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<January 2015>

Southeast Polk High School Library


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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

Ford CEO Mark Fields on mobility, connected cars & teen safety
It may seem odd for an Internet safety site like SafeKids.com to be featuring an interview with the CEO of a car company, but cars are no longer just motor vehicles. They’re connected computers on wheels. And Ford is no longer just … Continue reading Continue reading

Facebook to issue Amber alerts — exclusive interview with John Walsh
Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) are teaming up to put Amber Alerts about missing children on Facebook News Feeds, but only if they are in the targeted search area for an abducted child. A … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Canadian Teen Raises Thousands with Twitter Mental Health Campaign
Earlier this month, 16-year-old Brett Rothery kickstarted a conversation on mental health with the Twitter hashtag #CHHSLetsTalk. The “CHHS” stands for Crescent Heights High School in Calgary, Alberta, where Brett and other students convinced their principal to donate $500 of school money toward the Canadian Mental Health Association if the hashtag hit 10,000 retweets. Within a week, #CHHSLetsTalk had 100,000 retweets and local companies had pledged thousands of dollars toward helping people with addiction, depression, and mental illness.

Apps Offer Parents Chance to Keep Tabs on Teens
For some teens, the days of “checking in” with parents while out with friends are over. Parents can now track their teens’ locations in real time, seeing whether they left school early, whether they made it to soccer practice, or even whether they are driving too fast. One successful the iPhone and Android app, Life360, is used by 50 million families worldwide. It allows consenting users to broadcast their location to family members on an interactive map. The app includes a “Drive Mode” that detects when a teen is driving so family members can avoid texting that person. The iPhone and Android app MamaBear shares a teen’s location and tips off parents if he or she is driving too fast. It even monitors a teen’s social media accounts, alerting parents when their teen is tagged in photos, makes a new friend, or has restricted or bullying language posted to his or her social media pages. As more and more apps and services become available, teens may find their lives increasingly monitored.

Obama Administration Proposes Free Community College
In this week’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will propose a new program that may impact the futures of many American teens. Obama will call for states and the federal government to work together to offer two years of free schooling at community colleges. Tuition would be covered, but only if students maintained good grades and stayed on track to graduate. About 9 million students are expected to participate, and each would save an average of $3,800 per year in tuition costs. The plan reflects the fact that young people now need more and more education in order to compete in the job market. According to the Washington Post, each year of college completed leads to a 10 to 15 percent increase in earnings.

Early Puberty Can Spell Depression for Teens
Young people who begin puberty earlier than their peers are at greater risk of depression in their teen years, according to new research from the University of Illinois. While the in-depth, four-year study found the effects in both boys and girls, they seemed more pronounced in younger girls. Researchers found that youth who reached puberty early tended to experience greater anxiety, poorer self-image, and more conflict with friends or family members. They also tended to have friends who were “prone to getting into trouble.” The study found that a supportive family or a strong network of friends could offset some of these negative effects. About 11 percent of teens experience a major depressive episode before age 18.