young People, Poll Shows

Huffington Post (Washington D.C.) September 27, 2011

"Catherine Devine had her first brush with an online bully in seventh grade, before she'd even ventured onto the Internet. Someone set up the screen name 'devinegirl' and, posing as Catherine, sent her classmates instant messages full of trashy talk and lies. 'They were making things up about me, and I was the most innocent 12-year-old ever,' Devine remembers. 'I hadn't even kissed anybody yet.'
As she grew up, Devine, now 22, learned to thrive in the electronic village. But like other young people, she occasionally stumbled into one of its dark alleys." Read More

Teens at Smaller Schools May Delay Drinking

My Health News Daily, September 27, 2011

"Teens' positions within their school's social network may influence when they start drinking alcohol, a new study says.
The teenagers who started drinking over the course of the one-year study were the ones with the most popular friends and the most 'friends of friends.'
In addition, teens who attended schools with 'dense' social networks (with a high number of social ties between individuals) were more likely to start drinking than were those from schools with less-dense networks, the study found." Read More

SAMHSA awards $22.5 million to advance state substance abuse prevention planning

SAMHSA, September 26, 2011

"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced today 46 grant awards for $22.5 million over the next year to help states, tribes and territories enhance their substance abuse prevention efforts.
'We stand at a crossroads in our nation’s efforts to prevent substance abuse and addiction,' said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. 'The nation’s most recent survey data from SAMHSA shows an uptick in substance abuse in America. These new grants are designed to help states and better position communities to reach America’s young people before they become involved with alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco and abuse of prescription drugs.'" Read More

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

National Summit Brings Together Leaders to Address Campus Drinking, Drugs and Sexual Violence

PR Newswire (Bethlehem, PA) September 26, 2011

"Twenty years after the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act took effect, the nation's most prominent thought leaders on campus safety will come together to discuss the critical issues - binge drinking, sexual violence and general safety and security - facing colleges and universities.
The event 'Proceeding in Partnership: The Future of Campus Safety' will take place at Lehigh University on September 29th from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please go to the event web site (
Two of the summit's panel discussions focus on alcohol/drugs and sexual violence. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism College Task Force estimates that drinking by college students aged 18 to 24 contributes to 1,825 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year." Read More

Sleep-deprived teens engage in more risky behavior

MSNBC (Atlanta, GA) September 26, 2011

"The two-thirds of U.S. teenagers who get less than eight hours of sleep on school nights are more likely to smoke, drink and fight, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a survey of more than 12,000 teens, 68.9 percent reported that they sleep less than eight hours on an average school night.
In 10 of 11 categories, those students were more likely to engage in risky behavior than students who sleep more than eight hours on school nights, the study found." Read More

New Bullying Law Requires More of Wilton Schools

Wilton Patch (Wilton, CT) September 26, 2011

"At last week’s regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Tim Canty presented to the board an overview of anti-bullying requirements that must be enacted in all public schools for the next school year.
Legislative changes involve a redefinition of bullying, staff training in anti-bullying measures, the appointment of a 'safe school climate' (SSC) specialist and coordinator, and the establishment or designation of an existing committee to deal with bullying issues, according to a report issued to the Board of Ed authored by Superintendent Gary Richards and presented by Canty." Read More

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teenagers are in need of community, say psychologists

The Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) September 25, 2011

"A psychologist spoke of Ridgefield’s painful loss of three young lives this summer. The first selectman pleaded for parents’ help with the problems of young people — alcohol, drugs, depression, risk taking. And the audience heard about towns where a core of folks committed to simple, old-fashioned sounding virtues — loving families, caring neighborhoods, responsible role models, clear boundaries — had done the right thing often enough to have it catch on, gather momentum, and grow into a sense of community that helps young people to grow up healthy.
Not that the kids were without problems, but these communities helped young people develop the strength and resilience to get through problems." Read More

Mentors scarce in Norwich’s schools

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) September 26, 2011

"Ford Samedy wants to learn more about donating to local food charities.
So the eighth-grader at Teachers’ Memorial Middle School is calling out anyone who can guide him in the right direction.
;Mentors are supposed to help students and make them better,' Ford said. “And they’re supposed to help us get to know our community.”
Ford could be the poster child for Norwich Public Schools' new push for more volunteers and mentors — a pool officials have seen dwindle over the past few years." Read More

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bath Salts: a growing drug problem, September 22, 2011

"It's a drug disguised as something you may use every single day.
They're called Bath Salts, but not the ones you're thinking.
They are synthetic drugs, made to mimic the effects of a cocaine or heroin high.
These drugs were street legal just a few months ago, but a change in the law hasn't stopped people from abusing this latest form of designer drug.
With names like 'Ivory Wave' or 'Pure White' it's easy to think these are the Epsom salts used in a calming bath." Read More

Bethel parents learn how to combat bullying

News Times (Bethel, CT) September 22, 2011

"Mean texts. Starting rumors. Standing by while friends are cruel.
Harsh scenes by some college actors illustrated for parents an increasingly hurtful environment in schools for some students during a workshop the Bethel Bullying Task Force sponsored Wednesday at Bethel Middle School.
More than 100 people learned tips for talking to their children about bullying and saw some of the bullying behaviors.
'We need to work with the kids who are being bullied, with the bullies and all the kids witnessing it or we won't change the school culture,' said Kelly Mullins of the Danbury's Women Center, who presented the program." Read More

Federal Partners Celebrate Anti-Bullying Efforts and Pledge to Continue Work at Second Annual Bullying Prevention Summit

U.S. Department of Education (Washington D.C.) September 21, 2011

"Federal partners joined together today for the second annual Bullying Prevention Summit, a two-day event hosted by the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with eight other federal agencies that make up the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee. The event engages representatives from federal agencies, national organizations, parents, teacher and students to discuss and share progress on anti-bullying efforts across the country.
According to recently released data by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 70 percent of students play some role in bullying, whether as a bully, a victim or a witness, demonstrating the need for increased awareness." Read More

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 Family Dinners Report Finds: Teens Who Have Infrequent Family Dinners Likelier to Smoke, Drink, Use Marijuana

PR Newswire (New York, NY) September 21, 2011

"Teens Likelier to Have Access to Alcohol, Marijuana, Prescription Drugs When Family Dinners Infrequent
Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are almost four times likelier to use tobacco; more than twice as likely to use alcohol; two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future, according to The Importance of Family Dinners VII, a new report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA* Columbia)." Read More

Macdonough Elementary School recognized for exemplary school climate

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) September 22, 2011

"The Connecticut Association of Schools honored Macdonough Elementary School Wednesday morning with its Exemplary School Climate Recognition award.
'The people to praise and congratulate for this are the staff members, teachers and all the folks here in the Macdonough community who made this work,' Superintendant Michael Frechette said, regarding Macdonough and the unique learning community its exposing young students to.
As an effort to educate students on bullying and teach them how to be respectful and caring citizens, Macdonough has implemented a number of programs, including two programs unique to the school: the 5-year-old SURFS Ceremony and Walking Wednesday." Read More

Bullying? 'Not at Our School'

Montville Patch (Montville, CT) September 22, 2011

"At least two students at Montville High School say that the tragic suicide of a student last January has provided one silver lining – less bullying at the school.
Anne Jeon and Jordan Hartman said the bullying level has diminished since the death of Joseph Mendes, whose family claims that repeated and severe harassment at the school was the root cause of his taking his life.
'It was a transformational event – it kind of brought everybody together,' Jeon said of the suicide, following an after-school workshop Wednesday that aimed to consider ways to further curtail bullying among students." Read More

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New U.S. Study First to Show Less Physical Bullying in Schools

PR Newswire (Seattle, WA) September 20, 2011

"Schools using a bullying prevention program saw significantly less physical bullying and fewer teachers reporting fighting as a big problem, according to a study conducted by the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington to be released this week.
'Outcomes from a School-Randomized Controlled Trial of Steps to Respect: A School Bullying Prevention Program' compared schools using Committee for Children's Steps to Respect program with control schools and found 33 percent less physical bullying." Read More

Officials: Three restaurants sold alcohol to minors

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) September 20, 2011

"Three West Hartford businesses allegedly sold alcohol to minors during a recent compliance check, officials said.
The Department of Consumer Protection’s Division of Liquor Control and the West Hartford Police Department partnered with two youth volunteers trained and provided by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership on Sept. 16 to conduct a compliance operation in that town.
Eight establishments were tested for compliance. The volunteer youths entered the establishments and attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages. Of the eight locations tested for compliance, three allegedly failed by selling alcoholic liquor to the youths." Read More

Quiet aggression: Schoolgirl bullying remains under the radar

CT Post (Greenwich, CT) September 20, 2011

"Discarding the traditional image of the bully that 'lives on the playground and takes your lunch money,' Rachel Simmons is fascinated with the undercurrent of female aggression that pervades schoolgirl social interactions through rolled eyes, passed notes and Facebook posts where personal conflicts are broadcasted in a public forum.
Author of 'Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls' and a Teen Vogue relationship advice columnist, Simmons is fluent in "girl talk." Using that knowledge to help educate others, she lectured parents and teachers at Convent of the Sacred Heart Monday night and addressed 350 of the school's middle and upper school students Tuesday morning regarding bullying and social media." Read More

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Study Shows Significant Rise in Cigar Use Among Young Adults

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) September 19, 2011

"A new study in October issue of the American Journal of Public Health measures brand usage trends and the prevalence of cigar use among specific populations. The study, funded by Legacy, the nation's largest organization devoted to tobacco use prevention and cessation, is the first of its kind.
Cigars and cigarillos have become an emerging issue in tobacco control in recent years, in part because of their appeal to young people through lower prices and sweet flavors." Read More

Pledge to 'Stop Bullying: Speak Up' with new Facebook app, September 19, 2011

"There are bullies, victims and those who watch bullies harass victims and don't do much to stop it.
Facebook's Stop Bullying: Speak Up Social Pledge app addresses that third party, with the opportunity to take an 'interactive social media pledge.' You'll get a personal greeting and thank you from CNN's Anderson Cooper, and you can check out a video collection of mostly kid-centric celebs — Selena Gomez, the cast of 'Dude, What Would Happen?' etc. — speaking out, It Gets Better-style, against bullying." Read More

Windsor Public Schools Seeking 15 Adult Mentors For Elementary School Students

The Hartford Courant (Windsor, CT) September 19, 2011

"The Windsor Public Schools is seeking 15 adults to become mentors to students in the district's four elementary schools, and has scheduled two identical training sessions on October 12 and October 20 for interested volunteers.
'We have a dedicated core group of mentors in the Windsor Public Schools, but need more adults who can give as little as an hour a week to make a positive difference in the life of a child,' explains Mike Greenwood, coordinator of the Windsor Public Schools Mentoring Program. 'There always is a need for a caring adult in a child's life and it takes very little to be an effective mentor. A mentor needs to be willing to play games or pursue other mutual interests and, mostly, be there to listen - simply listen - to the student. You don't need to advise or counsel,' notes Greenwood. 'Your regular presence and willingness to listen tells a student you care and you are there just for from him or her.'" Read More

Monday, September 19, 2011

Schools Target "Cyberbullies"

Cheshire Patch (Cheshire, CT) September 16, 2011

"Students who tease or humiliate their classmates on the Internet could face discipline under a revised bullying policy introduced by the Cheshire Board of Education.
The proposed policy widens the definition of bullying to include 'cyberbullying' and would require schools to deal with off-campus bullying -- including comments made online -- if it 'creates a hostile environment at' or 'substantially disrupts' school.
The changes bring the district in line with Connecticut's new anti-bullying law, which took effect in July. The school board gave first reading to the policy Thursday night." Read More

Number of Kids Poisoned by Household Medications Up 28 Percent

ABC News, September 16, 2011

"Every year, half a million kids age 5 and younger get into household medications and are poisoned. Though parents tend to believe that these tragic accidents will never happen to their kids, Dr. Randall Bond, a leading advocate for better prescription drug safety in the home, is proof that it can happen to anyone.
'We had a bottle of Sudafed in the top shelf of the cabinet in our bedroom, and we thought our children would never get into it,' he says. 'But sure enough, we had guests over and my daughter, who was 3 at the time, opened all the drawers, climbed onto the counter, and opened up the medicine cabinet and started to take it.'" Read More

A Conn. teenager speaks out about bullying

WFSB Channel 3 News (Wethersfield, CT) September 16, 2011

Watch the news story here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Statement of Beer Institute President Joe McClain on the HHS Survey Showing Record-Low Level of Teen Drinking

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) September 14, 2011

"Today, Beer Institute President Joe McClain issued the following statement on the release of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which showed the rates of underage drinking declined to record-low levels:
'Findings from the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health demonstrate the collective efforts of many – including parents, educators, retailers, community leaders, law enforcement, elected officials and members of the beer industry – are having a positive impact in reducing underage drinking. Just last week, we, along with our member companies, proudly announced our continued support of the federal government's 'We Don't Serve Teens' program to help parents and other adults effectively talk about the subject of underage drinking with teens. Efforts like these contribute to the record-low levels of teen drinking we are seeing, but there is still more work to be done. This positive news should only embolden our efforts to continue helping teens make responsible choices.'" Read More

New Study on Parents' Perception of Teen Drug Use

WIBC 93.1 (Indianapolis, IN) September 14, 2011

"A new study talks about parents' perception of alcohol and marijuana use among teenagers.
The study from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital says that 10 percent of parents think their own teens drank alcohol in the last year and five percent think their teens smoked marijuana in the last year but people with teenagers say 60 percent of other teens have drank alcohol and 40 percent have smoke marijuana. Clinical psychologist Dr. Greg Sipes explains the statistics." Read More

District Takes Aim at Bullying

Fairfield Patch (Fairfield, CT) September 15, 2011

"The Fairfield school district's new policy on bullying, 'policy 5330,' debuted in its first read to the Board of Education Tuesday to wide praise, with some criticism and suggestions.
Under Connecticut’s Public Act 11-232—or, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws—signed into effect by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in July, each district was recommended to create and adopt a clear policy on bullying behavior." Read More

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program Proven Successful in Helping Parents Talk with Their Kids

PR Newswire (New York, NY) September 13, 2011

"A new study demonstrates the successfulness of a prevention program that educates and equips parents and other caregivers to be better able to deal with their teens on drug and alcohol issues. Its results were announced today by The Partnership at
The program, Parents360 Plus, is the latest innovation in PACT360, the law enforcement-led community education initiative developed by The Partnership at with grant funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The study was an independent evaluation conducted by Community Science, an award-winning research and development organization. The key findings of this study show that parents who received the intervention training had significantly greater increases in the important measures of knowledge of substance abuse and related resources, and in self-efficacy (or confidence in their ability) in communicating with their teens on this topic than did control group parents who did not receive the intervention." Read More

Northwest Connecticut coalition formed to fight underage drinking

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) September 13, 2011

"McCall Foundation, The Northwest Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking and the Harwinton Burlington Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking kicked off their 2011 - 2012 campaigns with an integrated marketing campaign that includes a billboard located at the Torrington Post Office, school programs to educate both parents and students, T-shirt giveaways in all participating schools, law enforcement activities and an innovative 'street team' approach.
'We know that teens are influenced by their friends. For this reason, we chose the ‘street team’ approach. We pick positive peer role models to influence their friends to make good choices. Teens on the street teams will be helping us promote our message which is that underage drinking isn’t cool or safe and that many other kids are saying no to alcohol. The street teams will distribute T-shirts at community and school events. The shirts have slogans such as ‘Think Don’t Drink’ - they use a positive approach to reducing underage drinking,' said Kevin Pettit, Program Supervisor." Read More

New STOP Cyber Bullying Campaign to Combat Cyber Abuse Epidemic

PR Newswire (Philadelphia, PA) September 13, 2011

"Learning By Grace is pleased to announce the launch of it's STOP CYBER BULLYING CAMPAIGN with a FREE resource for the online homeschooling community called Stop Cyber Bullying ( Learning By Grace defines cyber bullying as 'the intentional use of digital content to lie, deceive, harass, threaten, mock, shame or bully a minor' and cyberharassment as 'the same behaviors directed towards adults or companies.'
The Stop Cyber Bullying website is packed with information to help students and educators combat the newest epidemic gripping our country. Cyberharassment can be life threatening; it can destroy reputations and businesses. Over 30 teenagers have died as a result of cyber bullying. Children are not the only victims of cyber abuse; cyber harassers target adults as well. In an age where anyone can post anything about anyone with almost complete immunity and anonymity, the future of reputation and the future of privacy is being questioned." Read More

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School Bullies Beware: New State Law Puts You in the Hot Seat

Bethwood Patch (Bethwood, CT) September 8, 2011

"It used to be that bullying began when students got on the school bus in the morning and ended when they got off the bus at the end of the school day. Today, thanks to the modern conveniences of text messaging and social media, bullies know no off-hours; they have around-the-clock access to their victims.
Yesterday afternoon, state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven), state Sen. Joseph Crisco Jr. (D-Woodbridge), along with Superintendent of Amity Schools John Brady, held a press conference to highlight the features of a new state law that went into effect July 1 that clamps down on cyberbullying." Read More

Students launch year of activism with weekend demonstration

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) September 12, 2011

"Amid a blur of music and passersby, Pavlina Schriel stood frozen in place.
It was the second night of the Oyster Festival, where visitors browsed a sea of vendors, flaunted glittering face paint and carried deep-fried pizzas through Veterans Park.
Yet Schriel only carried a sign, unmoving for nearly 20 minutes.
'Silence can kill,' it said. 'Raise your voice about bullying in Connecticut.' 
The teenager was among 50 students from the Center for Youth Leadership at Brien McMahon High School who participated in a spur-of-the-moment demonstration Saturday, seeking to raise awareness about issues like bullying, teen dating violence and the link between animal cruelty and child abuse." Read More

Alcohol Ads Still Reaching Youth on the Radio: Industry's Voluntary Standards Remain an Issue

PR Newswire (Baltimore, MD) September 13, 2011

"Almost one out of 11 alcohol radio ads in 75 markets across the nation in 2009 failed to comply with the industry's voluntary standard for the placement of advertising, according to the latest analysis conducted by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In 2003, trade groups for beer and distilled spirits committed to placing alcohol ads in media venues only when underage youth comprise less than or equal to 30 percent of the audience, since 30 percent of the audience is 20 years old or younger." Read More

Monday, September 12, 2011

Andrew Fleischmann Named President and CEO of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters

West Hartford Patch (West Hartford, CT) September 8, 2011

"William J. Carew, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, announced Wednesday that Andrew M. Fleischmann has been named President and CEO of the organization following a nationwide search.
Fleischmann has represented West Hartford's 18th district in the state legislature since 1995. He currently serves as Chairman of both the Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Education, with a record of advocacy in favor of providing Connecticut's children with access to high quality education." Read More

Study: Children more likely to drink and drive if parents drink

USA Today, September 10, 2011

"Parents who drink -- even moderately -- may increase the risk that their children will drive under the influence as adults, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Florida found that about 6 percent of teens whose parents drank even occasionally said they drove under the influence when they reached 21 years of age. Meanwhile, only 2 percent of those whose parents did not drink drove under the influence at 21, according to the report published online and in the November print issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention." Read More

School bullying is officially on notice

Wilton Bulletin (Wilton, CT) September 12, 2011

"Something important to think about, however unpleasant as the new school year begins: A recent study by Yale University researchers found that bullying victims are between two and nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. Suicides claim 4,000 teenagers annually. Add to this the findings of a recent study by the National Education Association: 42% of students claim they have been bullied by means of the Internet.
'The rise of cyber-bullying has made student victims fearful in their own homes,' said state Sen. Toni Boucher.
To address the new venue for bullying head on, Sen. Boucher and other colleagues spearheaded new legislation in Hartford, 'An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws,' last spring. It is due to go into effect this school year." Read More

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some Kids Seem to Cope Better With Bullying

HealthDay News, September 2, 2011

"Children’s social goals help determine how they respond to being bullied and whether their responses are effective, researchers say.
The new study included 370 second- and third-graders who were asked how they respond to other students’ aggression, how often they were bullied and about their social goals.
The researchers created three categories of social goals: wanting to gain social skills and develop strong relationships, such as learning how to be a good friend; wanting to be seen positively by others, such as having 'cool' friends; and wanting to minimize a negative image, such as being viewed as a 'loser.'" Read More

White House ONDCP strategy targets prescription drug abuse

American Pharmacists Association, September 6, 2011

"Framing illicit drug use as a public health threat and drug addiction as a preventable and treatable disease, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has released the 2011 National Drug Control Strategy with three policy priorities: reducing prescription drug abuse, addressing drugged driving, and preventing drug use before it begins.
The 108-page drug strategy was released July 11. It is divided into seven areas, including two focused on health care—'seeking early intervention opportunities in health care' and 'integrating treatment for substance use disorders into mainstream health care and expanding support for recovery.' The details of the prescription drug abuse policy align with a White House plan issued April 19, Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. Both the ONDCP drug strategy and the interagency epidemic plan use education, tracking and monitoring, proper medication disposal, and enforcement in their approach to prescription drug abuse, which both documents call the nation’s 'fastest-growing drug problem.'" Read More

Beer Institute Supports the "We Don't Serve Teens" Program for the Fifth Consecutive Year

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) September 6, 2011

"The Beer Institute (BI) and its members today announced their support for the federal government's 'We Don't Serve Teens' program for the fifth consecutive year. Launched in 2007, the campaign provides parents and other adults with educational tools to help reduce illegal teen drinking.
'As an industry, brewers and importers are actively engaged in numerous partnerships at the local and federal level to address underage drinking and help parents effectively talk about it with their teens,' said Beer Institute President Joe McClain. 'Parents are the leading influence on their children's decisions about alcohol, and the beer industry is committed to giving them, as well as their communities, the tools they need to help teens make responsible choices.'" Read More

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Q&A: Lessons learned by Don O'Day, school board chairman

Westport News (Westport, CT) September 6, 2011

"During the last year, Don O'Day has worked through a lengthy syllabus as the chairman of the Westport Board of Education.
Along with Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and other town officials, O'Day worked to secure an agreement last June to start a cost-saving initiative to consolidate municipal and education services. The town's education administration now handles municipal mailroom operations and the town's Voice-Over Internet Protocol system. If subsequent consolidation measures are enacted in areas such as human resources and payroll, the town could save approximately $500,000." Read More

Teaching Parents About the Dangers of Alcohol

Milford Patch (Milford, CT) September 6, 2011

"A provocative program about the dangers of alcohol -- built into Foran High School’s Freshman Orientation -- was hailed as “an eye opener” and 'powerful' by parents who attended.
The program -- punctuated by tears and applause -- was developed and funded by The Milford Prevention Council and the Milford Public Schools. It is considered to be so important that parents of freshmen were required to attend the presentation a couple of weeks ago. A parent’s absence will result in a written assignment for their child.
Recognizing the feelings of some parents that drinking is a 'right of passage,' Tanya Schweitzer, director of the Milford Prevention Council, brought out statistics gathered across the United States indicating the scope of damage that underage drinking can cause." Read More

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New 'cyberbullying' law poses challenges as school year starts

CT Mirror (Hartford, CT) August 30, 2011

"As students head back to school after summer vacation, educators, free-speech advocates and anti-bullying activists are gearing up for implementation of the state's new 'cyberbullying' law that will make on-line statements subject to academic disciplinary proceedings.
The new law puts school officials in the position of having to pass judgement on off-campus speech with little legal precedent to guide them, some expert say. If they clamp down on online comments, they risk First Amendment challenges. If they're too lenient, they could be deemed responsible if cyberbullying leads to tragedy." Read More