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<April 2015>

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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

A conversation with Esther Wojcicki on ‘Moonshots in Education’
Esther Wojcicki is an award winning journalism teacher and the author of a new book on education called Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom. The book explores digital and online learning with models and examples from schools … Continue reading Continue reading

‘Revenge porn’ is about betrayal, not pornography
Sharing explicit pictures or videos with an intimate partner is not always a harmful practice, but it can be devastating if those images get into the wrong hands — like those of Kevin Bollaert. In the first criminal prosecution using … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Latino Teens Feel the Effects of Discrimination
A new study of Latino high school students has found that discrimination negatively impacts mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Researchers were surprised to find that these mental health issues were less common in Latino teens who were immigrants and more common in teens who were the children of immigrants. Discrimination-related anxiety and depression decreased as Latino teens progressed through high school.

App Leads to Threats, Cyberbullying, and Arrests
An anonymous messaging app called Burnbook is causing chaos in middle and high schools. Teens are using the app to bully classmates and threaten school shootings or other violent attacks. Some school districts are urging students to delete the app. Others have asked that the app’s creators block messages related to their schools. Police are taking each threat seriously. In San Diego County, California, threats of violence made on Burnbook have disrupted five different schools this month. At least two teens have been arrested in connection with these cases. They now face criminal charges.

Drug Use Common Among Pregnant Teens
A new study has found that three in five pregnant teens have used drugs or alcohol in the past year. That is nearly double the rate of drug use in non-pregnant teens. A third of pregnant teens have even used drugs in the past month. Alcohol and marijuana were the most commonly abused substances. Drug use during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems for both mother and child.

Facebook Adds Suicide Prevention Tools
Over the next two months, Facebook will roll out new tools to help users struggling with thoughts of suicide. If a user posts something that points to suicide or self-harm, friends can report the post. Facebook will review flagged posts and offer help to the user by connecting him or her with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Facebook will also give the user the option of reaching out to a friend or reading advice on working through their difficulties.