Category: Parental Rights/ Parenting

You Are Here Policing the Public Schools: How Schools Are Becoming Even More Like Prisons

In his book, Free To Learn, Boston College psychology professor Peter Gray makes the connection between school and prison. He writes: “Everyone who has ever been to school knows that school is prison, but almost nobody beyond school age says it is. It’s not polite.” It’s a prison in that young people are compelled to attend school by law, are unable to voluntarily leave, are told what to do and when, and are required to consume a standardized curriculum.

As if schooling was not already jail-like enough, adding armed police officers to the mix confirms the metaphor. In public schools across the country, police officers are increasingly present, costing taxpayers millions of dollars for a vague notion of safety. In fact, some estimates suggest that over two-thirds of high school students currently attend a school with a police officer on site.

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Disciplining Kids Without Yelling: Readers Tell Us Their Tricks

Is it possible to raise children without shouting, scolding — or even talking to kids with an angry tone? Last month, we wrote about supermoms up in the Arctic who pulled off this daunting task with ease. They use a powerful suite of tools, which includes storytelling, playful dramas and many questions

But Inuit parents aren’t the only ones with creative alternatives to scolding and time-outs. Goats and Soda readers sent in more than 300 tricks for getting kids to listen without raising your voice — sometimes without even saying a word.

This story is part of a series from NPR’s Science desk called The Other Side of Anger. There’s no question that we’re in angry times. It’s in our politics, our schools and our homes. Anger can be a destructive emotion, but it can also be a positive force.

Join NPR in our exploration of anger and what we can learn from this powerful emotion. Read and listen to stories in the series here.

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At School, a Test of Wills over Privacy

Biological boys may be walking into the bathroom, but in some states — teenage girls are walking out. From Nebraska to Alaska, students are tired of fighting school leaders to feel safe. And if local districts won’t listen to their concerns, and parents won’t stand up to school officials, then maybe they’ll pay attention to the student protests.

The rebellion started in Omaha, when a girl was sick of administrators ignoring her about the discomfort a teenage boy was causing in the girls’ room. Calling it “humiliating,” the girls say it makes them feel vulnerable to undress and share personal space with a student of the opposite sex. Late last week, they decided to prove it. By 10:30 a.m., Abraham Lincoln students started streaming out of the building. “We want our privacy,” some chanted. “One over all is not fair.”

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Teen Dating Violence Can Lead To Homicide — And Girls Are The Most Common Victims

Domestic violence is common among adults, and women are most frequently the victims. In fact, nearly half of women killed by homicide in the United States are killed by their former or current intimate partners. Now a new study finds that this kind of violence also poses a risk to the lives of adolescent girls.

The study found that of the more than 2,000 adolescents killed between 2003 and 2016, nearly 7 percent — 150 teens — were killed by their current or former intimate partners. Ninety percent of the victims were female, and their average age was around 17 years old. In almost 80 percent of the cases, the perpetrator was 18 years or older.

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I have been a school psychologist since 1978. I am trained to see the entire school as my client. Something that is bad for the school as a whole is likely to be bad for the individual components of the school, including students, teachers, administrators, counselling staff and parents. And about the worst thing to have ever happened to schools is the passage of school anti-bullying laws.

The New York Daily News of March 14 informs us about the filing of a court suit in the case of Abel Cedeno, a Bronx high school student who stabbed two students on September 27, 2017, killing one and seriously injuring another. Cedeno claimed he committed the attack because his victims had been bullying him. His lawyer, Tom Shanahan, is suing the New York City Department of Education for having failed to stop his client from being bullied. In other words, the murder is the fault of the NYC DOE.

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Teenagers and Sexting – More Common than You Think

In an unfortunate coincidence since my last article regarding Internet safety (, we had an issue at one of our local high schools of teens being solicited by an unknown person to send nude photos via digital apps. Obviously, the matter is being investigated and appropriate actions will be taken. The problem, however, goes deeper than finding out this particular solicitor. A quick Google search turns up many articles about teens and sexting going way back. On the first page was a CBS news article from 2009 about how common sexting was among teens. This has been happening for awhile and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Before I get into how to deal with this issue, let’s be clear on what sexting is. Sexting is the act of sending or receiving explicit photos or videos through electronic means such as text messages, email, or apps. In New York, it is a crime to ask anyone under the age of 17 to send explicit photos, and it is also against the law to possess an explicit photo of anyone under 16. In 2012, New York enacted a program whereby a teen accused of transmitting or soliciting nude photos of others could enter into an education/counseling program rather than go through criminal proceedings. Before this law went into effect, it was not unusual for teens to be processed as criminals and registered as sex offenders, or at least to face such a possibility before pleading to a lesser crime, if they solicited nude photos from their boyfriends/girlfriends or other peers, and/or shared pictures with others.

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Three Public Speaking Tips From a Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

f you’ve ever found yourself in the dreaded position of giving a school presentation, chances are you’ve heard this clichéd advice: “Just picture everyone in their underwear.” Giving a class speech is something many students push through, red-faced and dry-mouthed, with the knowledge that it will be over in a few minutes.

In recent years, many are suggesting that quiet students shouldn’t be forced to speak in front of their peers. As an introvert myself, I understand that public speaking is scary and avoidance seems like a great option. But since avoiding something only makes anxiety worse, perhaps it’s time schools face(ed) public speaking fears head-on.

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