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Trump Meets State Local Officials on School Safety


  1. Federal Commission on School Safety Releases Comprehensive Resource Guide for Keeping Students, Teachers Safe at School



President Donald J. Trump established the Commission and tasked its members


WASHINGTON—After months of research, visiting successful programs around the nation, and receiving testimony from experts and concerned citizens, today the Federal Commission on School Safety (Commission) released a 177-page report detailing 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country.

Utilizing the information gathered, the Commission report offers a holistic approach to improving school safety, ranging from supporting the social and emotional well-being of students to enhancing physical building security. Acknowledging there can be no one-size-fits-all solution to this complex problem, the final report serves as a resource guide for families, educators, law enforcement officers, health professionals, and elected leaders to use as they consider the best ways to prevent, mitigate, and recover from acts of violence in schools. The recommendations are based on efforts that are already working in states and local communities.

Federal Commission on School Safety Releases Comprehensive ...


Dec 18, 2018 - links to resources created and maintained by other public ... identified in this guide is purely voluntary, ... After learning from students, parents, teachers, school safety person- nel, law ... to keep students safe as they pursue their futures at school. ..... for high school students.12 DHS also recently released.


Federal school safety report makes policy recommendations January 3, 2019 Chris Yu NEWS 6 VIDEO!


A federal commission has released a new report that makes recommendations on ways to keep students and teachers safe.

President Donald Trump established the Federal Commission on School Safety after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018. That shooting happened less than a month after the shooting at Marshall County High School on Jan. 23, 2018.

The commission — comprised of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen — spent nine months attending meetings, visiting schools, and holding listening sessions to get input from law enforcement officials, educators, and those affected by school violence, according to Department of Education news release.

National PTA’s Response to Federal School Safety Commission Report


ALEXANDRIA, Va., (December 18, 2018)—Today, after eight months of public input, commission meetings and field visits across the county, the Federal School Safety Commission released its report on ways to keep students safe at school. The report includes several recommendations aligned with National PTA positions and A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools – joint recommendations written and endorsed by our nation’s leading education stakeholders and practitioners – on improved access to school-based mental and behavioral health services, threat assessments protocols, comprehensive school safety plans, and role of school resource officers (SROs).

However, we would have liked to see the Commission include common sense proposals to limit youth access to firearms, strengthen background checks, fund gun violence research efforts, and ban assault weapons. Our association believes any effort to improve the safety of our nation’s youth must be comprehensive and include gun safety and violence prevention measures.

Do the recommendations from the school safety commission go far enough? Dec 18, 2018 6:20 PM EDT PBS

 Citing a "holistic" approach to school safety, a federal commission led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has released proposals on student mental health, cyber bullying and discipline. For different perspectives on the report, Amna Nawaz talks to Catherine Lhamon, former assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education, and Jeanne Allen, CEO of Center for Education Reform. 

Too Much Screen Time Can Have Lasting Consequences for Young Children’s Brains


Growing data suggests that exposing young children to too much time in front of a TV or computer can have negative effects on their development, including issues with memory, attention and language skills.

In the latest look at the topic, researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics that more screen time is linked to poorer progress on key developmental measures such as communication skills, problem solving and social interactions among young kids over time.

Sheri Madigan, an assistant professor of psychology at University of Calgary in Canada, and her colleagues studied 2,441 mothers and children enrolled in the All Our Families study, which followed young children from ages two to five. Mothers reported on how much time their children spent in front of a television or computer screen on a typical day, and also reported on developmental measures by answering questions about their children’s communication skills, behavior and social interactions. The data were collected at the start of the study, when the children were two years old, then again when they were three and five.

Many studies have looked at the connection between screen time and developmental issues at one point in time, but by following the children over many years, Madigan and her team could learn more about how screen time and development interact. For example, while some studies suggested that increased screen time might contribute to slower development, it was also possible that parents with children with behavioral issues and developmental delays might be more likely to use movies, TV or video games to calm or quiet their child.

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Madigan found that on average, the children in the study were spending about 2-3 hours a day in front of a screen. (The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that toddlers and young children spend no more than one hour a day watching quality educational programming.)

The researchers found that over time, children who spent more time using TV or computers did indeed show poorer performance on the developmental measures. But they did not find evidence that the opposite was occurring; it did not seem that children with developmental issues were more likely to spend time in front of a screen. The links remained strong even after they accounted for other factors that can influence developmental milestones, including parents’ education, how physically active the children were and whether parents read to their children regularly. “The results show that there is a lasting influence of screen time, especially when children are two to five years old, when their brains are undergoing a period of tremendous development,” 





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In Many States, High School Discipline Is Outdated

High schools across the country are stuck in the past and do little to help students address the causes of their wrongdoing.

By Simone Ispa-Landa and Heidi GansenMarch 20, 2019, at 6:00 a.m. 

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent

 While some tech parents assign limits based on time, others are much stricter about what their children are allowed to do with screens. 

 Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends. 

Tech billionaire parents advocate low-tech, fact check


image from a newspaper clipping has been circulating on social media, professing a limited use of technology for kids, advocated by the top tech giants in the industry.

The image, entitled “Tech Billionaire Parenting” is a portion of a quote revealing Bill and Melinda Gates’ (of Microsoft) children don’t have smart phones and only use the computer in the kitchen, Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook) wants his daughter to play outside instead of using Facebook’s Messenger Kids and Steve Jobs (of Apple) limited technology use in his own home.

Helping parents keep their children safe online


What age specific advice is available for my child? 

Whatever their age, we can help you to find out more about what your children might be doing online and give you some simple, practical and easy advice on the steps you can take as a parent to keep them as safe as possible.


Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs & Emotional Support Animals l Pet Wellness Series

In-class pets provide emotional and academic benefits by Ali


6PM: Dog being credited for increased test scores at Weber County junior highAlex Cabrero, KSL TV


SOUTH OGDEN — From the outside, South Ogden Jr. High School looks like any other school in Utah.

Even the inside isn’t out of the ordinary. That is, until you head to the library.

Students who go inside the library are getting better reading scores. It’s not that the books are different or even the assignments students are given.

“It’s magic. It really is,” said Kimberlee Irvine, who is an eighth-grade English teacher at the school. "I wish I could explain it, but it’s just pretty much Bentley magic.”

That’s right: Bentley.

Classroom Pets Stimulate Learning and Classroom animals are wonderful resources for teachers.



Pets Enrich the Classroom Experience

• Even kids with no exposure to animals or nature in their home environment can see, feel, touch and make connections to the wide world of animals.
• Observing and caring for an animal instills a sense of responsibility and respect for life.
• A pet brings increased sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others—both animals and humans.
• Kids learn that all living things need more than just food and water for survival.
• Students will see directly how their behavior and actions affect others.
• Studies show that the presence of animals tends to lessen tension in the classroom.

In-class pets provide emotional and academic benefits by Alisha Kirby


 JULY 27, 2015
In-class pets provide emotional and academic benefits
by Alisha Kirby
(District of Columbia) A survey of teachers across the U. S. and Canada shows having a pet in the classroom can help teach students empathy, respect and responsibility for living things, and boost leadership skills. 




AHA Study Shows Educational Value of Classroom Pets by petsintheclassroom All Pets in the Classroom





Phase I of “Pets in the Classroom” study by American Humane Association and Pet Care Trust surveys nearly 1,200 North American teachers, reveals that teachers see classroom pets having real educational, leadership and character-building value. Researchers designing second phase of study to measure effects of classroom pets on school children.

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2015 — A class hamster, guinea pig, lizard, or even goldfish can be fun and exciting for schoolchildren, but it also has real educational, leadership and character-building value, according to a new study published today by American Humane Association in collaboration with the Pet Care Trust. Phase I of the two-phase “Pets in the Classroom” study features surveys and interviews of nearly 1,200 teachers and reveals that having a class pet can teach children important values like compassion, empathy, respect, and responsibility for other living things, as well as give them much-needed leadership skills and stress relief. Certain challenges still remain, according to the study’s findings, like teaching children to cope with pet loss, the cost of ownership for teachers, and responsibility for the animal when school is not in session. The study’s objective is to advance the research of Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom program, which provides grants to Pre-K through eighth grade educators to adopt and provide ongoing care for small animals in their classrooms. The full report is available online at www.americanhumane.org/pets-in-classroom-study.

Teacher Testimonials – Back to School


 by | Sep 6, 2016 | Pets in the Classroom, Teacher, Testimonials

Did you know that when it comes to educational engagement, empathy building, character development, and community enhancement, teachers are seeing significant value in having classroom pets? Here’s what a few teachers are saying:

I teach in an inner city school, where there are many kids suffering from academic, social and emotional difficulties. Having a classroom pet for the students to take care of and love has helped many of these children. I think that the biggest benefit of having [Ruby the rabbit] is that she teaches empathy. My students often remind each other to keep the noise level down, because rabbits scare easily and the noise may be upsetting her. They have learned to be gentle and responsible when caring for the pet. When I was gone for a few days on a medical emergency, I did not have to worry at all about the well-being of Ruby. The kids carried on with their responsibilities and the substitute teacher was extremely impressed with their maturity and knowledge!
Meg Basker
Mishawaka, IN


 Active Minds' Creates Safe Space For College Students To Discuss Mental Health | NBC Nightly News ... 





  • Government urges parents to limit their children’s social media use to TWO hours at a time.Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies's formal guidelines come after content promoting suicide and self-harm was linked to death of Molly Russell, 14

CA Revenues flat in March, putting attention on April

(Calif.) Tax collections in March fell just short of expectations by $114 million, but state officials believe the shortfall is likely the result of fewer business days during the month compared to last year.

So far, actual revenue income has come in just over $62 billion for the fiscal year, which is about $3 billion less than estimates made late last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom in preparation for the release of his January spending plan.

How One Elementary School Integrates Social-Emotional Skills in the Classroom


Teachers at Lakewood Elementary find innovative ways to incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) into regular lessons.


At Lakewood Elementary, fourth- and fifth-grade students are reading a book and discussing the plot. One of the students suddenly raises a flag: He is keeping track of how long kids have been sitting (45 minutes). Teacher Kevin Davis says, “Time for a break! That sounds like a good idea.” He projects a video on the whiteboard, and students jog in place while shouting out answers to quiz questions. Once the activity is done, students celebrate: “We did it!”

'Concussion' doctor says kids shouldn't play these sports until they're 18

  •  Letting kids play football is akin to child abuse, Dr. Bennet Omalu says. See what other sports he believes are  

ou wouldn’t let your child drink a glass of cognac or smoke a cigarette, so why would you send him out on a football field to risk brain damage?

It’s a question Dr. Bennet Omalu — a forensic pathologist whose discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was portrayed in the Will Smith film “Concussion” — wants parents to consider as students head back to school.

He warns that children who play football, hockey and lacrosse could face a lifetime of health consequences and details his findings in his book, “Truth Doesn't Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports.”

“We need to develop more brain-friendly, healthier types of sports,” Omalu told TODAY. “We have elevated sports to the level of a religion. We’re in denial of the truth.”too risky. 

Imagination Celebration Reminds Us the Arts are Important. Are Schools Listening?


A 2006 study by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum found that arts education had measurable positive results in a range of literacy skills among students who took part in a Guggenheim program that sent artists into the classroom.

In the study, hundreds of third grade students in the New York City school system were interviewed. Some had benefited from the Guggenheim program, called Learning Through Art; others had not. The former group scored better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills — crucial cognitive areas such as description, hypothesizing and reasoning. 

A more recent survey by the Brookings Institute, released earlier this year, offered even more dramatic proof of the benefits of basic arts education.

Using Houston’s public school system as its laboratory, Brookings helped to roll out the first two years of a program called Houston’s Arts Access Initiative. More than 40 elementary and middle schools with over 10,000 third- through eighth-grade students participated. Students at 21 schools received, on average, 10 arts educational experiences across dance, music, theater, and visual arts disciplines during the school year. Those at the control-group schools did not.

The results were significant:

“We find that a substantial increase in arts educational experiences has remarkable impacts on students’ academic, social, and emotional outcomes,” the report concluded. “Relative to students assigned to the control group, treatment school students experienced a 3.6 percentage point reduction in disciplinary infractions and an improvement of 13 percent in standardized writing scores.”

Among elementary school students, the report noted other advantages among the kids who benefited from arts enrichment: “Increases in arts learning positively and significantly affect students’ school engagement, college aspirations, and their inclinations to draw upon works of art as a means for empathizing with others,” it concluded.



Researchers report a dramatic uptick and sustained increase in youth suicide after Netflix launched a controversial series about a girl who commits suicide.

While the study draws attention to a correlation between the debut of the series 13 Reasons Why and the increased incidence of suicide committed by young people, the study was not designed to prove causality.

The researchers found that in the month following the release of 13 Reasons Why in March 2017, suicide among American youths aged 10–17 spiked by nearly a third (28.9%)  and remained significantly higher for the remainder of the year.

All told, the report found that an estimated 195 additional youth suicides occurred from April until December 2017 compared to both previous projections and past data. 

Direct or indirect exposure to suicide increases the risk of subsequent suicidal behavior, known as ‘suicide contagion,’” according to the report. Young people appear to be especially susceptible to the contagion as they identify with a character such as the one portrayed in the show.

13 Reasons Why is based on the bestselling book of the same name and tells the story of   a high school student, Hannah, who kills herself after she has recorded 13 audio tapes giving thirteen reasons she has chosen suicide, citing everything from gossip to sexual assault to finding little support from her friends.

The series “gives an inaccurate depiction of suicide as a natural consequence of life events, glosses over mental-health issues and portrays nearly all adults as out-of-touch, leaving youth with nowhere to turn for help,” chief author of the study Jeff Bridge told The Columbus Dispatch.


REPLACE AB 2291, Chiu. School safety: bullying.WITH DAVIDS LAW FROM TEXAS !!!



AB 2291, Chiu. School safety: bullying.

Existing law, the Safe Place to Learn Act, requires the State Department of Education to assess whether local educational agencies have taken certain actions related to educational equity, including adopting a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on specified characteristics such as disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of the specified characteristics.
This bill would require local educational agencies, as defined, to adopt, on or before December 31, 2019, procedures for preventing acts of bullying, including cyberbullying. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law requires the State Department of Education to develop an online training module to assist all school staff, school administrators, parents, pupils, and community members in increasing their knowledge of the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying.
This bill would require the department to post on its Internet Web site the online training module developed by the department and an annually updated list of other available online training modules relating to bullying or bullying prevention. The bill would require a school operated by a school district or a county office of education and a charter school to annually make available the online training module developed by the department to certificated schoolsite employees and all other schoolsite employees who have regular interaction with pupils. By imposing additional duties on schools operated by a school district or a county office of education and charter schools, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.








Our mission is to provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength. 


We believe that many strengths are more powerful than one, and our united goal is to activate and mobilize these strengths in ways that positively change individuals and communities.

After CDC says it lacks data, Utah’s top school suicide program seeks study, expansion



PROVO — When school administrators ask Greg Hudnall if his teen suicide prevention program is “evidence-based,” he doesn’t hesitate.

Yes, he tells them. It is.

Hudnall's Hope Squads have become increasingly common in Utah schools, backed by state dollars as the teen suicide rate has risen to crisis levels.

Hudnall says Hope Squads, which train students to spot warning signs of suicide and refer their classmates to care, are informed by regular surveys of participants, as well as industry best practices and a cadre of local suicide prevention experts.

There are Hope Squads in 31 of Utah’s 41 school districts, he said, with nearly 7,000 student members. And that’s just in Utah. Hudnall said there soon will be Hope Squads at nearly 100 schools in a dozen other U.S. states and seven in Canada.

Study: Youth suicides increased after release of ’13 Reasons Why’ on Netflix



A new study indicates that youth suicides spiked nationwide following the 2017 release of the controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” about a girl who dies by suicide, leaving behind cassette tapes to explain the reasons she decided to end her life.

The study, led by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, says there were 195 more suicides than expected among youth ages 10 to 17 in the United States in the nine months after the show’s release on March 31, 2017.

Of those 195 suicides, 58 were in April 2017, said the study’s lead author, Jeff Bridge, who directs the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s.

That’s about 30 percent of the total, with the rest averaging about 17 suicides per month.

April 2017 also had the highest suicide rate among the age group in the five-year period analyzed (2013-2017), according to the study, accepted last week for publication by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Bridge said data not included in the report indicate it was the highest rate in at least 19 years.

Frisco Parents Learn David's Law Requirements From David's Mom



Maurine Molak's 16-year-old son died by suicide in 2016


She calls it her life sentence, living without her youngest son. Maurine Molak told the families gathered at Frisco ISD's administration building Monday night she hoped her story would spare them the same sentence.

"I want to talk to parents and I want to share my story and tell them about the things that I wished I had done differently," Molak said.

Molak's son, David, was a high school sophomore and an Eagle Scout in San Antonio. Molak describes him as a regular Texas teenager who loved Whataburger and basketball. She said she saw a change in her son during relentless bullying on social media. The family changed schools, but the bullying followed David.



 A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school. 


When you walk down a hall in my school, you may encounter our therapy dog, Boomer. There were originally reservations in our district about having a therapy dog, but now Boomer is one of the most sought after staff members for his ability to enhance many components of social and emotional learning (SEL).

I’m in my 25th year in education, and I believe in the necessity of teaching social and emotional skills—they really do help students thrive academically.

I’ve seen Boomer stop a child’s tears in record time, help a school-phobic kindergartner walk into school with enthusiasm, reset an anxious student’s day, ease test-taking tension, and bring smiles and laughter to everyone he encounters.


When the district first considered getting us a therapy dog, we were encouraged to raise questions and concerns. And before Boomer came, we did a pilot test with the high school’s therapy dog, Violet, and found her presence in the school to be extremely beneficial to our students. For example, Violet would come into the English language arts class while students were reading, and teachers noted that students were visibly more relaxed when she was present and that they took more risks in their reading.

For children ages 2 to 5, limit screen time to one hour a day


Bill to Require California School Districts to Limit or Ban Smartphone Way Through State



The proposal cites a ban would improve student performance and avoid mental health problems

Health experts say parents need to drastically cut kids' screen time


Children are spending way too much time in front of screens, says the American Heart Association, and it's urging parents to drastically cut the hours their kids are allowed to use their phones, computers, tablets, and video games.

Kids and teens age 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens. The new warning from the AHA recommends parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day. For younger children, age 2 to 5, the recommended limit is one hour per day.

Research has linked screen time with an increased amount of sedentary behavior in children and teens. While there is no longterm evidence yet to link screen time to an increased risk of health conditions like cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol, there is mounting evidence that it is associated with obesity, cardiologist and CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula explains.

Parenting: The endless battle over kids and screen time


Most of the time, Emry Santana is all smiles. The seven-year-old gets a big kick out of martial arts and Cub Scouts. But he’s a bigger fan of watching YouTube and he can’t get enough of the video game Roblox. He loves the iPad so much he never wants to get off it, not even if Alexa tells him to.

“It is an ongoing battle,” says Kyla Santana, a Fremont mother of two. “He ignores us when we tell him to put it away, wakes up early to use it in the morning before we get up, and tries to get extra time for doing extra chores or being extra helpful. He would do it all day long if we let him.” 

The battle over screen time between parents and kids is now being fought on more fronts than ever before as devices multiply, schools require children to use technology for homework and every place from the car to BART to the gas station has a screen. Kids under nine spend about two hours a day in front of computer, phone or television screens, an amount that has held steady in recent years, according to Common Sense Media.

In the Santana household, the rules of engagement are this: Kyla sets limits and Emry tries to break them. Officially, he’s allowed one hour of screen time a day during the week, more on weekends. But none of it is enough for him.

“I believe too much screen time is detrimental, so I do feel strongly about maintaining limits on it,” says Santana, who works as an occupational therapist for the Contra Costa County Office of Education. “It takes away from time kids need for physical and imaginative play and social interaction.”

Pediatricians continually warn about the dangers of too much tech use. But as life in the Bay Area gets more high-tech, it’s hard for parents to hold their ground.  Experts say many children get handed iPads before they turn 1, which the American Academy of Pediatrics frowns upon. The academy recommends limiting screen use to an hour a day for children ages 2 to 5. For older children, doctors advise that children get at least one hour of exercise before they log on to a device. Otherwise, the screen takes over the day.

Screen time and children — How to guide your child


Screen time and children — How to guide your child

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Screens are everywhere. As a result, controlling a child's screen time has become much harder for parents. To complicate matters, some screen time can be educational for children as well as support their social development.

So how do you manage your child's screen time? Here's a primer on guiding your child's use of screens and media.

Screen time guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use, except for video-chatting, by children younger than 18 to 24 months. If you want to introduce digital media to children ages 18 to 24 months, make sure it's high quality and avoid solo media use. For children ages 2 to 5, limit screen time to one hour a day of high-quality programming. As your child grows, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work as well. You'll need to decide how much media to let your child use each day and what types of media are appropriate.

The problems with screen time

Unstructured playtime is more valuable for a young child's developing brain than is electronic media. Despite the fact that many digital media programs claim to be educational, children younger than age 2 are more likely to learn and remember information from a live presentation than they are from a video.

By age 2, children can benefit from certain types of screen time, such as programming with music, movement and stories. However, passive screen time shouldn't replace reading, playing or problem-solving. Co-view with your child to help your child understand what he or she is seeing and apply it in real life.

Also, it's crucial to monitor the shows your child is watching and the games or apps he or she is playing to make sure they are appropriate. Avoid fast-paced programming, which young children have a hard time understanding, apps with a lot of distracting content, and violent media. Eliminate advertising on apps, since young children have trouble telling the difference between ads and factual information.

As your child grows, keep in mind that too much or poor quality screen time has been linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Irregular sleep schedules and shorter duration of sleep
  • Behavioral problems
  • Loss of social skills
  • Violence

BEHAVIOR PSYCHOLOGY TOXICOLOGY Brain size and shape can morph in response to stress, new study finds


Childhood stress can leave changes in the adult brain

Should Students Be Fined For Using Cell Phones?

 Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 6:00pm

On Monday, the Kewaskum School District was denied its request to allow students to be ticketed for repeatedly breaking its rules regarding the use of cell phones. We talk with the district superintendent about the scope of the problem, how its proposal would have worked and how it's going to proceed.


Dr. Melissa Westendorf discusses technology overuse in adults with The Morning Blend


Dr. Melissa Westendorf, co-founder of Technology Wellness Center discusses how we need to take action as adults, address our own technology use and be good role models for our kids.




Time to Play: More State Laws Require Recess

  • Unstructured playtime is making a comeback in schools as frustrated teachers, parents, and advocacy groups demand legislative action.
  • By Brittany ShammasMarch 7, 2019 



 After overcoming a family background rife with addiction, psychologist, attorney and concerned mom Dr. Lisa Strohman, examines the science emerging from society’s newest vice: technology.  In her passionate and inspiring talk, Dr. Strohman explains how technology overuse impacts developing brains, and shares hope in a successful approach that demonstrates how the power of awareness and education can help prevent it.  Dr. Lisa Strohman is the founder and director of the Technology Wellness Center and the Digital Citizen Academy. She is one of the foremost experts in the field to address the global issue of technology addiction and overuse through parent and educator resources, trainings, and education; as well as prevention and diversion programs for kids. She has worked in addiction and brain research for Congress, the FBI, and most recently as an attorney and clinical psychologist. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedxSHOW MORE

Resources and Articles



Teachers Turn to Classroom Pets to Teach Social and Emotional Skills

An article published by EdSource Magazine discusses how classroom pets impact students by teaching social and emotional skills, such as self-awareness, self-management, responsibility and relationship building. The article, “With increased focus on students’ social and emotional skills, teachers turn to class pets to help lead the way,” showcases classroom activities around classroom pets and the impact they have on the students.


Science Says Your Pet Is Good for Your Mental Health

A recent article published by TIME Magazine discusses how scientific studies are showing the value of animals for improving health and well-being. The article, “Science Says Your Pet Is Good for Your Mental Health,” reviews some of the studies and the various effects different animals had on people.  From rabbits helping reduce anxiety, to fish helping with focus, to guinea pigs helping with socializing, the article provides great insight into the impact animals can have in the classroom.

students' social and emotional skills, teachers turn to class pets to help l


  While there is no single statewide curriculum for social and emotional learning, there are guidelines specifically created for preschool and elementary school by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. The guidelines state that effective social and emotional learning programs begin in preschool and continue through high school. One example is a program called “Second Step,” which can help students to learn empathy, friendship skills and problem-solving. Teachers can use games, themed activities and class discussion to implement it. The California Preschool Learning Foundations, a set of pre-kindergarten guidelines for teachers, also includes an overview of social and emotional development. 

 For the youngest students, who are still learning how to express themselves with words, class pets often teach empathy and what it means to be responsible. But lessons on social and emotional skills do not end in kindergarten. Even as students get older, class pets help to reinforce responsibility, self-confidence and cooperation, teachers said. 

#SaveTheKids packs Snow Canyon High: ‘Most important app for your child is you’




It’s not every day you see a dog in a library; especially a goldendoodle as docile and friendly as Bentley is.

“Awww,” several students say as they walk into the library and see Bentley.

Beyond petting a dog at school, though, it seems students who may not feel comfortable reading to their classmates have no problem reading out loud to Bentley. The research Irvine did backs it up.

Advertise with usReport this ad

“We’ve done data,” she said. “We’ve done studies, and the students that read with Bentley go up half a grade level in half a year more than the students who don’t. And that’s solid. That’s solid every single year.”

Maybe it’s because Bentley doesn’t care if a student reading to him is popular, athletic, or not.

“A lot of people go through their worst years during junior high,” said ninth-grade student Amanda Davies. “Just to have that friend come up to you and that’s not going to judge you and that’s not going to go away anytime that you make a mistake.”

Bentley just sits there listening to every word.

New Digital Citizen Academy Home Program With Dr. Lisa Strohman



Digital Citizen Academy is dedicated to improving the lives of students, parents and educators and to providing eresources, tools and knowledge needed to foster a healthy balance with technology. Our research-based education, prevention and diversion programs are professionally designed to inform, protect and support young children, teenagers and adults impacted by issues resulting from technology use and overuse. Programs are designed with age appropriate content and provide trackable and measurable data for school districts and organizations.


Dr. Lisa Strohman, psychologist, attorney, author, and mother established Digital Citizen Academy to help keep families safe from online dangers.

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Suzie Cary has devoted her career to educating, enriching, and improving the lives of children. A veteran educator, Suzie’s 35-year career has spanned the globe and allowed her to develop as a leader in teaching and administration, working in Alaska, Thailand, and Arizona.

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Joseph LeDuc serves as an advisor to Digital Citizen Academy, providing insight and guidance related to current laws involving children and internet crimes.

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i#SaveTheKids packs Snow Canyon High: ‘Most important app for your child is you’



ST. GEORGE — “How social media is destroying our kids” was the topic presented during an event attended by more than 1,000 Thursday night, where an internet crusader offered parents a lifeline to guard children against social media’s culture of perfection, and to empower parents in the battle to save their children from social engineering.

The event, which took place in a packed auditorium at Snow Canyon High School, featured Collin Kartchner and Katey MacPherson of #SaveTheKids, an organization created to save children and teens from the destructive impact that social media can have on their self-esteem and mental health, while helping parents to reconnect with their kids.

“Kids need our eyes and our love and validation more than ever before,” Kartchner said. “Showing your kids you love them is 2 percent effort and 98 percent just putting down your phone.”

The presentation was based on the premise that smart phones, too much screen time and social media’s negative effects are the underlying link to the epidemic rise in teen depression and anxiety, eating disorders, self-harming, thoughts of suicide and suicide itself.




Pediatricians urge parents to limit kids' "screen time". Mark Risinger, 16, of Glenview, Ill., is allowed to use his smartphone and laptop in his room, and says he spends about four hours daily on the Internet doing homework, using Facebook and YouTube and watching movies.

Fire Up Your Feet


 More than 100 Fire Up Your Feet awards were distributed to participating schools in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Metro Atlanta, Maryland, Oregon, SW Washington, Washington DC, and Virginia this spring. Read about some success story highlights.  Fire Up Your Feet offers free resources, an online activity tracker healthy fundraising and more, all aimed at increasing physical activity before, during and after school for students, parents, school staff and teachers. This year’s Fall Activity Challenge runs October 1 - 31.  Active students are healthy students. That’s why Fire Up Your Feet is once again recognizing schools across the country for their efforts to improve the health and physical activity of students, families and school staff. More than 480 schools and communities participated in the program’s fall 2016 challenge. They walked and ran, biked and jogged, and played soccer and basketball. Along the way, they gained a sense of accomplishment  





It wasn’t your ordinary art school exhibit on the window of the Loann Crane Center for Design at Columbus College of Art & Design on Wednesday.

A rainbow splatter of Post-it notes clung to the glass. On them were messages from students steering clear of technology for the day, instead posting to a different kind of wall.

The sticky sentiments ranged from relief, encouragement and doodles to temptation and honesty.

“The urge to check Twitter is strong,” read one note.

“Being unplugged for the day! It’s going to be good for my mental health,” read another.

“Finding a place to live next year” was on one student’s mind. Another sticky note simply read, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” with an optimistic smiley face.

The exercise was part of CCAD’s “Unplugged Day,” a student-led initiative to take a break from email, texts and social media.

“We’re encouraging students and faculty and staff to kind of take a tech blackout for the whole day,” said Mickenzie Willars, president of the CCAD Student Government Association. “It’s basically just encouraging face-to-face interaction and kind of like giving your mind a break from constantly being plugged in and available.”

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Students also could unplug Wednesday by taking advantage of a succulent-planting station and Valentine-making at the Crane Center.

“It’s a hard test,” junior advertising and graphic design major Amyia Chea said of steering clear of technology.

“It’s hard because social media is important. It keeps me up-to-date, and I like to post stuff on it,” said the 20-year-old from the Northeast Side.

CCAD’s Student Government Association came up with the idea for Unplugged Day after hearing about concerns on the Downtown campus about student stress, anxiety and depression, as well as from results of a student survey indicating that 89 percent of students spend at least three hours on their electronic devices a day.

“I was shocked,” said Chris Mundell, CCAD vice president for student affairs, of students approaching him about their idea for Unplugged Day.

“I’ve seen how much technology plays a role in their lives,” he said. “Especially how much devices like phones are important to college students.”

Leading up to Wednesday, the student government group promoted graphics and messages that students could use to post online or on their emails explaining why they might be away from their devices for the day. Classes and homework went on as usual, but even faculty and staff members were encouraged to hold more face-to-face meetings rather than exchange emails.

‘It’s everywhere. In some ways, it’s everything,” Mundell said of students’ technology and social-media use. “Students come to campuses with networks already built through their social-media contacts.”

Social media also is a bit of a necessity for art students, some CCAD students said Wednesday. Junior animation major Mackenzie Bigley tends to stray from social media, but she said she recently set a goal of being more active on Instagram to promote her art. She was perfectly OK taking a day to unplug.

“I have it for art reasons and that’s it. I don’t enjoy it,” said the 20-year-old from Pittsburgh, adding, “It’s definitely hard not to compare yourself to others.”

“This makes a lot of sense, to sort of bring awareness about the negative effects of it,” Bigley said of the exercise.

Mundell said CCAD plans some post-Unplugged Day evaluations, adding that a group of CCAD’s industrial-design students will be working on a multi-semester project to examine the impact of technology on mental health.

Willars said Unplugged Day is about positivity, not criticizing individuals for their screen time. But she hopes the CCAD community can build on Wednesday’s tech timeout.

“Really, we’re hoping it inspires awareness in the students that participate in this event and maybe from there they can maybe lead self-guided unplugged days,” she said.

Safe Routes to School Program Walking and biking to school is proven to have tremendous benefits for communities, schools and families, the program states. Walking or biking promotes physical wellness, improved cognitive abilities and teaches critical social skills. Students who walk or bike to school help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

 Published on Jul 26, 2018SUBSCRIBE 173Palo Alto is a nationally recognized leader in helping encourage more families to choose safe and active school commutes. Check out our new Public Service Announcement about Palo Alto’s Safe Routes to School program and learn how you can join the movement.SHOW MORE

Biking in Palo Alto: A Safe Routes to School History Lesson

 With the help of parents, almost 48 percent of Palo Alto students bike to school. Palo Alto has some of the highest levels of bicycle commuting in the country and this video is the story of how biking to school became the preferred transportation method of choice for many Palo Alto residents. 

'Concussion' doctor says kids shouldn't play these sports until they're 18


 Letting kids play football is akin to child abuse, Dr. Bennet Omalu says. See what other sports he believes are too risky. 




National Day of Unplugging


We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our devices.

Five Reasons to Take a Break from Screens




In honor of Screen-Free Week, here are some of the benefits you can expect when you unplug from technology.


Every year in late spring, people from around the world choose to take a fresh look at their relationship with electronic media. They do so by participating in Screen-Free Week, which this year starts on April 30. This annual “media detox” began in 1994, when it was called TV-Turnoff Week, and has found renewed relevance in the age of smartphones.

As our relationship with mobile devices has grown, the research evidence has mounted: Excessive media use is not good for us physically, mentally, or emotionally. The good news is that taking a media break is a powerful way to improve our well-being. I’ve been assigning a four-day media fast in my undergraduate psychology classes for many years, and I’ve witnessed the effects firsthand. Based on the research and my teaching experiences, I’ve compiled these five reasons to participate in Screen-Free Week and take a break from media.

1. Present-moment awareness

The vast majority of American adults carry cell phones on their person throughout the day, rarely turning them off, according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center. It is no surprise that incoming texts, emails, and notifications are a near-constant presence for many people.  Our moment-to-moment experience is being fragmented on an unprecedented scale.

When I assign the media fast in my classes, I know t

Rediscover the joys of life away from screens


 Dear Screen-Free Week Organizer, Welcome to Screen-Free Week, brought to you by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Since 1995, thousands of people like you have helped millions of children and families around the world turn off screens and turn on life. When the Center for Screen-Time Awareness closed its doors and asked CCFC to become the new official home of what used to be called “TV-Turnoff,” we leaped at the chance. Reducing children’s screen time and advocating for screen-free, commercial-free time and space has always been essential to CCFC’s mission—helping parents raise healthy families by limiting corporate marketers’ access to children. If you’ve chosen to be a Screen-Free Week organizer, you already know that children are spending way too much time with screens—a staggering 32 hours a week for preschoolers and even more for older kids. Miniaturized media technology, including cell phones featuring child-targeted apps, mp3 players, iPads, and other hand-held devices, mean that children are immersed in screens, and the things they sell, nearly every waking moment. You know the costs, as well: poor school performance, childhood obesity, and problems with attention are just a few. Regardless of content, excessive screen time changes children’s fundamental connection to the world. It deprives them of hands-on creative play—the foundation of learning, creativity, constructive problem solving, and the capacity to wrestle with life to make it meaningful. And you also know the vital importance of helping children and families find fun and engaging alternatives to screen time—opportunities to explore their own ideas and creations, enjoy each other, and take pleasure in the world around them. The pages that follow are filled with lots of great suggestions and resources. They’re not a blueprint, but are meant to be a springboard for your own unique experience. Screen-Free Week belongs to you and the children and families in your community. It varies from family to family, school to school, and town to town—there is no right way to celebrate. Thank you for being such an important part of Screen-Free Week. Together we can make this year’s the best one yet and help children, families, schools, and communities envision a different, more positive, and healthier future. Have fun! Susan Linn, Ed.D. Director, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood 

The Effect of Internet Addiction on Social Life


 The advent of the Internet has changed human life once and for all. See below how it takes a toll on social life. 


internet is increasingly becoming useful to many people all around
the world. There are millions of people accessing it every day and
there seems to be that we are just beginning to see a world that will
fully be preoccupied with it now and in the future. However, there is
a concern at the rate at which this is happening and the long hours
spent online. Experts from do
my homework
platforms have conducted research highlighting how lines get crossed
with the continued use of internet leading to addiction.

the internet has a lot that can get many of us glued to it and
enhance addictive tendencies leading to pseudo-intimate relationships
between individuals. Though useful in some ways, the uncontrolled use
of the internet can have a negative impact on social life. Here are
some of the ways through it has had an effect on social life,
especially when abused.

in Relationships

to the internet is considered as one of the major causes of damaged
relationships. When a person gets enmeshed in activities online, they
often get oblivious to any effects of addiction to the internet.
Watching them from the outside, these developments get more and more
of a concern to loved ones. There are specific types of internet
addiction such as cyber-relationships, cyber-porn, and gambling.
These have a direct threat to the success of a marriage and/or a

continuous habit of surfing the internet could also be destructive
indirectly. The effects can be seen in the way someone drifts away to
a point where he cannot interact with other people. It dangerously
affects the ability of people to have one-on-one conversations with
each other. People are now using texts and emails to talk to each
other instead of talking to one another face-to-face.

there will be a significant loss of relationships in the life of a
person. At the end of the day, one loses touch with life and their
self-identity. There are many
people already obsessed with the internet
and are not able to control their tendencies online. Relationships
are now getting ruined through emotional, gaming and sexual
relationships facilitated through online platforms.

are now getting confronted with the results of divorce and other
physical consequences forcing them to look for both psychological and
medical treatment. This is especially due to cybersex that has led to
ruined individual relationships. People looking for sexual partners
from the internet have a high chance of contracting diseases and more
addiction as well.


one continues to commit most of their time in their online business,
they tend to cut themselves off their loved ones and friends. The
continuous effects of addiction to the internet can predispose an
individual to situations that involve depression and in extreme
cases, substance abuse. In such a situation, there is an absence of
social interaction leading to physical effects on an individual’s
brain chemistry and the general physical health.

National Day of Unplugging™ Encourages Couples to Reconnect By Looking Up From Their Phones



The Scoop: National Day of Unplugging inspires people to take a 24-hour break from technology. That means no laptops, no computers, no tablets, and — most of all — no cellphones. The idea isn’t punitive; rather that people are often too distracted by technology to focus on those around them — including their partners. National Day of Unplugging encourages people, couples, and families to pay more attention to each other and participate in low-tech activities, including sports, art, and reading. The day is the brainchild of Reboot, a nonprofit that aims to rekindle connections in 21st-century Jewish communities.

You wake up to the sound of the alarm on your cellphone in the morning, so you decide to hit the snooze button to get a few more precious minutes of sleep. When you finally get up for good, you scroll around on your phone for the latest posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Meanwhile, your partner looks at his or her phone next to you in bed.

The one thing you’ve missed in this morning routine? Connecting with each other. This scenario is all-too-familiar for many couples, even those who have strong relationships.

“One tip I integrated into my life is to get an alarm clock, so the first thing I do isn’t picking up and looking at my phone,” said Tanya Schevitz, the Communications and Program Manager for Reboot, an organization that looks for innovative ways to rekindle connections in Jewish communities. “Instead, your first action can be to roll over and look at your partner.”

By modernizing traditional Jewish traditions for contemporary society, Reboot aims to encourage people to stop staring at their phones. With this goal in mind, the organization developed National Day of Unplugging, a 24-hour event based on the Jewish Shabbat.

“Shabbat is the day of rest, but what often keeps us from relaxing and reconnecting with people around us are our phones,” Tanya said.

Photo of a cell phone sleeping bag

Many National Day of Unplugging participants place their devices in cellphone sleeping bags provided by Reboot.

Though it’s based on a Jewish day of rest, National Day of Unplugging is for everyone. In 2019, it will be held from sundown on March 1 to sundown on March 2, during which time tens of thousands of participants will disconnect from their phones and other technology. Last year, about 35,000 of those unplugging even put their devices into special sleeping bags, meaning they can’t even look at them.

“We hand those bags out at events,” Tanya said. “Sometimes, I’ll hand one to a couple, and one person will say, ‘He really needs it,’ or ‘She really needs it.’ This is a real problem in relationships. One person often feels ignored because the other is on their phone.”

National Day of Unplugging provides a break from technology that inspires couples to connect — and make more time for each other in the future.

Teaching People to Get Back in Touch With the Physical World

National Day of Unplugging can be a revelation for tech-addicted couples. Today, it’s common to see couples together at restaurants or events but not mentally present because one or both is surfing the web.

“They’re with their other friends, or they’re exploring the world, but they’re not really present in the moment,” Tanya said.

Tanya said that, in her own marriage, her husband spends more time on his phone than she would like.

“I say to my husband, ‘What are you doing? I want to spend time with you,’” she said.

Statistics support the idea that smartphones are ever-present in our lives. A survey from the Pew Research Center found that 89% of respondents used their smartphones during recent social gatherings.

Safe Routes to School Basics Webinar

 Safe Routes to SchoolPublished on Apr 27, 2018SUBSCRIBE 1The Safe Routes to School Basics webinar will provide you with some general information about the SRTS program and discuss the following. What is Safe Routes to School? How the six E’s can be used to help affect change in your school community. The SRTS Action Planning Steps, Federal Funding, and available resources.SHOW MORE

PTA and Safe Routes to School

 CaliforniaStatePTAPublished on Aug 15, 2013SUBSCRIBE 176California State PTA Vice President for Community Concerns Kathy Steinberg shares key takeaways for PTA leaders from the Safe Routes to School National Conference which brings together educators, legislators and parents to make it safe, convenient and fun for kids to walk or bike safely to school.


  • Education  Newest articals on my webpage helps education,reduces behavior issue with conjuction limiting social media with service dogs.


Banning Cellphones In Classrooms Is Helping Students Be Less Distracted, Staff Say


  Other School Districts Find Success In Letting Their Teachers DecideBy Elizabeth DohmsPublished: 

  • Friday, September 7, 2018, 4:00pm

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As the 2018-19 school year gets under way, school districts across Wisconsin are continuing bans on cellphones in the classroom that school staff say have been helpful in lessening distractions during class.

Metropolitan and rural school districts alike have adopted such policies, with a rash of school leaders agreeing it was the right move after the technology proved too distracting.

"It was a constant distraction for kids and what it became is a constant discipline issue," said Robin Kvalo, principal to about 800 students who attend Portage High School.

A sign explaining the cellphone policy in the Portage Community School District is displayed in the commons. Photo courtesy of Robin Kvalo

A Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction spokesman said the state agency doesn't track individual district's policies, which vary across the state. For example, some school districts find it better to let teachers decide whether to allow the technology in their classrooms as a tool for instruction.

But constant use of cellphones throughout the school day is an issue, some administrators say, and the bans only extend to the classroom and allow students to access their phones during passing time or at lunch. 

Op-ed: Social media — our great public health crisis



Editor's note: The Deseret News will host two film screenings and discussions on teen anxiety: one in Park City on Tuesday, May 29, at 7 p.m., and one in Herriman on Wednesday, May 30, at 6:30 p.m. Collin Kartchner, the author of the following commentary, will sit on a discussion panel for Tuesday's event. Follow this link for registration to attend the free screening.

Two years ago when Dr. Jean Twenge released her book titled "iGen," sharing her research on how technology and social media is affecting the mental and emotional health of our youths, she said, "We are on the verge of the biggest mental health crisis our country has ever seen."

Well, that was two years ago. The verge is here. This is now a public health crisis.

Nationwide, we see an epidemic spike in the number and frequency of tweens/teens being diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression, along with terrifying trends in self-harm, eating disorders, bullying and suicide. Ten years ago the typical patient day for a pediatrician was "flu, cold, vaccination, fever, cold, fever." Today, a pediatrician's average day might be "Suicide attempt, suicide attempt, depression, anxiety, cutting, eating disorder, suicide attempt." Each day, emergency rooms are seeing more and more kids (as young as 6-7) with zero mental health history coming in after trying to take their own lives. Emergency room doctors, nurses, family doctors and even paramedics report to me stories of children they see so anxious that their body is literally shutting down. An elementary principal in Provo called me just last week to come speak to their students. Why? Because a group of fourth-grade girls have all been cutting. Nine- and 10-year-old girls.

Research continually shows how distracting cell phones are—so some schools want to ban them



“It was a constant distraction for kids and what it became is a constant discipline issue,” Robin Kvalo, Principal of Portage High School, tells Wisconsin Public Radio. Kvalo says the school confiscated over 200 phones during the last school year, and that students and teachers are seeing results.

“They are not distracted anymore,” she says. “The phones are not their preoccupation. They know they can’t have the phones in the classroom. If that had been the case years ago, we wouldn’t have needed the policy.”

It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that cell phones can be distracting, but if you want do want confirmation from a scientist, it’s not hard to find. Study after study shows that the powerful computers we keep in our pockets can be distracting for even the most disciplined of adults — not to mention students.

Should Students Be Fined For Using Cell Phones?


  By Bill MartensAir Date: 

  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 4:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 6:00pm

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On Monday, the Kewaskum School District was denied its request to allow students to be ticketed for repeatedly breaking its rules regarding the use of cell phones. We talk with the district superintendent about the scope of the problem, how its proposal would have worked and how it's going to proceed.

Related Links: Proposal To Ticket Students For Using Cell Phones In Class 'Crashed And Burned'Host: Judith Siers-PoissonChris MalinaGuest(s): James SmasalProducer(s): Bill Martens

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2019, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should've been a red flag



Interviews with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other tech elites consistently reveal that Silicon Valley parents are strict about technology use.

A new book suggests the signs may have been clear years ago that smartphone use should be regulated.

There may be a way to integrate tech into the classroom, however, that avoids its harmful effects.


Psychologists are quickly learning how dangerous smartphones can be for teenage brains. 

Research has found that an eighth-grader's risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media. Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal. And recent research has found the teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force. 

But the writing about smartphone risk may have been on the wall for roughly a decade, according to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book "Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber."

It should be telling, Clement and Miles argue, that the two biggest tech figures in recent history — Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create. 

"What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don't?" the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology. 

Teen suicides have spiked, particularly in Orange County, but new habits can save lives



A full year after four Orange County teens took their lives over a three-week period, the Board of Supervisors has decided to give $600,000 to create a suicide prevention program.

That’s a good move, yet we are left wondering if faster action might have saved a 13-year-old Aliso Viejo boy who apparently took his life earlier this month.



“Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and establishing economic mobility,”


Homelessness among students a growing issue, report shows

OC’s Rise in Suicides Largest Among Major U.S. Counties

since the late 1990s, sunny Orange County has had the largest suicide-rate increase among the nation’s 20 most-populous counties, according to a Voice of OC analysis of federal suicide data.

10 reasons not to give your child – or teen – a smartphone

December 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The responses to my column last week detailing the horrific story of a boy who engaged in porn-inspired sexual molestation of his young nieces after accessing porn on his iPhone have indicated once again that many parents simply do not want to recognize the dangers that smartphones pose to their children.

Over and over again, commenters made genuinely stupid and ill-thought-out assertions, such as “You must be a Luddite!” Obviously, one does not have to be opposed to technology to recognize the dangers of some devices. We all agree that children should not drive cars, because it is not safe. We are not anti-car just because we do not think everyone should be able to drive them at a young age.

Additionally, many people seemed unaware of the fact that pornography has mainstreamed sexual violence, and that the vast majority of young people access porn on their cell phones. These are unfortunate realities, and I could tell you hundreds of stories of children accessing porn on phones at incredibly young ages, often impacting their lives for years into the future.

CA New school accountability monitor starts work

Calif.) A newly-created state agency whose role in overseeing school accountability and performance may prove critical in years to come is set to hold its first meeting today with the adoption of bylaws and consideration of staff.

Sweeping legislation passed in 2013 that restructured the fiscal relationship between K-12 schools and the state also created the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence – a five member board charged with helping the state and county offices of education monitor the progress local educational agencies make in meeting California’s educational priorities.

More specifically, the CCEE has been tasked by the Legislature to help manage the promises LEAs make in their Local Control Accountability Plans and provide assistance when efforts fall short.

Brown and legislative leaders thoroughly revised both the funding and the accountability of public schools with the adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula two years ago.

UDOT to award prizes for safe walking and biking to school

 Walking and biking to school is proven to have tremendous benefits for communities, schools and families, the program states. Walking or biking promotes physical wellness, improved cognitive abilities and teaches critical social skills. Students who walk or bike to school help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. 



WAS GOING TO START  https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-kamala-harris-truancy-20190417-story.html

Apr 17, 2019 - Kamala Harris expressed regret for supporting a law that led to the arrest of some ... Speaking on the liberal podcast “Pod Save America,” Sen. ... first sign of remorse from Harris about the anti-truancy effort, a signature cause ... PROSECUTING PARENTS FOR TRUANCY.




Melania Trump BE YOUR BEST !!

Too Much Screen Time Can Have Lasting Consequences for Young Children’s Brains



Growing data suggests that exposing young children to too much time in front of a TV or computer can have negative effects on their development, including issues with memory, attention and language skills.

In the latest look at the topic, researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics that more screen time is linked to poorer progress on key developmental measures such as communication skills, problem solving and social interactions among young kids over time.

Sheri Madigan, an assistant professor of psychology at University of Calgary in Canada, and her colleagues studied 2,441 mothers and children enrolled in the All Our Families study, which followed young children from ages two to five. Mothers reported on how much time their children spent in front of a television or computer screen on a typical day, and also reported on developmental measures by answering questions about their children’s communication skills, behavior and social interactions. The data were collected at the start of the study, when the children were two years old, then again when they were three and five.

Melania Trump announces expansion of her 'Be Best' initiative with focus on child welfare and drug a



The first lady is kicking off a three-state tour to address the well-being of children, social media use and opioid abuse. Spokesperson for Melania Trump Stephanie Grisham explains the initiative and how the first lady handles social media bullying.

Melania Trump kicks off 'Be Best' tour to address the well-being of children



First Lady Melania Trump marked the anniversary of her "Be Best" campaign on Tuesday by announcing the expansion of the initiative and another international trip for the president's wife.

Mrs. Trump's "Be Best" campaign - which she launched last year with a focus on child well-being, social media use and drug abuse - will now include children of all ages, not just babies born dependent on opioids and other addictive substances, and young mothers. The social media pillar will broaden to add online safety to the emphasis on bullying and good citizenship online.

“My hope is that together we can be the best at helping children and families find effective ways to educate themselves and become part of the solution to so many problems and issues,” she said during a speech in the White House Rose Garden. Mrs. Trump was joined by the president and several Cabinet secretaries who have worked with her and other guests.

Building a Resilient School Environment



Safety protocols and active-shooter drills are becoming more and more common in today’s school environments. Sometimes, these drills can be emotionally tough or even triggering for students and staff.

McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California, has been part of a 2-year program focused on building a resilient school environment for students and staff at its campus. RISE — short for Resilience In Schools Environments — implements policies, practices and trainings to help the school students and staff adapt to and deal with challenges, trauma and emotionally charged experiences.

RISE is an initiative of Los Angeles Education Partners funded by Kaiser Permanente.

During the first year of the program, McFadden’s staff were trained to approach daily school life with greater sensitivity to trauma and its effects on social and emotional health. They worked at developing a community culture by coming together as colleagues to connect, learn and share. Together, they created a resource guide to support students and staff as they worked to build up resilience.

Making a positive impact with Safety Day

McFadden school staff member proudly shows off her Safety Day badge.

With the start of the new school year, school staff proposed a different approach to the school’s annual review of safety protocols and practices. Instead of simply watching safety videos, the school wanted to make the training more applicable and engaging while being mindful of those who might be negatively affected by scenes or reminders of trauma.

With input from the teachers, and approval of the district union, the school planned a “Safety Day.” School staff developed a strategy and manual to guide a full day of training through a trauma-informed lens.

The Safety Day, held in August, included carefully performed evacuation practices and drills. A “calm station” for students was available throughout the day to help students deal with their fears and emotions as they moved through the safety drills. Following the drills, a final period was dedicated to team building and debriefing with students.

Social and emotional well-being is critical to overall health



Teachers and other school employees consistently report high levels of occupational stress. Though different for each individual employee, common sources of stress include high job demand and working with limited resources. School employees can also experience “vicarious trauma,” which refers to the emotional strain that results from working with students who have experienced stressful or traumatic events.

Schools are increasingly aware of the importance of social-emotional health and the impact of chronic adversity and chronic trauma. Schools and districts that support the social and emotional well-being and resilience of their employees are likely to have a workforce with lower levels of stress, improved school employee attendance, and an increased ability to model positive emotions for students. Furthermore, they see lower levels of teacher turnover related to burnout.

Supporting the social and emotional well-being and resilience of teachers and staff is critical for creating a positive school climate and retaining quality educators. Wellness programs in schools build a culture of health that can benefit everyone in the school community.

Benefits of
Social & Emotional

Wellness programs in schools deliver a wide range of benefits to employees, including the following.

  • A safer, more supportive work environment
  • Improved health, increased well-being, self-image, and self-esteem
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Ability to manage stress or other factors affecting health
  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Reduced out-of-pocket expenses for physician office visits, medications, procedures, or hospitalizations related to acute or chronic illness

Schools can support employees’ social and emotional well-being in a variety of ways. Some examples include promoting a support network between staff members, involving administrators and support staff to relieve tension when a disciplinary issue arises, and redesigning staff breakrooms. Schools can also train employees in trauma-informed practices, which improve employees’ ability to effectively support their students, resulting in a better overall school climate and improved academic outcomes.

Healthy schools promote lifelong healthy behaviors



Schools play a critical role in promoting the health of young people and helping them establish lifelong patterns of healthy behavior. Good health is essential for learning and retention and the development of strong cognitive ability. And ensuring good health in students has been shown to boost attendance and educational achievement, ultimately setting students up for greater success in school and in life.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the leading health care providers for schools and the students and families they serve. Our clinical staff cares for them, and our worksite wellness teams support them. We are developing today’s students to be tomorrow’s innovators and leaders in building thriving communities.

To provide for the long-term development and success of young people, we believe that it’s important for schools, government agencies, and community organizations work collaboratively to approach learning and health in an integrated manner.

Health and education affect individuals, society, and the economy and, as such, must work together whenever possible. schools are a perfect setting for this collaboration.