Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red River Academy - Teens In Crisis - LifeLine - Lisa Irvin

With the recent closing of Magnolia Christian School, which was formerly Carolina Springs Academy, it seems that World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS) is slowly decreasing in size.  Is it the economy or the fact that there are many disturbing stories out there, as well as successful lawsuits such as mine.  Currently I believe Red River Academy is their East Coast/Central States main program as Horizon Academy and Cross Creek are on the West Coast.

Are you considering residential therapy?  Are you are your wit's end with your teenager?  Researching these programs and schools can be a daunting experience.  Glowing websites and slick sales reps at many toll free numbers - how do you know who to trust?

I can't answer that except to say to remember, your child is not for sale. You will know in your gut if someone is being sincere or simply doing their job.

I am considered a disgruntled parent by WWASPS, and I will accept that since my daughter was abused by them, I defeated them in a jury trial and feel that any parent that was duped the way I was would also be disgruntled. They also enjoy telling parents I own, operate or manage other residential programs - I don't. The last thing I would want to do or am I qualified to do is run a program.

Finally they love to send parents to website that spread ugly lies about me and twisted truths. However neglect to add that I also won a landmark case for the Internet Defamation of over $11M in a jury trial.

So, as much as they want to discredit me, the truth is in the court papers. The truth is in my book, published by the home of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Health Communications, Inc.

Back to your at-risk teenager, if you are seeking outside help: Stop, think, research and take your time making this major financial and emotional decision. I firmly believe in getting your child help, I also believe there are many excellent programs out there - just do your homework.

As a side note, remember the Internet is not gospel - there are many sites that may have disturbing and ugly statements about a school you are considering - check out the source - in many cases they are former students with a beef. There is a difference between legitimate complaints and former students or parents (usually a divorced one without custody) that are just being vindictive.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sue Scheff: DrugWatch.com - Knowing What Your Doctor is Prescribing to Your Teens or Children

Prescription medications and teens and children has been a debate for years.  The controversy over ADD/ADHD medication such as Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera, Concerta and others has been hashed out in medical reports and articles for many years.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, by mid-teens more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne or acne scarring which may require treatment by a dermatologist and use of prescription drugs such as Accutane to treat their condition, not realizing the drug’s serious side effects like liver failure, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and depression which can lead to suicide. One unfortunate example of this effect is Congressman Bart Stupak’s son, who tragically took his own life after being on Accutane to treat his acne.
According to DrugWatch, on June 29, 2009, Roche Pharmaceuticals pulled Accutane from the market due to numerous personal injury lawsuits and business costs. Isotretinoin, the generic form of Accutane, is still available in generic form under different brand names in the U.S. for the treatment of acne and other conditions.

What medications are your teenagers or children taking regularly?  Do you do your due diligence in researching the medication prior giving them to your child to take?
For more information on many prescriptive drugs, visit www.drugwatch.com and find out more about what you or your children are taking.

There have been clinics in Jacksonville that are under investigation for illegal prescriptions.  Click here for this story.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.


Related articles:
Operation Medicine Cabinet
Not My Kid
Parents: The Anti-Drug

Read more.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teaching Teens To Be Financially Literate for the Future

Teaching our teens about finances, budgeting and saving is more critical today than years prior.  With the troubling economy, the loss of jobs as well as some families losing their homes, teens need to learn early how to manage their money.

The St. Johns River Chapter of Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and SJCPLS are teaming up to offer full day workshops to teens age 15-20 between June 26th through August 7th at various branch libraries. Subjects covered will be budgeting, saving, personal investing, using credit wisely, avoiding identity theft and more.

The St. Johns County Public Library System began offering this successful program two years ago, and the program has served as a model for other Florida libraries. Class sizes are limited, so call each branch to register. Lunch will be provided at each location by the Friends of the Library.

All classes are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (same class repeated at each location)
  • Saturday, June 26 - Southeast Branch Library, 827-6900
  • Saturday, July 10 - Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library, 827-6950
  • Saturday, July 17 - Anastasia Island Branch Library, 209-3730
  • Saturday, July 24 - Main Library, St. Augustine, 827-6940
  • Saturday, July 31 - Bartram Trail Branch Library, 827-6960
  • Saturday, August 7 - Hastings Branch Library, 827-6970
For more information, visit www.sjcpls.org or contact Library Administration at 904-827-6925.

Be an educated parent, your teen will have a brighter future.  


Related articles:
Finance Freak: Learn Financing Today for a Better Tomorrow
Financial Literacy and Your Teens
Knowing and Understanding Your FICO Score

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sue Scheff: Chasing the Dragon - Teen Drug Use

Have you heard of chasing the dragon?  This is slang for smoking opium and not having a care in the world about anything else, except for getting high.  Your teenager may be smoking pot today, and some parents say, "it is just marijuana, they used to smoke it too", however do they realize pot smoking today is much more serious than it was years ago?  What is the marijuana being laced with?  It is causing your teen to need it more and more?

Now that summer is officially here, teens will have more free time.  Sometimes this is not always a good thing.  How many times do we hear "not my kid?"  Being a parent in denial can only cause more problems later.
National Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month is in September, however today is when you can start to be proactive in your community.   

Join the voices for recovery on Facebook.  Find out where you can learn more about substance abuse and how you can be  part of recovery, not an enabler.

Don't wake up one morning to find out your teen has decided to chase the dragon. Start today in being proactive and educate yourself on the abuse of drugs and alcohol.  Over the last 20 years, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) has inspired millions of people to raise awareness about addiction, share their stories of recovery, and assist others who are still struggling.


Recovery Month for June is getting ready for September launch.  Watch the PSA.

Related articles:

ADDICTED: Are you an enabler?
Addiction Destroys Families
Parents: The Anti-Drug
Fishbowl Parties: Learn More
OTC: Over the Counter Drug Abuse

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sue Scheff: June is National Acne Awareness Month - How to Talk Acne to Your Teen

Summer is here, which should mean fun in the sun and stress-free days for today’s teens. However, in today’s ultra competitive society, that is not always the case.

With so much pressure on teens to get into a good college, land that perfect summer job and other common activities, many teens may find themselves experiencing high amounts of stress. Stress can lead to teens taking on yet another worry – acne, a chronic medical condition that affects over 60 million Americans.

Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. Highly prevalent among teenagers, 85% of adolescents experience the chronic skin condition. However, many people don’t realize that acne is a medical condition with varying severities that can be successfully treated with help from a physician.

June is National Acne Awareness Month. It was established to educate teens and their parents about acne and the necessary steps to treat and prevent this condition.

In recognition of National Acne Awareness Month, leading experts Michele Borba, PhD, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, and Dr. Linda Stein Gold, Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Henry Ford Health Systems in Detroit are providing parents with candid video tips on how to help their teens manage acne - helping parents limit their teens’ stress this summer by setting aside an adequate amount of time to focus on their health and well-being, including establishing a proper skin regimen.

Especially in Florida, as your teens surf the beaches and enjoy our sunshine state, be sure they use sunscreen and wash their hands and face at least twice a day.

Talking to your teens about acne is sometimes embarrassing for them.  Learn more about how you can communicate with your teenager on Dealing With Teen Acne.  Also take a minute to watch how you can help your individual daughter or son! Click here and watch these short videos.


Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens!


Watch video for more information from Dr. Michele Borba and Dr. Linda Stein-Gold.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sue Scheff: Happy Father's Day - A Chance to Better A Dad

Let's face it, parenting it not easy.  Whether it is from generations earlier or parenting today, there are always challenges.  The good news is all those mistakes usually end up in learning experiences.

These are experiences you pass on your next generation.  As we have heard time and time again, children are not born with a manual.  Although if they were, it would be on the best-sellers list and stay there for a long time.  Many parents have only their parent's to fall back on.

This can mean several things.  One very important point is, if you know that some of your mother or father's parenting skills were not helpful, you have the power to change.  You have the options in life to correct those mistakes and be a better parent.

Mistakes can be bumps in life that teach you to learn new ways to parent.


So this father's day, embrace your mistakes and learn from them.  Parenting is never going to get easier, but taking the good from the bad is always your choice.


Happy Father's Day!  100 years of celebrating fathers and father figures!

Read more.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sue Scheff: Million Hours of Power - Dad's Can Change The Lives of Children

The National PTA launched their Million Hours of Power to encourage fathers, uncles, grandfathers and all men to get involved in their community through their local PTA.  In Florida, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) recently was honored with National Advocacy Award.

With Father's Day next week, it is a perfect time to think about how you or someone you know can get involved in helping children in your community.

Bryon Garrett, CEO of the National PTA and Mom Congress Advisor, believes that a male mentor can make measurable positive impact on kids social, physical and educational well-being.
Parenting.com interviewed Bryon Garrett and he offered a few tips to get fathers engaged in volunteering:
  • Just ask! Don't make the assumption that dads are not interested in being involved. "The number one reason they're not involved is that they're not asked."
  • Create a schedule with your educator "so you have shared ownership in the process."
  • Identify time they can spend on campus, whether it's in the classroom or at lunch and recess. Not only will they get to observe what their kids are doing, but Byron says, "you also get to see who they're interacting with."
You can read more about Million Hours of Power here.
"Give a little, change a lot" will be the rallying call to action for the Million Hours of Power grassroots campaign. Research proves that parent involvement leads to student success in school and life. Children perform better in school when both the mother and the father or a male role model are both involved in the education of their children.  Read more.

Bryon Garrett pictured above with representative from DadLab.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sue Scheff: 10 Toughest Questions Kids Ask

Guest Blogger, Phillip Lopez, as written an article that many parents will find extremely helpful.  Raising kids and teens today is challenging.  Figuring out how to answer those tough and sensitive questions can be scary and stressful to parents. Phillip Lopez writes for Christian Colleges and Universities.

10 Toughest Questions Kids Ask
By: Phillip Lopez

If you’re a parent, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that raising children is the most difficult task you’ve ever undertaken. It’s your responsibility to shape their impressionable minds – whether or not they grow up to become productive members of society and successful individuals supposedly hinges on your every move. So go figure they ask the most difficult questions early in the parenting process, when they’re most curious and you’re most clueless. Below are a handful of those questions that make parents cringe.
  1. How are babies made?
    Every parent has inevitably been asked this question in some variation. Most are left wondering how such a thought had entered their child’s mind, and who they should tongue-lash for putting it there. But now that it’s on the table, you have to explain it in terms that are least explicit. “The birds and the bees” talk has long been a go-to option, or you can come up with your own story. Or better yet, defer to your spouse.
  2. Why do boys have [this] and girls have [that]?
    You get the idea. If they happen to ask this question along with question No. 1, they probably know more than they’re leading on. If they ask those questions when they’re 14-years-old, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands.
  3. Where do people go when they die?
    If you’re a Christian, the answer seems simple enough: Heaven. But explaining what Heaven entails and what it takes to get there can take an eternity. Explaining any religion’s afterlife to a three, four or five-year-old is akin to describing quantum physics to a football player – it’s a lost cause. If you don’t happen to belief in an afterlife, well, your answer is easy.
  4. Am I going to die someday?
    This question is a bit underrated and often unexpected. Your child may or may not realize they are going to die when they pose question No. 3. If they do, break the news gently. Many kids have spent sleepless nights pondering their fate, and you know that when your kid is sleepless, you’re sleepless.
  5. Why?
    “Why?” usually pertains to anything and everything, and the question is typically asked a bazillion times through ages three and four. The best part about parenting a young kid is they don’t realize that you’re pretty much clueless about everything, so almost any answer will suffice as long as you don’t warp their perception of reality.
  6. Can I come?
    Saying “no” is difficult in itself, but it’s especially difficult when they look up at you with their big teary eyes. No parent wants to hurt their child’s feelings, but is it really necessary to bring the little one with you to your physical examination? Do you think your coworkers can maintain their productivity while your child plays tag with their imaginary friend around your office? Sometimes tough love is the only solution.
  7. Why does my brother/sister hate me?
    Parenting would be a whole lot easier if you knew how to make your kids get along. Unfortunately, it’s usually beyond your control. The only way to answer this question is by explaining the unconditional love that exists between siblings. Afterward, pray they’ll mature as they get older so that you won’t have to deal with a lifetime of bickering and petty feuds.
  8. Why are we moving?
    Moving is never fun. Breaking the news to your kid can be worse than the time consuming and backbreaking packing and unpacking. No explanation alleviates the pain that comes with leaving their friends behind. All you can do is make the move as easy on them as possible.
  9. Why did he/she call me that?
    Kids are cruel. If they don’t like someone, they make it known. They live in a world that’s starkly different from the passive-aggressive adult world. Avoid the urge to indirectly insult their parents under your breath the next time you see them, and tell your kid to just ignore the meanie.
  10. Why wasn’t I invited to that party?
    It’s possible that the parents who are hosting the party simply didn’t have enough money or resources to invite an additional kid. This explanation works best in most cases – true or not. But if your child realizes that it’s because they simply aren’t liked, explain how not inviting them made the unhappy kid feel better about him or herself. The same answer could work for No. 9. Two birds with one stone. Maybe parenting isn’t so difficult.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teens, Tweens and Body Ordor - Don't Fret the Sweat

From Florida to Memphis, Tennessee the Parent Teachers Association covers our nation through education, parents, teachers, children and our community.

June 10th launched the 114th National PTA Convention.  Karin Brown is the President of the Florida PTA and is representing our state.  She was honored this morning as the President of the PTA, Chuck Saylor, introduced each representative from all over the country.

Parents Matter is one of the themes at the convention.  Don't fret the sweat is part of being a parent and helping your child surf through the journey of adolescents.  Body odor is not a topic that is always on a parents "talking points" however when puberty hits, it is an issue that needs to be addressed.

When tweens, teens or even children that are starting younger, parents are encouraged to talk to your kids about finding the right deodorant for them before teasing or even bullying starts due to body odor.

Learn more and get coupons today!  Visit Don't fret the sweat for coupons and product information. http://www.dontfretthesweat.com/

Read more.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sue Scheff: Fathers Being Involved - Come work for the FBI

Here is a great guest Blog from Ganda at Parenting.com - Like myself, she also attended the National PTA Conference.

Dads: Come Work for the FBI

How do you get fathers to become more engaged with their children's education? All you have to do is ask.

That's what convention attendees and speakers hammered home at today's Male Engagement Summit. Men now make up 12% of the PTA. That number could (and should) grow. And an invitation may be all the incentive they need.

Michael Robbins, guest speaker and Special Assistant to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, advocated for key strategies like early engagement before conception and making dads feel more welcome in the education discussion. "We should talk about what dads do right," said Robbins.

The meeting's other guest speakers, leaders of the Fort Wayne Area Council (FWAC) PTA, galvanized their local units into recruiting dads to join. Julie Klingenberger, President of the FWAC PTA, detailed how constructing and marketing a program called F.B.I. (Fathers Being Involved) helped them to add close to 1,200 dads to their member list -- an impressive 30% increase.

A little bit of smart outreach was all it took. "We're one of only seven states to see an increase in membership this year," said Theresa Distelrath, President-Elect of the FWAC PTA. By inviting more men to participate (including Distelrath's own husband), encouraging guys to recruit each other, and rebranding their efforts to appeal to dads, they managed to make a big difference in the lives of their community's children. And, Klingenberger reminded the room, "It costs no money."

During a forum following Robbins' talk, the audience, comprised of a 50/50 mix of men and women, were invited to offer ideas on how to get fathers more involved in schools. J. Michael Hall, Executive Director of Strong Fathers, Strong Families, reiterated, "You don't have to pay dads to come -- when you've invited them, they'll come. Kids don't do better because [dads] volunteer; they do better because [dads] are involved with their children."

Another audience member mentioned the need to get more men involved in elementary school education. Robbins couldn't have agreed more. "We're going to need 1.5 million more teachers over the next five years," he said.

Additional Resources:

Fatherhood.gov

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sue Scheff: PTA Announces Partnership with Facebook

Collaboration committed to educating kids, parents and teachers about responsible and safe Internet use

Memphis, Tenn. and Palo Alto, Calif. – June 10, 2010 – Today, National PTA and Facebook announced a formal collaboration to promote responsible and safe Internet use to kids, parents and teachers. Together, National PTA and Facebook will establish a comprehensive program that will provide information, support and news to encourage citizenship online, reduce cyberbullying and advance Internet safety and security.

The partnership is founded on the belief that awareness is essential to supporting safe and responsible Internet use. Thus, in addition to creating comprehensive and engaging resources, PTA and Facebook are committing to aggressively promoting Internet safety information to their respective audiences. National PTA will use its Website (www.pta.org), and actively reach out to the 24,000 local PTAs across the country with a goal of reaching every American public school. Facebook will raise awareness of the resources among the hundreds of millions of parents, teachers and children using its service through an in-kind Facebook commitment equivalent to $1 million and promotion on other parts of the site, including the safety center.

The announcement kicks off the National PTA convention in Memphis, Tenn. which marks the 40-year anniversary of the union of two parent associations dedicated to children and when the National PTA became a desegregated association. At the convention, PTA is reaffirming its commitment to closing the achievement gap between students of different ethnicities and economic backgrounds. Recognizing that disparities exist not only in students’ access to technology but also in their access to related education materials, the partnership extends these efforts. As part of the agreement, both PTA and Facebook are committed to working to shrink the digital divide, by reaching families, regardless of income or race and providing them with tools and resources to keep them digitally smart on-line.

"Our vision is that each child, parent and teacher will have the knowledge and tools they need to harness the power of the Internet effectively – and safely," says Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors, National PTA President. "Today, as we kick off National PTA’s convention in Memphis, we are announcing a partnership that will provide parents all across the nation with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to keep their children safe in this ever-changing technological society.”

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well being of the people, especially the many teenagers, who use Facebook,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. “Only through the constant and concerted effort of parents, teachers, law enforcement and industry can we keep kids safe and help them develop into tomorrow’s leaders. We are proud to be working with National PTA toward that goal."

The partnership builds on National PTA's 114-year history of advocacy on behalf of children and Facebook's efforts to create a trusted environment for its more than 400 million users. As was the case with the recently redesigned Facebook Safety Center, Facebook and PTA will consult with many child safety, education and technology experts to collect, build and maintain a comprehensive set of multi-media education resources for this initiative. The process will include significant input from Facebook's global Safety Advisory Board.

To stay up to date on the initiative visit the PTA’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ParentTeacherAssociation and the Facebook in Education page at http://www.facebook.com/education.

About Facebook

Founded in February 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a privately held company and is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teens Using Drugs? New Home Drug Test

Drug testing has been going on for years and years by parents.  Whether they buy tests at Walgreen's or CVS or have their teen drug tested with a blood test, parents want answers.

Today there is a new DrugWipe that is hitting the market.  A small drug test that the manufacturer says will reveal with 100 percent accuracy if children are doing drugs is new on the market.  DrugWipe® offers results in 5 - 10 minutes, a broad spectrum of detected drugs, confidentiality of testing, and best of all, the person (teen) doesn't need to be present to be tested.

According to the manufacturer, you rub it across any non-porous surface that the person touches enough to leave fingerprints, such as a door knob, computer mouse or bedroom dresser.

Watch this video, view the demo and learn more Click here.

This product is newly released, however has been used by the FBI and other authorities.  The cost is about $50.00. Parents, you can be the anti-drug.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.


Related articles:
Teen Drug Prevention
Teen Huffing
Signs of Teen Drug Use
Substance Abuse and Your Teens
Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse

Red River Academy, Lisa Irvin, Help My Teens, Teens In Crisis, Jane Hawley - Magnolia is Closed

This week I have received numerous emails from parents, grandparents, relatives and others about the closing of Magnolia Christian Academy, formerly Carolina Springs Academy in Due West, SC.

Whether is was pressure from the Attorney Generals office or the bad economy, it is my opinion this has been a long time coming and thankfully kids will not be subjected to what my daughter endured there.  It is all well documented in Wit's End, as well as trial transcripts.  Those sales reps (marketing arms) such as Help my teen or Teens in Crisis - (Lisa Irvin or Jane Hawley and the sales people that work for them) will continue to say I am a disgruntled parent - yes, I am, they abused my daughter - or they tell parents I own - operate - manage - my own schools (I don't) to  excuse my experiences.

Now they have a few others programs to market - and I understand that Red River Academy or Horizon Academy is the latest one that people are sharing with me.  Are you considering it?  I won't tell you what to do - but to do your homework.

As of August 2009 it is believed that WWASP aka WWASPS or Premier Educational Systems LLC has affiliations with the following:

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (CLOSED)
Bell Academy, CA (CLOSED)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC (License revoked, re-opened as Magnolia Hills Christian)
Casa By the Sea, Mexico (CLOSED)
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA (CLOSED)
**Discovery - Mexico (see below)
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS (CLOSED)
Horizon Academy, NV
Jane Hawley - Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred - Lifelines Sales Representative
Lisa Irvin - Helpmyteen and Teens in Crisis
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Magnolia Christian School, SC - formerly Carolina Springs Academy (CLOSED)
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Sales Representative
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide - Promotes and markets these programs
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy, (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (CLOSED)
Sherri Schwartzman - Lifelines Sales Representative
Sky View Academy, NV (allegedly closed?)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT (CLOSED) Rumors they have re-opened in another location of MT.
Sunset Bay Academy, CA
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis - Lisa Irvin
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Sunset Bay Academy, Oceanside, CA - rumors of short term program there.
Youth Foundation, Inc. LaVerkin, UT (NEW)

**There is reason to believe a new program in Mexico is now open - parents need to be aware of this. It is believed they may have re-opened Casa By the Sea location with another name - possibly Discovery. We have heard that Jade Robinson is running this program - he was formerly at Horizon Academy, Bell Academy (closed) and Casa by the Sea (closed).

In addition to the legal battle with WWASP, P.U.R.E. and founder Sue Scheff won an unprecedented $11.3 million jury verdict for Internet defamation. Despite being vindicated, many of the attacks on P.U.R.E. continue out of malice and spite.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teen Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Summer brings more summer employment for teenagers.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable. When you hear about it happening with teenagers it is more deplorable. Who is responsible for your teen's safety when they go to their job?

MSNBC recently report on this epidemic that is in many workplaces.  Making matters worse, many teens are more accessible than ever thanks to social networking sites and mobile devices, opening them up to more potential abuse. Texting is being used to send subtle and not-so-subtle messages.

Teens, especially those that are working at their first job, are unsure about how to report these incidents or fear if they do, will they be fired?

Is your teen being victimized at their job?  Visit Teen Victim Project and learn more about sexual harassment.

Tips for parents of teens from E.J. Graff, a researcher for Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, that will be starting a job:
  • Ask her to check the atmosphere of the place whenever she applies for a job; she should note how employees are treated.
  • Explain the difference between flirting (enjoyed by both parties) and harassment (unwelcome sexual comments or physical contact).
  • Emphasize that he should tell you if someone makes him uncomfortable, so you can talk about the best way to respond.
  • Make sure she knows she can refuse an order that is not related to her job duties. For example, her supervisor can’t compel her to travel with him unless it’s explicitly part of the job.
For more tips and advice, visit the website of The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, click here.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.


Related articles:
Sexual Harassment: Teens In the Workplace
Teen Sexual Abuse
Teen Dating Abuse
Stranger Danger

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sue Scheff: June is Gay Pride Month - Gay Teens

Homosexuality can be a sensitive subject, however  today there are many resources to help educate parents and teens on sexuality.  No matter what your beliefs are, teens will be teens and going through puberty is not easy, whether you are gay or straight, life has challenges.  However society can be harsh when they are not tolerant to different lifestyles.

This is not about right or wrong, it is about differences.  Differences is what makes the world go round and makes our country a wonderful place to live.  Freedoms to be who you are and be proud of it.
How many times have you said something you wish you could take back? How many times have your children repeated things you wish you never said? As many parents know, what goes in their little ears can come out of their mouth - when you least expect it or want to hear it!

How about when your teens repeat personal matters in your family? If you are sharing private information with your teenagers, you may want to be clear it is personal and especially not to share it online or in text.

What about when kids don't understand certain slang words and use them unknowingly in conversations that end up hurting others?

During the month of June as Gay Pride Month is recognized, if your teen is struggling with their sexuality or you know someone that is having a difficult time, be a friend.  Be understanding.  You don't always have to agree with others, but being caring is being non-judgmental.

Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children about the negative impact of bullying and harassment as well as teaching tolerance. Talk about these issues with your children and within your community. Learn about the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). No matter what your religious beliefs are, no one should condone bullying. We should not judge others, as we don't want them to judge us.

Take the time to think before you speak. 

Watch video and read more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sue Scheff: National PTA Conference in Memphis - 40 Years of Helping Schools, Parents, Teachers and Students

On June 10th through June 13th the National PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) will have their annual conference.  There will be many workshops, book signings, lectures and learning experiences for all the attendees.  They will bring back to our local areas the vast amount of resources and informational tools to continue to educate and help the children of today and tomorrow.

Forty years ago this month, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) and the National Congress of Mothers united to form the National PTA, adapting the same mission they had operated under separately: to improve the education and well being of every child? Today, while many great accomplishments have been made there are still obstacles that we must conquer, both inside and outside of the classroom and across ethnic backgrounds. So at this year’s national convention there will be much to tackle:
  • The nation’s K-12 public education system is in crisis.
  • Our students lag behind compared to children in other countries in math and science – which is not a plus for their futures in a global economy and job market.
  • And our schools also face widespread funding shortages, a childhood obesity epidemic and unbalanced academic standards all across the country.
In this LIVE webcast event from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, National PTA President Chuck Saylors will be joined by actress, mother and National PTA Advisory Board member Tichina Arnold, National PTA representatives and Ambassadors; Tomeka Hart, Executive director of Memphis Urban League, University of Memphis student representative; as well as Barbara Andrews, director of Education and Interpretation for National Civil Rights Museum. They will be discussing the challenges of educating the 21st century child in today’s classroom, and what needs to be done to close the achievement gap in education.

Want to learn ways in which you can take a more hands on approach in your child’s education? You’re in luck, as during this webcast event you’ll have the opportunity to email your questions and have them potentially answered live during the event. Your readers can sign up to secure spots today by visiting: www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=69462

For more information visit www.pta.org.  Find your local PTA and join today 

Be a voice, be a part of your community and most of all, be a part of your child's educational future.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sue Scheff: Social Networking Quick Tips for Parents, Teens and Children

As the World Wide Web grows at an ever expanding pace, it is up to us to keep up with the changes as well as keep our lives safe virtually. Being virtually safe can literally lead to being physically safe. Chat rooms are dangerous places for adult, not to mention children. Meeting people online can be fun, but it can also be misleading.

Keep in mind when online the following tips, consider it Social Networking 101 crash course.
  1. Use privacy settings. This is a no-brainer. Keep the strangers out of your profiles and photos. Don't make yourself an easy target for predators and for bullying. Check your privacy settings weekly to be sure they haven't changed.
  2. Think before you post. In the same respect, think before you hit send. Imagine a teacher, a parent, a family member, college admissions, potential employer seeing this post and consider whether it is appropriate or not.
  3. Trust your gut. If someone is bothering you, block them. If you have suspicions, feel threatened, unsafe or uncomfortable, notify the site owner and tell an adult you trust. You can also contact www.cybertipline.com for more help.
  4. Check it out. See what others are posting online about you. Google yourself. Even though you are careful, others may not be. Hurt can come from friends as well as from strangers.
  5. Be savvy. People you meet online might not be whom they say. Meeting an online 'friend' in person only makes sense if you've told a trusted adult, it's in a public place, and you've got friends with you.
  6. Don't get duped. Ads and messages making offers that are too good to be true? Spam. Requests for personal account information? Phishing scams. Mark bogus friend requests as spam. Don't get sucked in.
  7. Be part of the solution. Don't use your space to trash talk others. Close out any account and services you no longer use. Promote a culture of self-monitoring so others won't be so tempted to step in and restrict teen access. You have the power to improve your online community!
Need more resources to help you further? Visit Social Networking Safety Group and CyberSafeFamily Group on Facebook.

Order Google Bomb book for more valuable information about maintaining your virtual reputation.

In Florida there is an Internet Safety "Safe Florida" website to give you more tips and resources to keep you and your family safe in cyberspace.

MUST WATCH VIDEO.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.


Related articles:

Mothers Against Predators
Chatroom Safety Tips
Stranger Danger Online
Parenting Online
Virtual Reality