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INSIDE – What is a Safe School? – Tips for being a nurturing parent – Cyberbullying: Tips on how to handle digital threats – Parental Tips for monitoring use of digital technologies – Students and substance abuse – Emergency Phone List – K-2 Alert! New and potentially dangerous form of synthetic marijuana

Keeping our kids safe in a s u o r e g n a d world.

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The Daily Nonpareil

Friday, September 24, 2010

2

Protecting Our Children

What Is A Safe School? A look at how school personnel, students and the community can create a safe school environment.

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esearch shows that a positive and welcoming school climate increases the likelihood that students succeed academically, it also protects them from engaging in high-risk behaviors like substance abuse, teen pregnancy and violence. A positive school climate encourages behaviors with clear consequences for violating rules, as well as rewards for meeting expectatiions.

A safe school is also a school that is prepared for emergencies, provides opportunities and guidance for students , and involves the whole community in anticipating and preventing school problems. A safe school balances physical security with a nurturing school climate. It also develops effective schoolcommunity partnerships. Here are some things that school

personnel can do to create a protective school: • Consistently recognize students and adults for participating in cooperative and philanthropic activities. • Brainstorm with students, faculty/ staff, and parents some simple changes that could make the school a more enjoyable place to be. • Establish and support a school norm that does not tolerate any form of verbal and nonverbal bullying by adults or students.

Building community and parent relationships • Contact parents when students do something well. • Enlist involved parents in getting other parents to participate in the school’s culture. • Examine how parents and community members are involved in your school and if there are ways to increase that involvement. Building a safe school means involving the whole community in a collaborative effort to create

In a positive school climate, the caring attitude of the school is clearly visible and is reflected by widespread participation in all areas of the school. Discipline • State rules positively to tell students what to do instead of what not to do. • Express the expectation that all students can and will be successful. • Focus on giving students concrete rewards and acknowledgment for abiding by the rules of conduct, rather than focusing primarily on misbehavior.

a nurturing environment, prepare for emergencies, provide activities before and after school, and increase community involvement in the school. So ask the students, staff, parents, and community what can be done to make your school a safer place. Get creative and have fun! Source: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado at Boulder


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Daily Nonpareil

Protecting Our Children

3

Tips for Being A Nurturing Parent

One of the most important things you can do to prevent child abuse is to build a positive relationship with your own children.

Help your children feel loved and secure • Make sure your children know you love them, even when they do something wrong. • Encourage your children. Praise their achievements and talents. • Spend time with your children. Do things together that you all enjoy.

Seek help if you need it Problems such as unemployment, marital tension, or a child with special needs can add to family tension. And parenting is a challenging job on its own. No one expects you to know how to do it all. If you think stress may be affecting the way you treat your child, or if you just want the extra support that all parents need at some point, try the following:

Talk to someone

Take a parenting class

Tell a friend, healthcare provider, or a leader in your faith community about your concerns. Or join a self-help group for parents.

Nobody was born knowing how to be a good parent. Parenting classes can give you the skills you need to raise a happy, healthy child.

Accept help

Get counseling Individual or family counseling can help you learn healthy ways to communicate with each other.

You don’t have to do it all. Accept offers of help from friends, family, or neighbors. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Source: National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect

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The Daily Nonpareil

Friday, September 24, 2010

4

Protecting Our Children

Cyberbullying: Tips on how to handle digital threats

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outh now spend a lot of time on a cell phone or instant messenger chatting with friends and uploading photos, videos, and music to websites. They may have online friends whom you’ve never met in person, with whom they play games and exchange messages. Their lives exist in a variety of places such as school hallways, part-time jobs, and friends’ houses. Now many of them also have lives on the Internet. And bullying has followed them online. Online bullying, called

cyberbullying, happens when individuals use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Cyberbullying is a problem that affects almost half of all American teens. Whether you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying, know someone who has been cyberbullied, or have even cyberbullied yourself, there are steps you and your friends can take to stop cyberbullying and stay cyber-safe.

How are youths cyberbullied? Being a victim of cyberbullying can be a common and painful experience. Some youths who cyberbully •Pretend they are other people online to trick others •Spread lies and rumors about victims •Trick people into revealing personal information •Send or forward mean text messages •Post pictures of victims without their consent When youth were asked why they think others cyberbully, 81 percent said that cyberbullies think it’s funny. Other teens believe that youth who cyberbully •Don’t think it’s a big deal •Don’t think about the consequences •Are encouraged by friends •Think everybody cyberbullies •Think they won’t get caught

How can I prevent cyberbullying? Some have figured out ways to prevent cyberbullying. Follow in the footsteps of other quick-thinking youth and •Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages •Tell friends to stop cyberbullying •Block communication with cyberbullies •Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult You can also help prevent cyberbullying by •Speaking with other students, as well as teachers and school

administrators, to develop rules against cyberbullying •Raising awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community by holding an assembly and creating fliers to give to younger kids or parents •Sharing NCPC’s anti-cyberbullying message with friends Don’t forget that even though you can’t see a cyberbully or the bully’s victim, cyberbullying causes real problems. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Delete cyberbullying. Don’t write it. Don’t forward it.

What else can I do to stay cyber-safe? Remember that the Internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world, not just your friends and family. While many Internet users are friendly, some may want to hurt you. Below are some ways to stay cyber-safe: •Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number, or Social Security number) or your friends’ personal information. •Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents. •Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online. •Talk to your parents about what you do online. Source: http://www.ncpc.org


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Daily Nonpareil

Protecting Our Children

5

Paretnal Tips for monitoring use of digital technologies Personal technology devices like computers, hand-held computers (i.e. “Blackberries”) and cell phones can provide a wealth of positive information and connection to a greater community. In many families, these are also providing convenient new ways for kids and grown-ups to keep in touch throughout the day and to consult with one another as plans and schedules change. However, unsupervised technology use can also open a world of temptation and misinformation on topics such as drugs, sex, and other risky behaviors. Kids want and need the kind of trust between themselves and their parents and other caregiving adults that only a continuous pattern or regular, healthy give-and-take communication can establish. But parents also need to know that their trust isn’t being violated. Kids can’t always be counted on to use digital technologies appropriately. Sometimes they stumble into danger unknowingly. They need guidance and rules.

Here are some tips to keep them on track: •Limit your teen’s time spent online, and put computers in a common area of the house so you can more easily monitor use. •Be clear and consistent about what is off limits — including Web sites, chat rooms, games, blogs, or certain music downloads — and how to handle information promoting drugs or sex. Discuss consequences for breaking the rules. •Enforce the consequences. The more meaningful the consequence to the youth, the less likely they will break the rules. For example, if you catch your son or daughter Instant Messaging (IM’ing) someone they don’t personally know, take computer, Blackberry, or cell phone privileges away for an extended period of time. You can also restrict or prohibit use of these devices as a consequence for breaking curfew, coming home smelling of smoke or alcohol, or exhibiting other signs of substance abuse. •Learn about the digital devices your kids use. Cell phones are living diaries of their friends,

activities, and whereabouts. Know the people who are listed in their electronic phone book and learn how to review recent calls and text messages. (Check the cell phone manual for instructions on how.) If a strange number appears, ask about it. •Visit your son’s or daughter’s Web site or personal blog. Review their profile, pictures, video, and music uploads. Also check out the links that they include on his/her page. These will give you a candid view of his/her thoughts on issues like drugs and dating as well as an inside glimpse of their friends and activities. Check out his/her “network,” as well, and what type of information is on his/her friends’ sites. •Monitor e-mails and Instant Messaging. Know whom your child is communicating with online. Ask who is on his/her cell phone and Instant Message contact lists. Ask to review their e-mail address book on a regular basis and who unfamiliar addresses represent. Use every available opportunity to meet and get to know those friends AND their parents. •Remind your teens that the Internet is public space and anyone, including college admissions offices, potential employers, and even predators, can see what they’re posting online. Talk to your teen about not posting personally identifiable information or regrettable pictures/videos and information. •Make sure your son or daughter knows that everything “on the web” isn’t necessarily legal. Alcohol, tobacco, illicit and prescription drugs are all marketed on the Internet, along with weapons, pornography, and opportunities for real-world sexual liaisons. Young people need help understanding that many things offered to them via the Internet may be illegal, as well as dangerous. Talk to them about letting you know if they receive personal messages encouraging them to engage in illegal behaviors so that you can notify the appropriate authorities. •Use technology to help monitor your child. See for yourself what’s posted on social networking sites (i.e. MySpace.com) your child visits by setting up your own account. Use

text messaging to check in with your son or daughter after school. If they have a camera phone, have him/her send a picture of where he/she is and who he/she is with. If he/she is supposed to be at a school football game, tell them to take a picture of him/herself with friends in the stands. •If you suspect, go the extra mile. Some technologies enable you to track the exact Web pages, blogs and message boards that your child visits. Many of these same products have filtering devices that prevent teens from viewing inappropriate content. Learn about this technology here. •Talk to other parents about how they monitor their kids, especially in this age of gadgets and digital devices. Ask what has worked for

them and what hasn’t. Stay connected and share your stories to aid your monitoring activities and keep your kids safe. Above all, don’t feel uncomfortable with these tactics. Think of the online world in terms of a real neighborhood—would you let your teen hang out with a stranger down the street or have an unknown adult check in on your child while you are away? Probably not. The same types of precautions you’d take in your own neighborhood are the same types of precautions you should take in the virtual world. You can do it. You’re supposed to do it. You owe it to them.

Source: www.theantidrug.com


The Daily Nonpareil

Friday, September 24, 2010

6

Protecting Our Children

Students And Substance Abuse

As we progress into the 21st century, the problems of substance abuse remain widespread among American young people.

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students (80%) have consumed alcohol by the end of high school; and about half have done so by the 8th grade.

And the statistics for cigarettes and alcohol are also cause for considerable concern. Nearly twothirds (61%) of American youths have tried cigarettes by the 12th grade. Four out of every five

Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by high school seniors. Boys usually try alcohol for the first time at just 11 years old, while the average age of American girls’ first drink is 13. These facts underscore the dangers of alcohol and teenagers:

ccording to the most recent results of The Monitoring the Future study, over half (54%) the students surveyed have tried an illicit drug by the time they finish high school.

• Underage drinking is a factor in nearly half of all teen automobile crashes • Alcohol use contributes to youth suicides, homicides and fatal injuries • Alcohol abuse is linked to as many as two-thirds of all sexual assaults and date rapes of teen students (American Medical Association, March 2002)

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Even if drug use subsides, as it did by the early 1990s, our nation must ensure that young people learn about the dangers of drugs – from schools, parents, and the media.

Source: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado at Boulder


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Daily Nonpareil

Local Emergency Phone List For emergencies, call 9-1-1

Police and fire non-emergency Pottawattamie County Communications center: (712) 328-5737 Council Bluffs Police Department, non-emergency: (712) 328-4715 Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office: (712) 890-2200

Mom's Work Dad's Work Mom's Cell Dad's Cell Grandma/Grandpa Grandma/Grandpa Neighbor Other

Jennie Edmundson Iowa State Patrol District 3 headquarters: Hospital: (712) 396-6000 (712) 328-8001 Children’s Hospital: Council Bluffs Fire (402) 955-5400 Department Headquarters: (712) 328-4646 Lewis Township Fire Department: (712) 323-1093

Hospitals Alegent Health Mercy Hospital: (712) 328-5000

Youth services

Children’s Square U.S.A.: (712) 322-3700 YMCA Family: (712) 322-6606

Other numbers Poison Control: 1 (800) 222-1222 Department of Human Services Council Bluffs office: (712) 328-5661 Child/dependent adult abuse/neglect: (712) 328-4875 TTY Voice 1 (800) 362-2178

Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Information: (712) 396-4200


The Daily Nonpareil

Friday, September 24, 2010

8

Protecting Our Children

K-2 Alert! New and potentially dangerous form of synthetic marijuana K2 or "spice" is a synthetic herb and it's being sold legally in smoke shops and incense, but it's being marketed to teens as a way of getting high. K2 is labeled as an herbal blend, marketed for home incense, but it’s being used for much different purposes and could have potentially dangerous effects. Although K2 is legal when consumed, the effects can be 10 times more intense than those from marijuana. The dried herbs come in 3-gram packages of various flavors, including “Blonde,� “Pink,� “Citron� and “Summit.� K2 samples submitted by police found no THC, the narcotic in marijuana, or any other illegal substances. But one of the samples tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and JWH-073, developed in the mid-1990s by Clemson University researchers conducting lab experiments on mice to test the compounds’ effects on the brain.

Authorities are concerned. Investigators say the blend first became popular in parts of Europe in 2008. According to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, some European and Asian countries, including France, Austria and Germany, have outlawed some products which contained the compounds JWH-018 and JWH073.

“Within an hour of smoking K2 our son David was dead.� - Rozga family, Indianola

Teenagers have been hospitalized, suffered sever hallucinations, vomiting, increased heart rate, and even seizures. The military has banned possession of K2. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has classified it a “drug or chemical of concern.� http://www.k2drugfacts.com

Alert! There is now available new and potentially dangerous forms of synthetic marijuana —one of the more common types is called K2—that threaten the health and safety of unsuspecting Iowa youth.

There is mounting evidence that K2 and similar substances can cause anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, elevated blood pressure, rapid heart rate or respiration, vomiting, hallucinations and seizures. K2 is also the substance recently smoked by 18-year old David Rozga of Indianola, before he suffered a panic attack and fatally shot himself. In the words of David’s father, please spread the word to make other Iowans aware of K2, so that other parents don’t have to face the same type of tragedy endured by the Rozga family. While the Iowa Pharmacy Board has taken emergency action to ban these products, education is required to address the likelihood of black market sales, similar to conventional marijuana.

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Protecting Our Children 2010