News & Views
NEWS & VIEWS JUNE 2004
May 28, 2004, 16:34
PARENTS DEMAND JUVENILLE JUSTICE CHANGES
(Apr. 6, 2004) WBAL- TV11 News reported www.thewbalchannel.com on another negative allegation regarding conditions within the Maryland juvenile justice system. Protestors hit the street in Baltimore declaring the state system to be sub-par and demanding change. Demonstrators said children continue to get hurt and fail to get needed services. As the Juvenile Justice Coalition and others push for change, state lawmakers are considering an overhaul.
INVESTIGATION UNRAVELS GROUP-HOME PLAN
(Apr. 7, 2004) The Miami Herald reported www.miami.com that a house in San Bernardino, CA where James Otis McIntyre planned to open a group home has it's own checkered history as does it's owner. McIntyre was arrested Mar. 29 on a $30,000 warrant for driving on a suspended license, four days before his lease began on the house. He planned to move the Ministerial Christian Academy, a school he had operated in Montclair and Pomona to the leased home. Authorities shut down that school on Mar. 30 as Montclair police investigated charges of child abuse, sexual assault and fraud.
HUNDREDS OF CHILD ABUSE CASES AT DETENTION CENTERS
(Apr. 11, 2004) A story originating from the Associated Press and published online reported www.news4jax.com more than 600 cases of youth abuse and neglect have taken place at Department of Juvenile Justice facilities in the state of Florida. Nearly two-thirds of these cases have taken place since 2000. The department oversees about 8,500 youth offenders at nearly 200 facilities. Eighty percent of the juveniles in custody are at long-term facilities, the majority of which are run by private contractors.
SD REFORM SCHOOL TO REOPEN AS PRIVATELY OWNED
(Apr. 19, 2004) The Aberdeen News reported www.aberdeennews.com that a state run reform school, closed down for the death of a girl in the female boot camp, will reopen as a privately owned facility.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS CALLED UNSAFE FOR CHILDREN
(Apr. 23, 2004) The Washington Post reported, www.washingtonpost.com an analysis published in the Lancet showed how the antidepressant drugs Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and Celexa increased the risk of suicidal behavior in children and provided no benefit. Co-author of the study, Tim Kendall, director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health in London, said the combined evidence illustrated they are ineffective, unsafe or both. Prozac was the only antidepressant to show a positive risk-benefit ratio for depressed children and did not carry an elevated risk of suicide. Pfizer Inc. denied charges they compromised the safety of children in the pursuit of profits.
DEPRESSION HAUNTS TEACHERS
(Apr. 30, 2004) The Toronto Star reports, www.thestar.com that depression is hitting teachers at a "scandalous" rate, causing a major public health crisis, according to a leading expert on mental health and the workplace. Bill Wilkerson, co-founder of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, said the battles over education "have poisoned the workplace of teachers so as to produce a major public health crisis in the classrooms of our schools." The sense of ever changing demands, combined with a lack of control, are key factors in causing depression, he said.
POLL: STUDENT CHEATING PREVALENT
(April 30, 2004) The Associated Press reported, www.detnews.com that a national poll in Washington indicated more than seven out of 10 teenagers say students in their school cheat on tests, and almost as many say cheating on homework is widespread too. The poll determined that peer influence is a factor, and those with friends who have cheated are more tempted and more likely to cheat themselves.
MISTAKES SCHOOL DISTRICTS MAKE
(May 2004) Robert K. Crabtree, in an essay on a web site hosted by Pam and Pete Wright, of Wrightslaw Special Education law, www.wrightslaw.com, asserts that anything a school system does to undermine parents' trust creates a climate that is costly in dollars, time, peace of mind, and the quality and success of services given to the child. He explains some of the most significant school system mistakes at www.fetaweb.com.
MISTAKES PARENTS MAKE
(May 2004) Robert K. Crabtree, in an essay on a web site hosted by Pam and Pete Wright, Wrightslaw Special Education Law, www.wrightslaw.com, states that because the stakes are so high, it is difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need. Crabtree's essay covers some common mistakes that undermine parents' ability to obtain appropriate services: www.fetaweb.com.
SOFT DRINKS CAUSING INCREASED FRACTURES & BROKEN BONES?
(May 2004) In a press release from Tiffany Gardner at the PR Group, 727-447-4992 ext#201, firstname.lastname@example.org, recent statistics from the National Institute of Health show bone fractures among children and young adults are increasing. Experts say it is, in part, due to the vast amounts of soft drinks consumed by children. "The acids found in popular soft drinks are literally dissolving the bones of our kids," says Dr. Cathy Carlson-Rink, a Naturopathic physician in Canada."The ingredients not only block calcium absorption, but also work to dissolve the calcium in the bones and teeth. So supplementation of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and other vitamins is vital." When adolescent bones should be growing stronger and thicker they are actually becoming more brittle. Visit the web site at www.bonehealth101.com, for more detailed information. Soft drink consumption has increased more than 1,000 percent during the last two decades among children.
EARLY DETECTION--KEY TO HELPING DYSLEXICS
(May. 1, 2004) The Arizona Republic reported, www.azcentral.com that dyslexic children who remain undiagnosed by age eight will struggle with reading and writing for the rest of their lives, according to researchers. It's much harder to remediate people after the age of eight because their brains become much less malleable," said Marj Jones, executive director of the Arizona Literacy and Learning Center offering tutoring for dyslexics.
OBESITY AND BULLYING LINKED
(May 3, 2004) CBSNEWS.com reported, www.cbsnews.com on a study that appeared in the May edition of Pediatrics showing "Overweight adolescents are more likely than normal-weight children to be victims and perpetrators of bullying" suggesting "being fat endangers emotional as well as physical health." Comparing studies from British, Canadian and US researchers, the study found child obesity rates in these three countries are rapidly increasing and not slowing down. The implication for emotional health is that it "may hinder the social development of overweight and obese youth."
PARENTS BEWARE: COLD MEDICINE IS NEW ADDICTION
(May 3, 2004) WFS TV in Montgomery, AL reported, www.wsfa.com that Coricidin cold medicine contains a drug called Dextromethorphan or DXM, which may cause hallucinations, slurred speech, stumbling and even death. Kids call the Coricidin pills skittles, red devils or triple-c's because the pills are red with a triple-c logo. It's considered so addictive that some kids are now stealing it. Some drug store chains are considering moving their Coricidin tablets behind the counter.
BAPTIST ACTIVISTS PULL KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL
(May 4, 2004) The WorldNetDaily Exclusive reported www.worldnetdaily.com on a resolution supporters hope will make it to the floor of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting next month, which calls for "all officers and members of the Southern Baptist Convention and the churches associated with it to remove their children from the government schools and see to it that they receive a thoroughly Christian education, for the glory of God, the good of Christ's church, and the strength of their own commitment to Jesus." Bruce N. Shortt, a home schooling dad, says the biggest problem he faces in pushing the resolution is that Christian parents are in denial about the dangers of government schools.
TEACHING TEENS MODERATE DRINKING IS HARMFUL
(May 4, 2004) In a Washington Post article www.washingtonpost.com, the author Jay Matthews describes the harm caused by the American philosophy that teaches teenagers to drink responsibly. The National Institute of Health study showed that 40 percent of people, who drink by age 15, would become alcoholics at some point in their lives. The research indicates people are not ready to drink until their early twenties. The law and science say the same thing independently -- don't drink until 21.
RISE IN BLOOD PRESSURE AMONG CHILDREN CITED
(May 5, 2004) The Washington Post www.washingtonpost.com reported on a study reflecting how the increased numbers of overweight or obese American children in the past decade is also accompanied by a disturbing rise in their blood pressure levels. To spur parents and physicians into screening children more aggressively, and begin treating warning signs early, federal officials are beginning to revise the guidelines doctors use to diagnose and treat high blood pressure in children and adolescents.
(May 5, 2004) Rick Kamel, with R. K. Public Relations, Chicago, IL, 312-775-8399, email@example.com, in a press release referring to sources such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, and the National Academy of Scientists Institute of Medicine, said that "the teen workforce numbers 4 million during the summer months." "Teenagers are twice as likely to receive injuries on the job as adults." "Most injuries occur in retail stores, restaurants and grocery stores - where 2/3 of all teenagers work." "Nationally, 65 teenagers die annually from workplace injuries." "Nationally, 70,000 teenagers receive treatment in emergency rooms for workplace injuries." "Nationally, 140,000 teenagers receive medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries." "Teenagers often don't receive appropriate or adequate job safety training."
RISKY BUSINESS CONFERENCE
(May 5, 2004) Mike Donahue, founder of R5 Productions, www.amestrib.com talks about his risky Business Conference which is presented each year by Youth and Shelter Services. The conference is sponsored by Mary Greeley Medical Center; Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Network for Youth Services; Prevention Concepts and the Hawkeye Project; and the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development to bring together students, parents and at-risk youth professionals in sessions to talk about reaching young people. "R5 Productions has toured the country for nearly a decade, speaking to some half-million students."
TRIAL SET FOR DIRECTOR OF BOARDING SCHOOL
(May 5, 2004) The Waynesville Daily Guide reported that www.waynesvilledailyguide.com (the story is now archived at the above link) Nathan Day, director of Calvary Baptist Church and Boarding Academy in Devils Elbow, will stand trial on four felony child abuse charges on May 5. Day allegedly beat a 16-year-old boy from Illinois. In the petition filed by boy's mother, there were several incidents of abuse while her son was in their care. The mother said her son received excessive physical and mental injuries while in the care of Day's boarding school. The boy had been a resident of the school since April of 2002.
SCHOOL TESTS WIDELY FLAWED
(May 8 2004) The Starbulletin.com, starbulletin.com reported a study published last year that documented numerous errors by testing companies, including mistakes that led students to be denied diplomas. While giving the Hawaii State Assessment this spring, teachers and test coordinators discovered several errors, including missing pages and mistakes in instructions. Sample questions given to some students had incorrect answers, which could have thrown off the children's confidence and concentration, and taken away time from the rest of the test as they puzzled over them.
ELEMENTS OF STORYTELLING
(May 17, 2004) Brigitte Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org, PR Dir. for Quill Driver Books, Sanger, CA, 559-876-2170, reviews www.expertclick.com in a press release the basic elements found in all successful movies, novels and other stories. Referring to mythologist Joseph Campbell, she explains stories are best received when they have these elements since readers and listeners seem to be able to better relate to them. These are of course the same elements found in Emotional Growth/ Therapeutic Schools and Programs when they develop Rites of Passage, or even level systems, especially when a creature in the wild characterizes each level progressively. These elements include starting with the hero's ordinary world, a call to adventure, his/her reluctance, mentor, tests and challenges and supreme ordeal, mission accomplishment, road back, changed by his/her experience, return with the object and often the hero no longer fits in his/her old world and has to move on.
STAGGERING FAIL RATE IN SPECIAL ED
(May 19, 2004) The New York Post, www.nypost.com reports that New York City's special-education students are being left behind. New state statistics on the achievement of Big Apple students with learning disabilities in 2003 showed a shockingly abysmal performance, with only 3.5 percent of the eighth-graders passing the English exam and five percent passing the math test. Elementary and high school special-ed students performed better than those in middle school. But still, the overwhelming majority of special-ed students are not meeting state standards.
FRIENDS FACTOR IN EARLY ALCOHOL, DRUG USE
(May 19, 2004) The Toronto Star, www.thestar.com reported on a Statistics Canada study that determined that friends play the biggest role in whether adolescents will experiment with drugs and alcohol. Youth, between the ages of 12 and 15, who reported that all or most of their friends had used alcohol, were nearly 11 times more likely to have been drunk in the past year than those with fewer friends who drink. And their odds of using drugs were 33 times higher if their friends used them.
GRADUATE SUPPORTED BY FOSTER HOMES
(May 23, 2004) The Grand Rapids Press in Michigan reports www.mlive.com on the success of some foster homes in taking struggling teens from abusive homes and helping them obtain high school diplomas and a chance at a decent life.
DHS RAIDS SCHOOL; 40 GIRLS REMOVED
(May 21, 2004) The Mississippi News and The Associated press, reported www.clarionledger.com 40 teenage girls were removed from Bethel Girls Academy, a privately run church-based home for at-risk youth in Petal, MS. The state Department of Human Services took custody of all the girls at the academy. Academy Director Herman Fountain, Jr. said he didn't know what was happening. "They said something about alleged abuse and that they needed to investigate," he said.
30-ACRE PROPERTY AVAILABLE
(May 24, 2004) Don May, Business Development Specialist in Boise, ID, 208-890-0270, dmay@DonaldMay.biz, announced the availability of 30 acres in south Idaho for school or treatment center development. The property used to be the Southern Idaho College of Education. The college at one time housed 500 students. The main buildings, constructed of brick and stone, seem to be sound, though the interior needs extensive renovation due to being vacant for several years. Through the availability of urban renewal monies, private donations and other resources for economic development, May feels there is sufficient supplemental funding to renovate all the buildings and campus if an individual or program is serious about investing in developing a program there. Pictures of the property are available at www.albionacademy.com. Both Larry Stednitz, 208-771-0369, email@example.com, and Lon Woodbury, 208-267-5550, firstname.lastname@example.org, have visited the property and would be willing to answer questions. The property is close to Twin Falls and Burley in south Idaho, and is surrounded by mountains and many outdoor recreational opportunities. The Urban Renewal committee has rejected the idea of housing a juvenile justice facility, being more interested in looking at programs for struggling teens or a residential treatment facility.