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<October 2015>

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Current Weather Conditions Across The 48 Contiguous United States
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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

Identity theft can hit children too
Identify theft can be a serious problem for victims. It can destroy your credit, get you in trouble with the IRS and sometimes even result in your arrest if someone commits a crime in your name. Other consequences, wrote Katie Morell in the book, “Stolen Identity,” include counterfeiting and forgery of documents, stealing medical services in your name and filing tax returns as you so that they can get your refund. A 2008 study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 11.7 million people, five percent of all persons age 16 or older in the United States, were victims of identity theft during the two years prior to the survey. That represented a financial loss of more than $17 billion. As Morell points out in her book, identity theft is nothing new. It’s actually referenced in the book of Genesis in the Bible with the story of Jacob who posed as his brother Esau. Jacob and Esau didn’t have Internet access (the only tablets around at the time were made of stone), which means Esau didn’t have to worry about Jacob using his identity to apply for credit online as has happened to millions of Americans. One thing [...] Continue reading

North Carolina teens charged under child porn laws: What you need to know about teen sexting
The Washington Post and ABC News (video) are reporting that two North Carolina teens have been charged with manufacturing and possession of child pornography because they have naked pictures of each other on their phones. The teens are now 17 (they were 16 at the time) and they are old enough to be charged as adults. Had they been 18 it would not have been considered child porn and no charges would have been filed. Sixteen is also the age at which kids can have sex in North Carolina. As Dan Abrams said on ABC’s Good Morning America, they could look at each other naked but they can’t share pictures of each other in that state. Because they are being charged as adults, some media outlets are disclosing their names. I’m not. Laws designed to protect, not prosecute, children Child pornography laws were designed to protect children from predatory adults. They were never intended to prosecute teens for sharing images of themselves. This is a disgraceful use of prosecutorial powers. There are situations when it is appropriate to prosecute around sexting images but these are cases where they are distributed without the subject’s consent or cases where an adult has solicited images of children. So-called sextortion is [...] Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Bullying Prevention Month
October is Bullying Prevention Month, and this year’s theme is “The End of Bullying Begins with Me.” Do you know someone who has been bullied? Do you know a bully? Every teen can play a part in stopping bullying. Set a good example by being tolerant and respectful. Don’t give bullying an audience. Offer support and friendship. If you see trouble, tell an adult, and speak up until someone takes the problem seriously. This month, be more than a bystander.

How Many Teens Will Eat Fast Food Today?
Fast food is full of salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, and other health-wrecking ingredients. Despite this, a new government report says that, on any given day, one in three teens eats fast food. Teens were equally likely to eat fast food regardless of family income level, gender, or body mass index. Despite efforts to get teens to eat healthy, teen consumption of fast food has not changed much over the past 15 years.

Teen Model with Down Syndrome Wows at Fashion Week
Madeline Stuart is not an average teen. She was born with Down syndrome, a genetic condition that affects physical and mental development. Madeline is changing society’s ideas about teens with Down syndrome. She works as a model and made headlines this month when she walked the runway during New York Fashion Week. The Australian native has even scored modeling contracts with two fashion companies.

One Teen Killed, Another Paralyzed in Football Games
With school sports in full swing, on-the-field injuries are on the rise. In Round Rock, Texas, a high school sophomore was paralyzed from the waist down during a football game on September 2. Doctors are unsure if he’ll walk again. On September 4, high school sophomore Tyrell Cameron of Winnsboro, Louisiana, died after being injured in his football team’s first game of the season. Injuries, such as concussions, are a concern for all teen athletes, regardless of the sport played.