Listen to Me: Change Is Always an Option

I grew up in a small town in South Carolina called Georgetown, 36 miles from Myrtle Beach. When I was 4 or 5 months old, my father passed, leaving my mother a single parent. It was me and my big brother, who is two years older.

Are Infants that Grow Up in Recession-Ravaged Homes Likelier to Become Delinquents?

A study recently published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that children adversely affected by economic downturns as infants may be likelier to engage in delinquent behaviors and substance abuse when they are older adolescents and young adults. Culling data from 1997’s National Longitudinal Study of Youth, researchers at the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University examined a nationally representative sample of almost 9,000 young people born between 1980 and 1984. According to the study, infants exposed to a 1 percent deviation from regional unemployment rate average were found to have greater odds of using marijuana, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, as well as a greater likelihood than their cohorts of being arrested, affiliating with gangs or engaging in both petty or major theft. Researchers sought to examine the potential consequences of the 1980 and 1981 to 1982 recessions on adolescents, in particular the possibility that living in an economically-disadvantaged home during the timeframe was likelier to produce a young person involved in substance abuse or criminal activity. In late 1982, the national unemployment rate stood at 10.8 percent – the highest such rate in the United States since the Great Depression.

Remembering Elementary School Shootings of the Past

The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre Nov. 14 constitutes the second deadliest mass school shooting incident in American history, second only to the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre in which a single assailant murdered 32 individuals and injured 17 others. With an estimated 26 victims dead — 20 of whom are children — the recent massacre is far and away the deadliest shooting incident to ever occur in one of the nation’s elementary schools. Although mass shooting incidents in university and high school settings have occurred in the past, the Newtown, Conn. massacre serves as a rare instance of a perpetrator targeting elementary school students.

It Is Time for a Change, When Schools traumatize Kids

How we respond to young people when they make us mad can make or break them, emotionally and physically. Notwithstanding the studies showing genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism and other traits, we enter this world with a blank slate. We are born with great potential to do wonderful things and experience that happiness as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. Despite our inalienable right to pursue happiness, this pursuit is thwarted for many children and young people who are traumatized at the hands of their parents or caretakers through abuse, neglect, violence and other toxic stressors. The blank slate brought into the world gets filled with some pretty ugly scribbling that makes it difficult for the rest of us to understand, including the child.

Sandusky-founded Kid’s Charity Postpones Its Transfer to Houston Nonprofit

The Second Mile, the charity organization founded by Jerry Sandusky – the former Penn State coach convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse in June – announced Monday it is postponing plans to transfer its programs and assets to a Houston-based nonprofit. Earlier this summer, The Second Mile requested that it be allowed to transfer its programs and assets, totaling nearly $2 million, to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, Inc. However, The Second Mile Chief Executive, David Woodle, said the deal is suspended until all ongoing damage claims filed by the lawyers of Sandusky’s victims are resolved. Monday, Woodle announced that his organization – in agreement with Pennsylvania attorney general and lawyers representing four youth victimized by Sandusky – has requested that the Orphans’ Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Center County stay a previous Petition for Distribution of Assets filed by the nonprofit. “Both The Second Mile and Arrow feel that staying the Petition at this time will better serve all involved as it limits further stress on the victims and avoids unnecessary litigation costs,” Woodle is quoted in an official statement released by the nonprofit. The organization was founded in 1977 by Sandusky.