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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

Apps that encourage positive comments
A pair of relatively new apps are designed specifically to encourage positive comments. To learn more, CBS News Tech Analyst Larry Magid (who is also co-director of ConnectSafely.org and founder of SafeKids.com)  spoke with Pascal Lorne of Let and Calvin … Continue reading Continue reading

Safety & civility advice for anonymous apps
A growing number of apps allow people to post anonymously. Some of the better known ones include Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak but there are new ones all the time, including After School, that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

High School Students Fight Back After Cyberbullying
After their school was rocked by a wave of cyberbullying, teens in Rutland, Vermont, sprung into action and pushed back against the negative behavior. Earlier this month, cruel and obscene posts about Rutland High School students began appearing in the messaging app After School. The app allowed students to post anonymous messages about school events, but was hijacked by bullies targeting specific students. After the hate-filled posts appeared, Rutland students launched a petition asking Apple to remove After School from their App Store. Two days later, Apple pulled the app. Rutland students encouraged friends to delete the app, and then started a “Positive Post-It” campaign. Students wrote positive and supportive messages on Post-Its and placed them throughout the school. “I thought it was awesome,” remarked one student. “It’s cool that you can walk down the hall and see all the awesome things people say rather than all the nasty things people say,” she said. The response has earned the teens widespread praise from education experts, their state governor, and the media.

Paying for College: Dreams vs. Reality
It is college application season, and teens are busy preparing for life beyond high school. One of the biggest questions is how to pay for college, especially as the costs of tuition, books, and room and board have increased every year. A report from public radio program Marketplace found many teens expect scholarships or grants to cover their costs. However, teens often overestimate how much money is available to them. Two-thirds of undergrads receive scholarships or grants, but the average grant covers less today than it did ten years ago. Many students rely on loans instead. In the Marketplace report, only 17 percent of teens expected loans to cover “most” of their college costs. Once in school, however, large numbers of students end up taking on debt. The average debt for an undergrad student reached a high of $28,400 last month, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

Confronting Rape on College Campuses
Sexual assault is a major problem on college campuses. Currently, dozens of American colleges are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for mishandling rape cases. Victims of sexual assault often face indifference, disbelief, or denial when they report what happened. Many cases go unreported. Even fewer are prosecuted. When a college finds that a student has committed a sexual assault, the punishment is often light. Less than a third of cases result in the guilty student being expelled from school, according to the Huffington Post. New anti-rape campaigns, like the It’s On Us and Not Alone campaigns launched by the White House, are pushing teens and young adults to confront the issue. These campaigns encourage young people to talk about importance of consent and to intervene in situations where sexual assault may occur.

Self-Harm Impacts Teens’ Futures
Teens who self-harm are more likely to face mental health and substance abuse problems when they grow into adulthood, according to a new study. The study examined thousands of 16-year-olds, and found that one in five had a history of self-harm. When researchers checked back with the teens five years later, those who self-harmed were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety and more likely to use illegal drugs and smoke or drink too much. Teens who self-harmed with suicidal intent also experienced academic and employment troubles in young adulthood. The study found that most teens who self-harmed had never sought professional help. While seeking help can be difficult, trained specialists can help teens recover and learn healthy ways to cope with their emotions.