Recognizing the warning signs for teen bullying, suicide

School officials need to do more to make parents aware of the stress that today’s teens and tweens face.

Mainstream media outlets have coined a new term to describe the rash of student suicides committed in the wake of persistent school bullying and harassment: “bullycides.”

The issue has spawned significant new research to determine whether the phenomenon is really new, or simply being reported more often. Either way, school officials need to do more to make parents aware of the stress that today’s teens and tweens face.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 12 percent of all deaths among youth and young adults in the U.S. result from suicides.…Read More

Coach: iPhone app helped save a player’s life

Phone Aid is an iPhone app that guides users through the CPR process.

A quick-thinking high school basketball coach and a $1.99 iPhone application called Phone Aid are being credited with saving the life of a Southern California teenager who collapsed during practice.

Xavier Jones stumbled, stopped, and went down the day before Thanksgiving at La Verne Lutheran High School, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The senior’s heart apparently had stopped and he wasn’t breathing, but head high school basketball coach Eric Cooper and assistant coach John Osorno administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and were able to get him breathing again.…Read More

Dept of Ed: Some bullying violates federal law

Tolerating, not adequately addressing, encouraging or ignoring harassment based on race, color, disability, sex or national origin can indicate the violation of civil rights statutes.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is warning schools: Tolerating or failing to adequately address ethnic, sexual or gender-based harassment could put them in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

After several high-profile cases of bullying, ED is sending letters to schools, colleges and universities across the country on Oct. 26, reminding them of their federal obligations.

Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights, said ED was responding to what it senses as a growing problem within schools.…Read More

Doctors eye health hazard in powerful laser pointers

Doctors warn that laser pointers could cause eye damage.
Doctors warn that laser pointers could cause eye damage.

A 15-year-old boy damaged his eyes while playing with a laser pointer he’d bought over the internet, say doctors who warn that dangerously high-powered versions are easily available online. One eye expert called it “a legitimate public health menace.”

The boy’s case is reported in the Sept. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by doctors who treated him at the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland.

It follows two reports in June of similar accidents. British doctors said a teenager damaged his eyes with a high-powered laser pointer, and a British physician said his vision was affected for several months after he was zapped by his 7-year-old son.…Read More

Keep after-school events safe

School Resource Officer_2311The start of a new high school football season is a reason to celebrate–but it also is a time for administrators to be on guard against those who find the games an excuse for criminal behavior. And it’s not just football that can lead to security problems on campus. The same can be true for dances, concerts, and other after-school activities. Fortunately, there are some steps that can help control a situation before it gets out of hand…