Could Your Child be a Bully?
Eva was a bully. Tall for her age, she used her height to intimidate her peers. She made fun of those without designer clothes and got suspended several times for fighting. She was also well-liked, outgoing, funny — and a victim of bullying herself. (via CNN)
Too Many Pills in Pregnancy
The thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s left thousands of babies with deformed limbs because their mothers innocently took a sleeping pill thought to be safe during pregnancy. (via New York Times)
Nine-Year-Old Rapper’s Adult-Themed Videos Prompt State Probe
A 9-year-old rapper’s adult-themed music videos are finding some new viewers — Massachusetts child welfare authorities. (via CNN)
Higher Levels of Several Toxic Metals Found in Children With Autism
In a recently published study in the journal Biological Trace Element Research, Arizona State University researchers report that children with autism had higher levels of several toxic metals in their blood and urine compared to typical children. The study involved 55 children with autism ages 5-16 years compared to 44 controls of similar age and gender. (via Science Daily)
Robert Gladden Jr. Sentenced in Maryland School Shooting That Wounded Daniel Borowy
A high school sophomore has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for a Maryland high school cafeteria shooting that injured a student with Down syndrome. (via Huffington Post)
State with the Highest Teen Pregnancy Rate is….
Teen pregnancy rates are highest in New Mexico and lowest in New Hampshire, according to a new report on the most current state-level data on pregnancy, birthrates and abortions among 15- to 19-year-olds. (via Fox News)
In other news, the Interactive Autism Network is also launching a nationwide survey that will study how bullying affects children with autism. Since children with autism are vulnerable and frequent targets of bullying, IAN is looking for parents to share their stories in order to educate teachers and school administrators.
Plus, a free new iPhone/iPad app called BeSeen is now available, geared for kids 11 and up. The mobile app acts as an educational game that simulates a social networking site. Kids navigate a school year through a Facebook-like environment, learning how to interact with others in positive ways, how to protect personal and private information, and how to guard against cyberbullying. Learn more about the product at PlayBeSeen.com.
‘Unions’ Empower Parents to Push for Reform
Shoehorned into a small living room in a South Los Angeles apartment, a dozen parents discuss why their kids’ school ranks as one of the worst in the nation’s second-largest school district.
When Your Baby Disappears — And All Eyes Turn To You
It can’t be any fun being the mother of missing baby Lisa Irwin right now. First, Deborah Bradley discovered her 10-month-old blue-eyed daughter was missing from the family’s Missouri home. Then, all eyes turned to her.
Bullied Boy’s Parents Warn of Devastating Effects
Daniel’s parents spoke Friday to hundreds at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center for the first annual South County Children and Youth Summit. Experts discussed bullying in school and on the Internet and substance abuse and drug awareness.
Can your little cutie be a little meanie in disguise? If your toddler pushes, hits, or hurts another kid, is he a bully and will he grow up to be one?
TODAY Moms has a fascinating article about whether pre-K kids should be labeled as bullies if they show aggression toward others. According to Dr. Heather Wittenberg, a child pyschologist and parenting expert for Parents who was quoted in the article, it’s typical for toddlers to be more aggressive, but they’re still too young to hurt someone deliberately, with premeditation. It’s not until age 6 when kids start to understand the concepts of power and right vs. wrong. Other experts disagree, saying toddlers understand the concept of bullying at age 4 — and it only gets worse from there.
Take our poll and share what you think in the Comments area — do toddlers understand what it means to bully?
Marlo Thomas, the actress and activist behind the “Free to Be…You and Me” movement that helped kids to be proud of their individual personalities and culturally diverse personalities, is speaking out against bullying.
Kevin Jacobsen, the father of a bullied teen, inspired Thomas when he wrote to her. Jacobsen had started a website, KindnessAboveMalice.org, in honor of his 14-year-old son, Kameron, who committed suicide in 2010 as a result of the bullying. In an article for the Huffington Post, Thomas urges parents to be more aware and involved in their children’s lives. After speaking to Kevin Jennings, the assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Education, the actress shares how certain questions can help parents determine if their child is being bullied:
Does your child not want to ride the school bus any more?
Does your child often wake in the morning complaining about stomach aches and asking to stay home from school?
Are your child’s friends not coming around so much any more?
Has your child stopped receiving invitations to parties?
The most important and helpful thing parents can do is initiate conversations about bullying, especially since most kids are ashamed and embarrassed to tell their parents. Instead of letting kids handle the bullying alone, parents need to step in and support them through every crisis and to continue carrying the “Free to Be” message of acceptance and tolerance.
The White House announced today that StopBullying.gov has been launched, a new government-funded website that will be an online resource for kids, parents, and educators that will explain bullying and cyberbullying and provide information on how to prevent and protect against bullying.
As part of the all-day White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, U.S. Secretary of Eduation Arne Duncan and Assistant Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Kevin Jennings, shared some of the initiatives that have been implemented to support schools across the nation dealing with bullying.
Since 2010, federal funds and grants have been provided to 11 schools with deep-rooted bullying problems, and the grants also include a survey for students give them a voice to address bullying openly. A “Dear Colleague” letter was also sent to schools to address how bullying violates civil rights and a memo was distributed to revise state policies on bullying.
With the launch of StopBullying.gov, the White House encourages parents to be vigilant about having open conversations and giving them guidance on bullying.
Since bullying (and cyberbullying) is an ongoing, escalating issue, the White House will be holding a conference call on Thursday, March 10 to address ways to prevent it.
Yesterday, the Office of the Press Secretary shared a statement that President Obama, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services will be holding a Conference on Bullying Prevention. The conference will be an open dialgoue for students, parents, teachers, communities, and others who have been affected by bullying or are working to stop it.