The Heavy Cost of a High School Drug Offense

The Washington Post has a story about the harsh realities of drug offenses, even minor ones, in high school. The story, by Donna St. George, focuses on a teen facing some slim college choices after school officials in Fairfax County, Va., imposed stiff penalties on him for bringing a device to school that is used for smoking marijuana. The point of the piece is to show how families, and now some school systems, are struggling with the repercussions of school policies that can vastly alter the lives of young people.

Feds Push For Nationwide Ban on Alcoholic Energy Drinks

The Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to ban alcoholic energy drinks, according to the Washington Post. An investigation has been underway since last year as to whether the drinks meet the FDA’s “Generally Recognized as Safe” standard. If there is a consensus that energy cocktails are safe, they will be exempted from FDA review, according to MedPage Today. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) along with Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal (D), who is currently Connecticut’s attorney general, sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Monday urging her speed up the investigation. Blumenthal pushed for the agency to ban the drinks, calling them “a witch’s brew of stimulants and alcohol,” the Washington Post notes.

Congress to Grill Craigslist on Sex Ads – GA Advocates Applaud

Advocates fighting the child prostitution problem in Atlanta are cautiously optimistic about Wednesday’s congressional hearing targeting Craigslist. The world’s largest online ad service is sending William Clint Powell, the director of customer service and law enforcement relations for Craigslist, to answer questions from the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee about adult ads and the role that online services play in child prostitution. “[Craigslist is] definitely the market leader in [prostitution] and as they go, others may go,” said Kaffie McCullough, campaign director of Atlanta’s A Future Not a Past. The group is fighting the child prostitution problem in Georgia with research, intervention, and education while pushing for prosecution of pimps and johns. Under growing pressure from attorneys general across the country, Craigslist deactivated its adult services section in the U.S. on September 3, but the section remains open in other countries.

Mom forgives her daughter’s killer

The mother of a murder victim delivers a powerful message about restorative justice in The Washington Post. Linda White lost her daughter in a murder that made headlines in Texas back in 1986.  Two 15 year old boys kidnapped, raped and killed Cathy White when she stopped to help them with car trouble. Last month, after 23 years behind bars, one of the killers was released from prison. While most parents of murder victims would be consumed with anger, Linda is not.  Ten years ago she met Gary Brown and befriended the man responsible for her daughter’s death.  Linda White writes about her journey and her belief that “young people, even those who have done horrible things, can be transformed.”

The case is also profiled in a book called Don’t Kill in Our Names, by Rachel King.