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<October 2014>

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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

RESPECT: Makes young people safer online
The conversation around Internet safety has moved a long way since the 1990s when it focused mostly on porn and predators and we’ve even evolved since 2009 when ConnectSafely published Online Safety 3.0: Empowering and Protecting Youth. Along with colleagues, I’ve … Continue reading Continue reading

UN bringing child rights into the digital age
By Larry Magid In 1989 the United Nations passed an important human rights treaty. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was ratified by all countries in the world except Somalia, Southern Sudan and — believe it or not — the … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Bullying Prevention Month
One out of every three students will be bullied this school year, according to the National Bullying Prevention Center. October is dedicated to bullying prevention, and this year’s message is “the end of bullying begins with me.” Every teen can do something this October to prevent bullying. For example, you can set an example of respectful behavior, or simply be there for a bullied friend. You can join a mentoring program, such as the “You Have the Power!” program, where teen volunteers mentor younger students on preventing bullying. Start a conversation on social media to raise awareness. Teach others that bullying is not a teen “rite of passage.” Explain the effects bullying can have on teens: Anxiety, depression, self-harm, and more. Get creative: One Georgia high school staged a play about the harmful effects of bullying. Whatever you do this October, work hard to banish bullying and make respect the norm at your school.

Marijuana Use Makes You Less Likely to Graduate
Smoking marijuana daily decreases your chances of finishing high school by 60 percent, according to a new study from The Lancet Psychiatry, a medical journal. The long-term study tracked drug use in students from age 13 to age 30. In addition to affecting teens academically, marijuana use made teens eight times more likely to use illegal drugs and seven times more likely to attempt suicide. Researchers found negative effects for teens that smoked as little as once a month, suggesting there is no “safe” level of marijuana use. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among teens. One in fifteen high school seniors smokes pot daily.

Summer and Part-Time Jobs Give Teens an Edge
Did you spend your summer working? Good news! You likely improved your chances of attaining a good career. A study of 15-year-old Canadian students has found that working in the evening, on weekends, or over summer break gives teens a competitive advantage in the workforce. Researchers found that, even when working in low-paying jobs, teens gained valuable knowledge about the working environment, networking, and job hunting. Teens that held jobs during the school year developed useful time management skills as they learned to balance school, work, and their social lives. The benefits disappeared, however, when teens worked more than 33 hours per week.

World Suicide Prevention Day
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is a major problem among teens: 17 percent say they have seriously considered the act, and 8 percent have actually attempted suicide in the past year. According to the National Council for Suicide Prevention, more people around the world die from suicide than from war and murder combined. Suicide is preventable. Nine in ten people who complete suicide had a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatment is available for teens and adults. Learning to recognize the warning signs of suicide can save lives.