Should 8 years olds have cell phones?

According to the Daily (United Kingdom) (September 17,2015) an eight-year old girl uploaded sexually explicit video of herself on to the Internet according to police. A 12-year-old boy also sent naked snapshots of himself to a 13-year-old-girl. And a 15-year-old girl sent explicit messages to an 18-year-old man.

 Many children see sexting as harmless fun, but it is illegal and can leave young people vulnerable to blackmail or attract the attention of sex offenders. Children can send sexual images of themselves in an instant. They often don’t really think about the consequences.

They send these pictures to a girlfriend or boyfriend but these images can quickly end up being shared widely in school and online. Depending on the country, sending naked pictures of children below the age of consent (generally 18) are subject to imprisonment.

We need to try to avoid criminalizing children wherever possible and aim to educate them (and their parents) in order in order to protect them from harm.





Distracted Driving and Teenagers

Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and over 1,000 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. (1) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that  in 2015 “Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.” According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distraction was a factor in 58 percent of 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders. Distracted driving includes activities such as using a cell phone, texting, and eating while driving. Using in-vehicle technologies like navigation systems or stereos, can also be a source of distraction. Engaging in any of these activities while driving poses a crash risk, endangering the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as other drivers.

From The Child Safety Network


Have A Great Summer

Enjoy your Summer Break. Catch up on all the “stuff” you’ve put aside. Books, movies, and relaxing. Catch up on the family’s doings.


I will still be writing and doing workshops in Georgia and Florida. Check engagements on this website. If you are in either place, stop by and say hello.



Number of Teenagers Attempting Suicide Double

From 2008 to 2015, the percentage of children ages 5 to 17 hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions more than doubled, according to data presented  at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco. The study looked at data on suicidal or self-harm diagnoses from 32 children’s hospitals across the United States.

Researchers found 118,363 instances from 2008 to 2015. Accounting for 59,631 (50.4 percent) of the incidents were 15- to 17-year-olds. Twelve- to 14-year-olds accounted for 43,682 (36.9 percent) of them, while 5- to 11-year-olds accounted for 15,050 (12.7 percent).

Over time, the percentage of young patients hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, rather than other ailments, more than doubled. In 2008, 0.67 percent of patients were admitted with suicidal thoughts or self-harming behavior. By 2015, that percentage had increased to 1.79 percent.

The research also revealed a sharp increase in these incidents coinciding with the beginning and ending of the school year — with a respite during the summer.

The report cited a number of factors that could lead to suicidal thoughts such as bullying and abuse, said it is unclear what, exactly, is responsible for the rise. Atlanta-based psychologist Avital Cohen opined that it may have to do with greater stress placed on children today alongside the rise in social media and, with it, cyberbullying.

The research did not look at completed suicides, which was the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24 in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, the rate of suicide deaths among children between the ages of 10 and 14 has doubled since 2007.

The presentation comes as discussions of self-harming behavior among teenagers are on the rise due to Netflix’s original series “13 Reasons Why” based on the bestselling YA novel by Jay Asher. The show is centered around the fictional suicide of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who left behind several cassette tapes (13 sides altogether) laying blame for her death on various actions or inactions by different students. The series culminates in a graphic scene showing Baker slitting her wrists and bleeding to death, which has angered many anti-suicide advocates. Headlines, such as Rolling Stone’s “Does ’13 Reasons Why’ Glamorize Teen Suicide?” appeared across the Internet. As The Washington Post’s Bethonie Butler reported, “Experts advise against sensational headlines or describing a suicide in graphic detail, which studies have shown can lead to suicide contagion, or ‘copycat’ suicides.” Nonetheless, Netflix renewed the show for a 13-episode second season, set to air in 2018.


Nearly 60% of Children Read for Fun

According to the Associated Press, 58 percent of children between the ages of 6-17 say they read for fun.

The ages 12-14 had the biggest drop, from 61 percent to 50 percent, while ages 15-17 improved from 50 to 54 percent.

Forty percent of families say they begin reading to children when they were three months old or younger.

“Harry Potter” is a favorite  and “Junie B. Jones” and the “Diary of Wimpy Kid” are favorites as well.

With this information in mind, consider suggesting to students and parents that they read over the summer. Ask the children in your classes to suggest additional books that they enjoy.


Newly Published Article on Team Building in Education

I have been notified by Ed Circuit that an article I wrote for them, “Critical Team Building Components” has just been published. Here is the link, 

Critical Team-Building Components


Teacher Recognition Week

May 8 begins Teacher Recognition Week. What is your school, district, parents doing to show that they appreciate teachers?


The Freshman Success & Reaching the Wounded Student Conferences

I have been selected to present 3 workshops at the National Dropout Prevention led Conferences to be held at the Rosen Hotel in Orlando from June 25-28, 2017.


Auburn University, 2017 Anti Bullying Summit

I am honored to have been selected to present two workshops at the 2017 Auburn University Summit to be held at the Wyndham @ Peachtree City, GA.

  • Wednesday – June 21: 1:45PM to 3:45PM Eliminating School Bullying


  • Thursday – June 22: 8AM-10AM Helping All Students Graduate

If you are attending this conference, please come up and say that you saw this on my website.


Children Falling Behind Before They Ever Enter School

According to Atlantic (4/24/2017) “By the time kids are two years old, research shows they already display achievement gaps based on race and socioeconomic status”.  That is before they ever enter school. (Emphasis added)


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