Friday, October 28, 2011

THS Students Combat Bullying with Mediation

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) October 14, 2011

"While the state's anti-bullying law is a new development, Trumbull High School already has a club in place to settle disputes.
Trumbull High School Crisis Intervention Specialist William Mecca and Associate to the Dean Dennis McLaughlin are co-advisers to the school's Peer Mediation and Peer Leader programs. There are also four student mentors who recently explained their role to the Board of Education. They provide proactive education and discipline students when disagreements reach the boiling point." Read More

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Supports the Drug Enforcement Administration's Nationwide Prescription "Drug Take-Back Day"

PR Newswire (Chicago, IL) October 27, 2011

"In a nationwide effort to prevent medication abuse and diversion by ridding homes of unwanted and unnecessary prescription drugs, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is again supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day taking place on Saturday, October 29.
'Unused prescription medicines that remain in homes can be misused or abused if they get in the wrong hands of children, family or friends,' said Allan Korn, M.D., BCBSA senior vice president and chief medical officer. 'The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide continue to make patient safety a healthcare priority and we encourage all Americans to take part in this nationwide event to help curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic. We commend the DEA's efforts of providing a safe and easy way for Americans to dispose of their unnecessary prescription drugs.'" Read More

Thursday, October 27, 2011

'Drunkorexia' common for college women; one in six skip meals to get drunk faster, save money

NY Daily News (New York, NY) October 19, 2011

"For many college women, drunkorexia is becoming a tradition.
Experts find that as many as one in six college women in the US skip meals to get drunk faster and 'make room' for alcohol calories, with three times as many women reportedly engaging in what's dubbed "drunkorexia" than men.
The phenomenon affects thousands of women, according to experts, and a team from the University of Missouri in the US is now underscoring the long-term health implications.
In findings announced Monday, researchers stated that 16 percent of those surveyed reported restricting calories to 'save them' for drinking. Motivations for drunkorexia include staying slim, getting intoxicated faster and saving money that would otherwise be spent on food to buy alcohol." Read More

WPD Officer Awarded for Drug Prevention Efforts

Windsor Patch (Windsor, CT) October 26, 2011

"On Thursday October 20, 2011, Officer Kari Tkacz of the Windsor Police Department, the School Resource Officer assigned to Windsor High School, received recognition from the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council (CASAC) at CASAC’s annual 21st meeting held at the Arts Exclusive Gallery in Simsbury, CT.
CASAC is a strategic catalyst tasked with collaborating with communities to reduce substance abuse and other risky behaviors through advocating for education, prevention, healthy decision making, and high impact programming in sixteen (16) towns of the Capitol Region." Read More

School Board Candidates Say How They Would Curb Bullying at Stratford Schools

Stratford Patch (Stratford, CT) October 27, 2011

"Reginias Davis left last night’s school board forum with about four pages of notes scribbled on loose leaf, the initials of the candidates marked in caps next to the paragraphs.
The Stratford resident was lucky enough to have had her question about school bullying answered by all five of the contenders -- only about a third of the questions, submitted via index cards, were addressed due to time constraints.
But after the forum held at the Wooster Middle School auditorium ended Wednesday night, Davis said she still wasn’t sure who she would vote for on Nov. 8. Moreover, Davis said she wasn’t satisfied with her question’s answers from the three Democrats and the two Republicans running for the Board of Education (BOE)." Read More

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Study: Soft drinks linked to violent tendencies in teens

USA Today, October 25, 2011

"Teens who drink lots of soda seem to be prone to violence, new research suggests. But the study authors concede that sodas are probably not the direct cause of the aggression.
While there's a chance that the sugar and caffeine from carbonated drinks contributes to violent behavior, the study shows an association, not a cause-and-effect. Soda consumption, for example, may be a marker of heightened violent tendencies already present in the teen, or of poor parenting, the researchers said.
'Soda (could be) a red flag that is indicating something else is wrong,' said study co-author Sara Solnick, an associate professor of economics at the University of Vermont in Burlington." Read More

Police: Four East Haven Stores Violate Liquor Law with Sale of Alcohol to Minor

East Haven Patch (East Haven, CT) October 25, 2011

"On Oct. 22, the East Haven Police Department and agents from the Connecticut Department of Consumer protection, Liquor Control Division, conducted unannounced compliance inspections of establishments that sell alcohol products.
The inspections were performed in an effort to determine compliance with state laws concerning the sale of alcohol to youth under the age of 21.
Under the direction and supervision of state investigators and police, an underage youth, supplied and trained by the Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking, entered the establishments and attempted to purchase alcohol." Read More

Brookfield celebrates Red Ribbon campaign

News Times (Brookfield, CT) October 25, 2011

"Police Chief Robin Montgomery wants to see a lot of red shoes, red scarves, red hats and even red lipstick around town. He wants to see red, not just because it's his favorite color, but because of its message.
Brookfield is one of many towns across the nation participating in the Red Ribbon Campaign this week, a visible public stand against abuse of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.
After federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent Kiki Cameron was murdered by drug traffickers in 1985, Congress started the National Red Ribbon Week campaign as a way to increase community awareness of the need for early and continued abuse prevention efforts, according to a news release from the Brookfield Substance Abuse Coalition." Read more

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Connecticut High School Play's Gay Kiss Scene Causes Uproar

Huffington Post (Hartford, CT) October 21, 2011

"The media's recent acknowledgment of gay bullying in schools hasn't caught on across the board. This week, during a Connecticut high school's performance of a play involving a kiss between two male students, several audience members walked out; the unhappy viewers included a number of uniformed members of the school's football team, which principal Adam Johnson described as 'almost symbolic.'
The students at the Hartford Public High School were performing the musical 'Zanna, Don't!', a fictional story of a high school where academic excellence determines popularity and while homosexuality is the norm, heterosexuals feel compelled to hide their love." Read More

Bullying survey spurs town action

Norwich Bulletin (Colchester, CT) October 24, 2011

"Students, parents, community groups and town and school officials in Colchester are putting the results of a recent town survey on bullying into action.
The April survey, given in April to students in grades 5-12 and offered on the town’s website garnered about 2,000 responses.
'We were very encouraged by the participation,' said Diane Hettrick, a resident who volunteered in 2010 to head the town’s anti-bullying task force. '(Bullying) is in the news all the time.'
The results of the survey, presented Tuesday to the Board of Education, will be shared with the Board of Selectmen next month.
In it, 58.6 percent of respondents said they feel bullying is a problem in Colchester, with 9 percent citing it as a 'big problem.'" Read More

School Board Reviews Proposed Policy On Bullying

Hartford Courant (Glastonbury, CT) October 24, 2011

"The board of education on Monday began discussing its proposed bullying prevention and intervention policy, intended to give teachers and administrators more power outside school grounds and in cyberspace.
By Jan. 1, the board must approve the Safe School Climate Plan, part of the state legislature's anti-bullying law that gives school officials more power to intervene when a student is harassed or threatened by electronic means, even if the bullying occurs off school grounds.
Under the plan, Assistant Superintendent Rosemary Tralli would become the plan's coordinator with principals at each school known as specialists. The principals would investigate or surpervise the investigation of reported acts of bullying and train staff to recognize it. A committee would be set up at each school to develop and foster a safe school climate and address issues related to bullying." Read More

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Niagara’s $100K pledge to mentor CT youths

Hartford Business Journal (New Haven, CT) October 20, 2011

"First Niagara Bank is pledging $100,000 to The Governor's Prevention Partnership to support mentoring programs that promote well-rounded development of Connecticut's youths, authorities say.
The Buffalo regional lender that this year bought out former NewAlliance Bank in New Haven also committed to help The Partnership recruit qualified mentors, specifically during National Mentoring Month in January.
Meanwhile, two Connecticut corporations -- Pitney Bowes and Webster Bank -- were honored by The Partnership for their ongoing efforts in assisting in the mentoring of the state youths." Read More

Gay-Straight Alliance: Speak up on bullying

Record-Journal (Wallingford, CT) October 23, 2011

"When Shaun Gilhuly joined the Gay-Straight Alliance at Sheehan High school as a freshman, he was one of a handful of members.
'We had about four or five people, and the first year, we didn't do too much,' Gilhuly said.
Now a senior, Gilhuly is president of the club, which has grown to 46 members. This school year, Gilhuly said the group is expanding its message, focusing on issues that affect not just lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered students. This year, the club has taken a stance against bullying, an issue Gilhuly said can only be tackled with student involvement." Read More

Prescription Drug Abuse Concerns Prompt New Tactics By Town

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) October 24, 2011

"For too many kids, prescription drugs are free, available, and sometimes no further away than the closest medicine cabinet in their home.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection says that one in five teens have abused prescription drugs, including oxycodone, which is a narcotic opiate like heroin. In addition to a whole series of physical problems, the use of oxycodone can lead to the use of heroin, since it is 'easier to get and less expensive,' according to literature from the state.
Another problem is that three in 10 teens think that prescription drugs are not dangerous." Read More

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pitney Bowes Receives Innovation Award from The Governor's Prevention Partnership

Market Watch (Stamford, CT) October 19, 2011

"Pitney Bowes Inc. today received the 2011 Partners in Prevention Innovation Award from The Governor's Prevention Partnership in Connecticut. The award recognizes more than two decades of work the company has done on behalf of Connecticut youth.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy will present the award to Pitney Bowes at the 21st Annual Governor's Luncheon in New Haven.
'We are proud to receive this award from Governor Malloy and The Governor's Prevention Partnership,' said Murray Martin, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Pitney Bowes. 'This award underscores our commitment as a global company to support the continued improvement of the communities where we live and work. On behalf of Pitney Bowes, I would like to thank the Governor and the Partnership for this great honor.'" Read More

AWARxE Launches 'Does a Drug Dealer Lurk in Your Medicine Cabinet' Ad Campaign

PR Newswire (Mount Prospect, IL) October 19, 2011

"AWARxE, a consumer protection program provided by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) Foundation, has launched a national ad campaign encouraging consumers to get informed and take action to protect their families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. By asking, 'Does a Drug Dealer Lurk in Your Medicine Cabinet?,' the ad campaign aims to motivate consumers to use AWARxE resources to obtain information about this public health threat affecting families and communities across the country, and to participate in prevention efforts. AWARxE highlights the importance of participating in the third Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 29, 2011, which gives consumers a means for getting unused, unneeded prescription drugs – including controlled substances – out of their homes and to an authorized DEA collection site for proper disposal, helping to prevent misuse of the drugs." Read More

Stamford High students speak out about bullying

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) October 19, 2011

"More than 150 Stamford High School students turned themselves into moving billboards last Friday, with their biggest insecurities plastered on otherwise plain white T-shirts, in an effort to break the silence around bullying in Connecticut's schools.
'It's one of those issues that people just kind of beat around the bush,' said Hannah Carlson, 16, a Stamford High senior and a member of the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council, which organized the demonstration. 'You don't really talk about it, and we wanted to get it out there and know that it happens in our school, and we need to stop it.'" Read more

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Katz brings message of drugs to city parents

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) October 12, 2011

"She usually tells the story to children: That of the well-liked boy who earned his black belt in grade school, played sports in high school and took honors courses at the University of Hartford before overdosing on heroin at the age of 20.
This month, however, Ginger Katz will bring the story of her son, Ian, to adults throughout Fairfield County with a drug prevention seminar called Courageous Parenting 101.
'Even if you think your children will never do drugs, you have to learn about everything they're going to be exposed to,' said Katz, founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation." Read More

Underage Alcohol Usage: Soaking Gummy Bears In Alcohol Is Newest Trend For Teens

The Huffington Post, October 12, 2011

"One of the scariest things about raising teens is the possibility that they might be influenced to drink. You can warn them of the dangers and consequences until you’re blue in the face, but sometimes, peer pressure gets the best of them. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than four million adolescents drink alcohol in any month.
And what’s more frightening, is how clever they’ve become about hiding the act from parents. Once upon a time, teens stole alcohol from their parents, so keeping a close watch on your own liquor cabinet was a fine way to curb the problem. But today, their creativity puts the old trick of refilling bottles with Sprite to shame. And the latest trend in undercover drinking is especially savvy – especially around Halloween time.
Teens are using gummy candy (bears and worms to be exact) to get drunk. They soak the candy in alcohol, reports." Read More

Mentoring program needs 30 mentors

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) October 12, 2011

"The Building Futures through Mentoring program on Tuesday night evoked the legacy of Richard N. Fuller Sr., the late local civic leader, to recruit much-needed mentors.
'We don't have 60 mentors yet. In addition to that, we're trying to encourage African-American men to get involved. We're doing that on the legacy of Rick Fuller,' said Darlene Young, program coordinator. 'We've got a lot of young black boys and Hispanic boys who are on a waiting list, who are waiting for mentors.'
Fuller died Aug. 31 at age 67 after a lengthy illness. Over the years, he served Norwalk and its youth as a teacher, a school board member and as the executive director of The George Washington Carver Community Center." Read More

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WWE Promotes Bully Prevention In Stamford and Abroad

Stamford Patch (Stamford, CT) October 12, 2011

"World Wrestling Entertainment and The Creative Coalition are two of many companies within the Be a STAR (Show Tolerance and Respect) Alliance, founded in Apr. 2011, which will work against school bullying during October's National Bullying Prevention Month.
'WWE co-founded the Be a STAR program with the Creative Coalition,' WWE Creative Executive VP Stephanie McMahon said. Besides Be a STAR, WWE's best known philanthropic effort may be its support of American troops, often doing shows overseas and providing free tickets in the U.S. for those currently serving." Read More

Middletown Parents to BOE: Stop the Bullying

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) October 12, 2011

"A Middletown teenager who was bullied at middle school is now grabbing national headlines.
HBO recently documented Monique McClain’s story after boxer Sergio Martinez took her under his wing. The 13-year-old was bullied at Woodrow Wilson Middle School nearly a year ago and hasn’t been back since.
'She went through a period of time where she was very depressed. She lost a lot of weight. She went from being the most popular kid to having no friends,' Alycia McClain, Monique’s mom, said." Read More

Teen drinking culture exposed

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) October 10, 2011

"Hours before high school students arrived clad in Saturday-night finery one day in September, strobe lights danced on the empty hardwood floors of the Arch Street Teen Center in cascades of red, blue and green as the room throbbed with the lyrics of 'Shots' by electro hip-hop group LMFAO: 'shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, everybody.'
Even in the strict alcohol and drug-free environment of the Greenwich teen center, which promotes a philosophy of 'party sober,' a glamorized view of drinking seems inescapable for teens. Over the past year, Arch Street witnessed eight instances in which students arrived drunk at events for high school-age teens, according to director Kyle Silver." Read More

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Danbury workshop focuses on 'epidemic' of prescription drug overdoses

News-Times (Danbury, CT) October 9, 2011

"Western Connecticut State University president James Schmotter told a story to 120 medical professionals on campus, reinforcing their need to be there.
'Three days after Hurricane Irene, we would have lost a young man to a prescription drug overdose if a police officer hadn't intervened,' Schmotter said at the start of a workshop Thursday night on prescription drug abuse that focused on opioids like Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin and Lortab.
'The point is that these are not evil drugs. They have a place,' said Elizabeth Jorgensen, of Insight Counseling in Ridgefield, who helped coordinate the program. 'But we're in the middle of an epidemic and people don't understand it. That's why we organized the workshop -- to get the word out.'" Read More

New cyberbullying law forces schools to intervene

Connecticut Post (Trumbull, CT) October 8, 2011

"All 28 Trumbull High students sitting in a circle jumped up when asked if they had ever heard a rumor for the first time on the Internet or through a text message.
Most jumped up again when asked if they had ever read put-downs online and they remained on their feet when asked if they felt powerless to do something about it.
The exercise was part of a daylong Anti-Defamation League training session for handpicked 'peer leaders' designed to train students in ways to stop bullying. It is one way Trumbull plans to comply with a new state law that requires school officials to intervene when cyberbullying occurs." Read More

Parents can help teens manage overscheduling stress

USA Today, October 10, 2011

"Lauren Biglow, a college freshman, once was one of those high school students with crazy, stressful schedules — high-level academics mixed with sports, clubs, community service, and way too little sleep, real food or unstructured fun.
But her parents, she says, were not part of the problem.
'I would come home overflowing with stress over the fact that I had so many things to do simultaneously. And they would say, 'This is crazy, listen to yourself. You need to take a breath, re-evaluate and decide what you need to cut down on.' '
Biglow and her parents did what a growing chorus of psychologists, educators and activist parents say is needed: They talked about school stress and did something about it." Read More

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Norwich schools teach kindness as antidote to bullying

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) October 6, 2011

"It took Luis Reyes a couple of days to draw the picture he hopes his classmates will remember forever.
The third-grader drew a picture of himself being bullied.
'It really happened to me,' Luis, 8, said of the drawing of kids throwing ice at him. 'It was mean. It made me feel sad.'
Luis was part of a school climate rally at Uncas Elementary School on Wednesday, where students learned about character, caring and kindness.
Schools district- and statewide celebrated Safe School Climate Awareness Day and will do so annually the first Wednesday in October. It’s part of Connecticut’s updated bullying legislation, and what the state calls a suitable public school observance to increase public awareness of the effects of bullying." Read More

Youth group sends parents a message about underage drinking

Middletown Press (Cromwell, CT) October 6, 2011

"Members of the Cromwell High School Youth Action Council are taking the lead in mounting an educational program that targets parents, telling them not to buy alcohol for their underage children.
The goal of the 'Responsible Hosting Campaign,' which kicked off Wednesday afternoon with an event at the Willowbrook Spirit Shoppe, is to dissuade parents from buying alcohol that they then intend to serve young people.
In recent years, a number of parents have begun buying alcohol for youthful parties rather than having the children buying – or trying to buy - their own. The parents say they can exercise better control of teen parties that way." Read More

Mayor's youth leadership council 'blows up' bullying with demonstration

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) October 6, 2011

"Fifty-six teenagers collapsed to the ground at Veterans Park in Stamford shortly after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. They remained there, silent and still, for 25 minutes.
Each minute that ticked away on the large clock tower on Old Town Hall just a few yards from the teens symbolized 1 percent of Connecticut teens who reported being bullied on school property in the 2009 Connecticut School Health Survey.
The demonstration was designed and carried out by the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council, the city's largest youth activism organization, which promotes safe schools and communities, with an emphasis on teen dating violence and bullying." Read more

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alcohol Abuse On Campus: Is the Administration to Blame as much as the Students?

Fox News, (Boston, MA) October 4, 2011

"It’s autumn, time for colleges across the country to confront the annual task of persuading incoming freshmen that there is, indeed, such a thing as too much alcohol. But despite their earnest efforts, the colleges continue to face an uphill battle.
Many universities now require students to begin taking alcohol-abuse education courses online even before the school year starts. Two of these programs, AlcoholEdu and e-CHECKUP TO GO (e-CHUG), are used on hundreds of campuses as a proactive tool against alcohol abuse." Read More

Stop Bullying and Speak Up

The Huffington Post, October 4, 2011

"There's nothing funny about bullying, but appealing to students' comic sensibilities might help open discussions about this serious subject. That's the idea behind the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Comic Challenge. During October, students and teachers can join a nationwide dialogue about bullying prevention that will play out through the engaging medium of comic strips.
Bitstrips for Schools, a popular online platform for using comics in education, is teaming up with the Cartoon Network to launch the comic challenge during Bullying Prevention Month." Read More

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day devoted to stop bullying

WTNH News-8 (Hartford, CT) October 4, 2011

"The first Wednesday in October is being designated as Safe School Climate Awareness Day.
Last spring the state legislature passed a measure strengthening Connecticut's bullying laws. The bill requires schools to increase public awareness of the effects of bullying and promote respect.
Two Hartford public schools are taking part in the awareness day. Classical Magnet and the Hartford Culinary Arts Academy will provide anti-bullying and anti-bias training to students." Read More

Fake pot legal, but dangerous

CT Post (Bridgeport, CT) October 1, 2011

"They go by names like Voodoo, Euphoria, Dead Man and Black Magic, offer a cheap high and are easily found at local tobacco and head shops.
The herbs and synthetic cannabinoids commonly known as K-2 and spice, also have a dark side, sometimes causing sweating, vomiting and even hallucinations.
Connecticut lawmakers have tried to regulate or outlaw the substances, but the makers and distributors of K-2 and similar products have confounded those efforts, altering the blend of substances or carefully labeling the products as not for human use." Read more

Facebook Pages May Offer Clues to Underage Drinking

Health Day News, October 3, 2011

"Facebook and other online social networking sites might be new weapons in the fight against underage drinking and alcohol abuse, a new study shows.
Researchers say verbal and visual cues on underage college students' Facebook profile pages can highlight their alcohol consumption and point out who's at most risk for abuse.
'Our job is to distinguish between drinking in a relatively safe environment, when it's not really a problem, from drinking behaviors that could lead to negative outcomes,' explained study lead author Dr. Megan A. Moreno, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison." Read More