A few weeks ago, a friend stumbled across a picture of her 10-year-old son and his younger cousin that threw her for a loop.
While visiting a pirate museum with family, the two boys became intrigued with a statue of a scantily clad woman dressed like a female version of a pirate. His grandmother snapped a picture of the smiling boys, one on either side of the statue—each boy with his hand carefully placed on the woman’s nearly bare chest. My friend was horrified. “He’s only 10!” she cried. “Don’t they realize that’s wrong?” She glanced at me for my opinion. “Um… teachable moment?” I suggested. Read more
A handful of Republicans have signed on to a bill that would repeal portions of the 1990 Gun-Free Schools Zones Act, saying the federally imposed ban on carrying firearms within a certain distance of school campuses is “ineffective” and nonsensical.
The bill, H.R. 34, called the Safe Students Act, was introduced by Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie earlier this month. It’s a near carbon copy of the bill that Ron Paul, ex-congressman from Texas, tried to pass several years ago.
“Gun-free school zones are ineffective,” Massie said. “They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments. Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.” Read more
Education Secretary John B. King Jr., in a recent letter, called on schools across the nation to abolish corporal punishment of students—a decades-old disciplinary practice that has flown largely under the radar despite being lawful in more than a dozen states.
“I write to you,” he said in a written appeal to governors and state education officials, “to call your attention to a practice in some schools—the use of corporal punishment—which is harmful, ineffective and often disproportionately applied to students of color and students with disabilities, and which states have the power to change. If you have not already, I urge you to eliminate this practice from your schools and instead promote supportive, effective disciplinary measures.” Read more
As Child’s World America reflects upon the events that took place at Sandy Hook four years ago, it is vital to recognize that childhood gun violence continues to occur throughout the nation. Dr. Marano exposes the varied experiences children and youths face in Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. —Cyndi Maurer, PhD (editor)
On a Saturday morning in August, a white carriage drawn by two white horses makes its way through the streets of Camden, its top-hatted driver bearing a solemn expression. Inside the carriage is the body of 8-year-old Gabrielle Hill-Carter, struck in the head by a stray bullet as she played across from her home several days before.
Gabby, as she was known, was but one of the recent child victims of gun violence in our area. In the poor neighborhoods of Camden and Philadelphia, adults have a great deal of experience planning funerals for children who were shot while playing outside their own homes. Often, as in Gabby’s case, the families need help from friends, neighbors, and strangers to pay for the burials. Read more
What widespread act of domestic and intimate partner violence often leaves no visible sign of injury, yet contributes to 10 percent of violent deaths in the United States? Strangulation.
It can take only 10 seconds, under a slight 11 pounds of pressure, for a strangulation victim to lose consciousness. Death can follow in five minutes or less. Related health symptoms and even loss of life can occur years later.
The fact is that strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. As mentioned in the August-September 2014 issue of the Domestic Violence Report, the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence conducted a statewide survey on strangulation in 2011 and found the following regarding the 151 survivors who participated: Read more
The representation of everyday children in our media-driven society often ignores how parents shape their child’s digital presence long before the child is able to have a say. Issues of privacy and protection, hotly debated in other arenas, are overlooked as parents post images and videos on social media. Katie Elson Anderson focuses on the issues of protection and privacy as everyday children’s lives go viral. —Cyndi Maurer, PhD (editor)
YouTube is full of adorable babies, sassy toddlers, precocious preschoolers, and talented and entertaining elementary school students. When a video goes viral, besides being viewed on the internet, it can be widely shared by other media outlets, including the nightly news or a late night comedy show. In some cases, adults are encouraged to share videos in which they do mean things to their children, such as tell them they ate all of their Halloween candy (Jimmy Kimmel Live, 2015). The child’s reactions and emotions become entertainment for a broad audience, violating the child’s right to privacy, which encompasses the right to cry about a hurtful event without being put on display.
In Camden, New Jersey, young children and youths face community violence, struggling schools, family problems, and poverty on a daily basis. They navigate a city widely considered to be among the most dangerous in the United States. The unemployment rate in Camden is approximately 40 percent, and about 90 percent of the city’s school children are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Many families experience difficulty meeting fundamental needs, such as acquiring sufficient food. Here, Dr. Marano reflects on the relationship between incarcerated youths, food insecurity, and the juvenile justice system. —Cyndi Maurer, PhD (editor)
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. —Anatole France
Anatole France was known for his ironic commentary on French social conditions at the end of the 19th century. His words continue to resonate because, for some, there is difficulty in securing shelter, food, and other things that cost money. Having enough money for food, clothing, and shelter may seem basic to many of us but would seem like luxury to others. Read more
Why do children cut, burn, hit or poison themselves? The cause is often a feeling of despair or untreated mental illness and depression.
And it’s a growing issue among pre-teens and teens. Nearly 2 million cases of self-harm are reported each year, but the actual number may be higher, as a majority of those engaging in self-injurious behavior (SIB) conceal their activity.