TeachME: New CEU Courses

VIOLENCE AND BULLYING AMONG SCHOOL-AGED YOUTH

Youth violence is widespread in the United States and it impacts the health of individuals, families, schools, and communities.  The purpose of this brief continuing education course, developed using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is to provide an overview of the prevalence and characteristics of teen violence and bullying and to address prevention efforts. Risk and protective factors, research findings, and strategies to help youth who are exposed to violence and bullying are also discussed.

EXPLORING THE COST OF HIGH-QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION

Growing evidence about the benefits of high quality care for young children has led to a strong commitment at the federal and state levels to improve the quality of early care and education (ECE). Along with measures of quality, measures of implementation and cost of early childhood education are needed to shed light on what it takes to achieve high quality within a program. This continuing education course summarizes the findings of a literature review conducted as part of the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality ECE (ECE-ICHQ) project funded by the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project’s goal is to create a technically sound and feasible instrument that will provide consistent, systematic measures of the implementation and costs of education and care in center-based settings that serve children from birth to age five.

For more on these new courses and many more, visit TeachME CEUs

At some schools, ‘Big Brother’ is watching (VIDEO)

Just as parents are grappling with how to keep their kids safe on social media, schools are increasingly confronting a controversial question: Should they do more to monitor students’ online interactions off-campus to protect them from dangers such as bullying, drug use, violence and suicide?

This summer, the Glendale school district in suburban Los Angeles captured headlines with its decision to pay a tech firm $40,500 to monitor what middle and high school students post publicly on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The school district went with the firm Geo Listening after a pilot program with the company last spring helped a student who was talking on social media about “ending his life,” company CEO Chris Frydrych told CNN’s Michael Martinez in September.

“We were able to save a life,” said Richard Sheehan, the Glendale superintendent, adding that two students in the school district had committed suicide the past two years.

“It’s just another avenue to open up a dialogue with parents about safety,” he said.

Full story of big brother watching schools at CNN

Here’s The Best Way To Beat A Bully

Six out of 10 teenagers say they witness bullying in school once a day, and 160,000 students miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students, according to bullying statistics.

Bullying is a big problem in America’s schools, and for National Bullying Prevention Month, education groups are trying to inform kids and adults about what they can do to stop bullies.

Popular wisdom often portrayed in movies and TV shows would have you believe that kids should fight back against bullies, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ bullying website says that’s not a good idea.

Here’s their advice:

Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.

Full story of beating the bully at Business Insider

Obama administration to allocate $45M for cops in schools

The Obama administration plans to spend millions of dollars to place armed police officers in schools throughout the country in a move advocated by the National Rifle Association in the wake of last December’s shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The Department of Justice announced Friday it’s giving nearly $45 million to fund 356 new school resource officer positions. Funding will be provided by grants from the department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, office.

“Just over nine months after the senseless mass shooting at Sandy Hook, we remain committed to providing every resource we can to ensure that the children of Newtown can feel safe and secure at school and elsewhere,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “And as we hold lost loved ones in our thoughts and prayers, we resolve to continue to support and protect this community — and to help them heal together.”

Holder announced the department has allocated $150,000 to put police officers in schools in Newtown. The grant from the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance is intended to fund two positions, such as resource officers.

Full story of placing cops in schools at Fox News

Empty desks: Suicide’s touch infiltrates school

Suicide's Touch Infiltrates SchoolStephanie Livingston woke on Dec. 12 to seven text messages from friends asking if she knew what happened to Antonio Franco.

Her mind raced as confusion set in.

Then she got a text from the mother of a former classmate. In a few short words, Antonio was gone.

She didn’t believe it at first. Antonio was one of the smartest kids in class and nice to everyone "no matter what" — he was the last person she believed would kill himself.

"I didn’t know how, exactly. I didn’t know what to believe," the now 17-year-old said this winter, two months after his death.

That same day, rumors about the 16-year-old baseball player’s death started circulating through Fort Collins High School, borne by whispers in the hallways, posts on Facebook and text messages.

Full story of suicides affect on schools at The Sacramento Bee

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Mental health services a defense against school violence

Mental Health and School ViolenceThese days, it seems like our leaders in Washington have trouble finding common ground. However, the State of the Union address and the Republican response offered a welcome moment of agreement. Both President Obama and Senator Marco Rubio called for urgent action to reduce violence in our schools and communities. It’s certainly true that Republicans and Democrats may disagree on the steps we should take, but I was pleased nonetheless that both sides are considering the problem with the seriousness it deserves.

The debate is different this time. December’s unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has focused the nation’s attention on safety—and rightly so. Every morning, some 60 million American parents check homework, stuff backpacks, zip up jackets, and send their beloved children into the care of our nation’s schools. Parents are demanding that our leaders do everything in their power to ensure that those kids return home, every day, safe and healthy.

There are no shortage of ideas on the subject, and the debate has been robust. But I’d argue that our national conversation has been missing one essential element: a physician’s focus on prevention.

Full story of mental health and school violence at Capitol Weekly

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Guns and Mental Health

Guns and Mental Health in SchoolsAs we debate the steps to reducing gun violence in the society a couple points need to be understood: 1. The link between violent crime and mental illness is weak, and 2. Mental health professionals are poor at predicting anyone’s propensity for any specific behavior, including homicide.

Although it is mass shootings, particularly the massacre of school children in Newtown, that capture our attention and have accelerated the current discussion, Americans for the most part kill each other with guns in ones and twos. Of the total number of gun deaths in this country, around 30,000 a year, the majority are not the result of mental illness, but of ordinary human emotions like anger, hate, greed, and despair. In fact, about half of all shootings are suicides.

It is certainly true that our mental health system is in critical need of improvement, specifically in the area of funding. Twenty-eight states and D.C. reduced their mental health funding by a total of $1.6 billion between 2009 and 2012. With the "deinstitutionalization" movement of the ’60s and ’70s, many inpatient facilities were closed or reduced in size. It was assumed that a network of outpatient mental health clinics would take care of those previously hospitalized. This assumption has proven to be unattainable, largely because of inadequate public funding; instead many of the mentally ill are now on our streets or in our jails. (A 2010 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center found that there are more people with severe mental illness in prisons than in hospitals.) Inhumane and scandalous though that may be, few of them present a danger to public safety.

Full story of school guns and mental health at Huffington Post

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Gov. Walker Trusts Teachers with Guns, But Not With Collective Bargaining

Teachers Possibly Armed for SchoolWisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who became nationally known for severely limiting the union rights of teachers and other public employees, has indicated support for arming those same school officials who apparently cannot be trusted to collectively bargain.

As Americans search for answers and policy solutions in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Gov. Walker has apparently decided that the problem is not too many guns — it is that there are not enough.

Giving guns to teachers should be "part of the discussion," he said on December 19. Walker refused to endorse an assault weapons ban or other limits on the types of guns or ammunition that can be sold.

Teachers Need Guns, Not Unions?

Walker’s infamous Act 10 legislation drastically curtailed the collective bargaining rights of most public employees in the state, prompting months of historic protests and a recall effort. The governor justified the harsh legislation — which he never mentioned during the campaign that installed him in office — largely by demonizing unionized teachers as overpaid and underperforming.

Full story of teachers armed at PR Watch

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Facebook launches ‘bold’ anti-bullying campaign

Facebook Campaign Against BullyingSocial media giant Facebook is asking users to take a stand against bullying in the Be Bold: Stop Bullying national campaign.

Launched in Toronto on Wednesday, the online campaign asks youth, parents and educators to take a pledge against bullying, share stories about their own experience with bullies and encourages Facebook users to start their own bullying-prevention groups.

Facebook Canada managing director Jordan Banks said the campaign aims to specifically reach out to those who are witnesses to bullying.

“One of the things we know by working with our partners in bullying is the power really exists in the voices of the people watching bullying happening,” Banks told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.

“When the bystander says something to the bully, like stop bullying, 50 per cent of the time that bully will stop right away because what the bully is looking for is some positive reinforcement.”

Full story of Facebook campaign against bullying at CTV News

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Bullying victims take schools to courts

Bullying Victims Take Schools To CourtIn the days following her son’s suicide, Jeannie Chambers told a television reporter in Sioux City that she wasn’t sure if she wanted charges filed against the classmates who bullied her boy.

Her son, Kenneth Weishuhn, was only 14 when he killed himself April 15. His death inspired rallies and candlelight vigils across the state and reignited a debate about bullying, responsibility and liability.

The reason for Chambers’ indecisiveness seemed altruistic. She didn’t want another mother to lose a child, she said.

But bullying victims and their families have increasingly turned to the legal system for recourse. They’re going beyond pushing for criminal charges and civil penalties against bullies. They’re taking on school systems — and winning.

Full story of bullying in court at WCF Courier

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