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Southeast Polk High School Library

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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

Digital Trust Foundation seeking proposals regarding online privacy, safety and security
A new foundation, born out of a lawsuit regarding Facebook’s Beacon project, is giving away more than $6 million “to fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security.” It seems like an eternity ago, … Continue reading Continue reading

KidSafe.com is still stealing content from SafeKids.com — PLEASE STOP
A few years ago, I discovered that a website called KidSafe.com was wholesale stealing content from SafeKids.com. Rather than copy and paste articles, they have an RSS feed that simply takes the content and displays it on their site. I thnk … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Ending Domestic Violence
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Violence between parents and children, siblings, intimate partners, or roommates occurs in half of all households at least once a year, according to the Department of Justice. Despite this, domestic violence is a hidden problem. Only 40 percent of incidents are reported to police. One in ten teens have been abused by a partner recently, yet few teens believe abuse is a problem among their friends. Most teens have never discussed domestic violence with friends or parents. You can do your part to raise awareness and change the culture that allows this violence to continue. For example, the Because Voices Have Power campaign contributes to anti-violence charities. If you post a message of hope for survivors of abuse using the hashtag #VoicesHavePower on social media, the campaign will donate $3 in your name.

Doctors: Start School Later and Let Teens Sleep!
With the school year in swing, teens are feeling the effects of lack of sleep. Less than a third of high school students get eight or more hours of sleep on school nights, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. In response, doctors at the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend middle schools and high schools begin classes at 8:30 or later. Currently, only 15 percent of schools do so, according to the magazine New Scientist. Doctors say puberty causes changes in teens’ body clocks, sometimes pushing their natural sleep-wake cycles back by two hours. Lack of sleep is linked to poor test scores, more car accidents, and increased risk of depression and obesity in teens.

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.