Tag Archives: The Partnership for A Drug Free America

Washington schools have teens sign contract to decrease lewd prom dancing

24 Oct

Tina Patel of Q13 Fox News reported in the story, Students must sign dance contract: No twerking, no ‘sex’ dancing:

LACEY, Wash. — Students and their parents had to sign contracts before they could go to homecoming dances at River Ridge and North Thurston high schools in Lacey.
When Miley Cyrus took the stage at the Video Music Awards a couple months ago, some parents were shocked by her ‘twerking.’
“It is kind of surprising that that would be considered normal dancing,” Julie Evans, the mother of a 16-year-old girl, said Wednesday.
But officials with North Thurston Public Schools know times have changed, and students are used to seeing things like this on a dance floor.
“It’s that YouTube generation,” said Courtney Schrieve, a spokeswoman for North Thurston Public Schools. “They have a lot more exposure to a lot of different things, so we have to constantly stay on top of that.”
A few years ago, school officials heard about another district canceling homecoming because of inappropriate dancing.
“Some of our activities directors at the high school got together and said, ‘Let’s nip this in the bud, get ahead of this,’” said Schrieve.
They came up with a dance contract. At River Ridge High School in Lacey, students may not bend over 45 degrees or more while dancing. The contract also states there cannot be “lap dancing” or dancing that “looks like you’re having sex.”
“Some of the things are things that you wouldn’t think should have to be in writing,” Evans said.
In the spring, Port Townsend and Port Angeles schools instituted a ‘Face to Face’ dance policy to try and cut down on ‘grinding.’ Students responded by boycotting the dances altogether.
But the students in Lacey say they don’t mind signing a contract.
“No, I was OK with it,” said River Ridge freshman Angel Allen. “I understood why and stuff.”
“It’s just one of those things, like how you have to get a permission slip to watch a movie in class,” added senior Joely Manning.
They said the contract makes parents feel better. But they said that if parents came to the dances, they would see there’s no reason to worry.
“We have teachers,” Manning said. “And you’re in your high school. You’re not going to be pulling a Miley Cyrus out there.”
http://q13fox.com/2013/10/23/students-in-lacey-must-sign-dance-contract-before-attending-homecoming/#ixzz2ifZLi3dJ

Letty Maldando echoes the advise to keep in touch with your teen in herehow article, How to Plan a Safe Prom Night for Your Teen:

Step 1
Prepare a complete itinerary of the prom night events. Include:
*Prom pre-party, party, and post party location information
*Phone numbers – friends, locales, limo driver, prom chaperones, etc…
*Transportation alternatives
*List of people they’ll be with – include phone numbers and parent info
Make sure that both you and your teen have a copy of the itinerary so that you can reach other in an emergency.
Step 2
Discuss prom night safety issues well in advance. This should not be something that parents should be shouting atteens as they are leaving. Prepare what information you want to share. Bring notes if you think you might trip up on your words. Don’t be shy about the topics (alcohol, drugs, sex). If need be, pull out some news stories and pictures of the consequences of unsafe behavior. Sometimes visual aids are more memorable than a lecture.
Step 3
Agree on an “unconditional” call for your help and/or a ride home if something should happen. If you are worried that your child won’t call you (even with this agreement) then assign a trusted relative, friend, or neighbor that will take the phone call and help them out of whatever the situation may be.
Step 4
Hire a driver to ensure that your teen has reliable transportation. If this is not financially feasible then make sure that you know the person who will be driving on prom night. Meet your teen’s friends and don’t be afraid to have the “no drinking and driving” conversation with them as well.
Step 5
Set up a check in time for each part of the evening. If they are going to be hopping around to several locations make sure to receive a call from them as they arrive at each place. If your teen doesn’t want to call in or misses a check in then set up a text message that they can respond to with a code word that indicates that they’re doing well. It’s best to speak to them directly but a text message is the next best thing.

According to Maldando and the Partnership for a Drug Free America,parents should communicate both before and during the prom. They should know what their children’s plans for are for the evening.

To many observers, many forms of freak or dirty dancing are really simulations of sex acts. A lot of issues arise such as setting boundaries for teen sexual behavior, peer pressure to engage in inappropriate behavior or dress and the general question of is this really good for teens?

What is Freak or Dirty Dancing?

Love to Know: Party defines freak dancing:

Freak or dirty dancing is sexually suggestive dancing and the question is whether it is appropriate for teens in middle or high school? http://party.lovetoknow.com/How_to_Freak_Dance

What are Sexual Boundaries?

Women’s Health Center has an excellent definition of boundaries http://www.wrcnrv.org/helpingYou/ft_boundaries.shtml
Boundaries

A boundary is your personal physical, emotional and sexual comfort zone. We all have a gut feeling that lets us know when our boundaries are being broken.

Below are examples of how boundaries can be broken:

Interrupting a conversation

Taking someone’s possessions without her or his permission

Teasing or making fun of someone

Asking very personal questions

Telling other people stories about someone

Making someone uncomfortable by always being around or invading their private space
Saying or doing things that others find offensive or vulgar
Forcing someone into doing something sexual
Physically assaulting someone
Using inappropriate language or touching

Using violence in any way
Healthy Place says the setting boundaries are important to minimize sexual assault http://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/teen-relationships/preventing-sexual-assault-be-clear-about-your-sexual-boundaries/

Teens must understand that communication is not only verbal, but physical as well. What they are communicating with body language or apparel may or may not be what they intend to communicate.

How to Talk to Your Teen About Sexual Boundaries

Stop It Now MN has some excellent guidelines about talking to kids about sexual boundaries. http://www.stopitnow.org/mn

Things have sure changed from back in the day.

Resources:

Prom Night Perils
http://family.go.com/parenting/pkg-teen/

Keeping Teens Safe and Sober on Prom Night
http://www.squidoo.com/safeandsober

Prom Lessons Learned the Easy Way
http://mpoweredparent.com/blog/2010/04/11/prom-lessons-learned-the-easy-way/

Related:

How to have a sane prom
https://drwilda.com/tag/freak-and-dirty-dancing/

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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How to have a sane prom

28 Apr

 

Joseph Pisani reports in the Huffington Post article, Prom Spending Is On The Rise Again, Expected To Average $1,139 In 2013:

 

— The prom is making a big comeback.

 

The recession forced parents and teens to cut back on spending for the annual high school dance, but wallets are finally opening again.

 

“Dresses are more elaborate,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market research firm NPD Group. “They are now buying two pairs of shoes, one to go to prom and one to dance in.”

 

“This crop of kids cares about prom,” says Cohen.

 

And so do the parents, who see the dance as a rite of passage. The pressure to help give teenagers a memorable night is high. “You don’t want your kid to be the only kid who doesn’t have what the other kids have,” says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University.

 

Prom spending is expected to rise this spring to an average $1,139. That’s among families who are planning to spend some money to attend the annual affair, according to a survey of 1,025 parents of prom age teens by payment processor Visa Inc. and research company Gfk. Not included in the average were 12 percent who said they wouldn’t spend anything on the prom. A majority of parents with teenagers surveyed were still unsure how much they’d spend. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/prom-spending-rise-2013_n_3154846.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

 

There are ways to cut prom expenses.

 

CBS News recommends in the article, 6 ways to cut prom costs:

 

However, it is possible to shrink prom costs to a more manageable level. Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money saving expert, provided some great tips on how to slash the price:

 

1. Don’t overspend on the dress.

 

You can find cheaper dresses at consignment shops and discounted bridesmaid dresses at bridal shops. You can also rent a dress. RenttheRunway.com offers designer dresses and accessory rentals for savings up to 90 percent off retail.

 

2. Don’t overspend on the tuxedo.

 

The average cost of renting a tuxedo is $141, according to WeddingStats.org. You can cut the price if you don’t order the deluxe packages that can include such things as a pocket square and vest. When my son went to proms, he saved a considerable amount of money by picking the no-frills tuxedo. Nobody, after all, is looking at the boys’ outfits. Price breaks are also possible if friends place orders together.

 

3. Skip the florist.

 

Grocery stores are often a cheaper source of flowers than florist shops. According to Woroch, the cost can be as much as 40 percent lower. You can also make your own corsage or boutonniere after following this tutorial from LovelyCraftHome.

 

4. Do your own hair.

 

Formal up-do’s can cost around $40. Up-dos, however, are being replaced by more casual looks that you can do at home. Here are some hair ideas from the popular website Pinterest. My daughter got her prom up-dos at a beauty school, which was a cheaper option.

 

5. Take your own photos.

 

Formal prom portraits can cost up to $75 per person. Skip those photos and use the photos that mom and dad take when dates meet before the prom begins. You can always use your smartphone to take pictures during the prom. 

 

6. Use coupons.

 

Here’s my own idea: use prom coupons at FreeShipping.org. Retailers with deals at the site include  Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Express, House of Brides, TJ Formal and Victoria’s Secret. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57415453/6-ways-to-cut-prom-costs/

 

The key is to be reasonable.

 

The Partnership for a Drug Free America has some great advice for parents on prom night:     

 

To keep celebrations safe and healthy, here are some helpful tips and advice for parents and caregivers:    

 

Know Your Teens’ Plans and tell them to update you if the itinerary changes so you’re aware of their whereabouts.

 

Check In With Them Via Text – they are more likely to reply, since it’s discreet. You can send messages like “Hope ur having a gr8 time!” or “U OK?” before and after the dance.

 

Trust Your Teens and resist the urge to hover. You’ve filled them in on the rules and the risks – chances are they got the message.

 

 Additional Resources:
For a Safe Prom Night: Parents, Please Don’t Serve Alcohol to Teens

 

Survey: Parents Let Their Own Experiences Affect Drug and Alcohol Boundaries Set for Teens at Prom and Graduation Parties

 

The emphasis is on limiting alcohol use and keeping in touch with your child. 

 

Letty Maldando echoes the advise to keep in touch with your teen in her ehow article, How to Plan a Safe Prom Night for Your Teen

 

 Step 1

 

Prepare a complete itinerary of the prom night events. Include:

 

*Prom pre-party, party, and post party location information

*Phone numbers – friends, locales, limo driver, prom chaperones, etc…

*Transportation alternatives

*List of people they’ll be with – include phone numbers and parent info

 

Make sure that both you and your teen have a copy of the itinerary so that you can reach other in an emergency.

 

Step 2

 

Discuss prom night safety issues well in advance. This should not be something that parents should be shouting at teens as they are leaving. Prepare what information you want to share. Bring notes if you think you might trip up on your words. Don’t be shy about the topics (alcohol, drugs, sex). If need be, pull out some news stories and pictures of the consequences of unsafe behavior. Sometimes visual aids are more memorable than a lecture.

 

Step 3

 

Agree on an “unconditional” call for your help and/or a ride home if something should happen. If you are worried that your child won’t call you (even with this agreement) then assign a trusted relative, friend, or neighbor that will take the phone call and help them out of whatever the situation may be.

 

Step 4

 

Hire a driver to ensure that your teen has reliable transportation. If this is not financially feasible then make sure that you know the person who will be driving on prom night. Meet your teen’s friends and don’t be afraid to have the “no drinking and driving” conversation with them as well.

 

Step 5

 

Set up a check in time for each part of the evening. If they are going to be hopping around to several locations make sure to receive a call from them as they arrive at each place. If your teen doesn’t want to call in or misses a check in then set up a text message that they can respond to with a code word that indicates that they’re doing well. It’s best to speak to them directly but a text message is the next best thing.     

 

According to Maldando and the Partnership for a Drug Free America, parents should communicate both before and during the prom. They should know what their children’s plans for are for the evening.  

 

 

High school administrators have cancelled school dances and proms because of the phenomenon of freak or dirty dancing. King5.Com reported about a recent dirty dancing incident at Nathan Hale High School.

 

The dance lights have been shelved and the beat silenced at Nathan Hale High School after the principal determined that the homecoming dance got out of control.

 

“The students were dancing inappropriately,” said Dr. Jill Hudson. “I’m not going to get into the details.”

 

She wouldn’t describe the offending behavior.

 

“What I’m determined in calling it is inappropriate behavior,” said Hudson. “I cannot allow that at school functions.”

 

But she did tell the school’s student newspaper that “students were dancing with their genitals against each other and that’s not OK” and that creates an unsafe environment for other students.

 

There have been several incidents of dirty dancing at schools in California. Carla Rivera writes in the LA Times that some schools are requiring students and parents to sign contracts saying they won’t engage in dirty dancing

 

To many observers, many forms of freak or dirty dancing are really simulations of sex acts. A lot of issues arise such as setting boundaries for teen sexual behavior, peer pressure to engage in inappropriate behavior or dress and the general question of is this really good for teens?

 

What is Freak or Dirty Dancing?

 

Love to Know: Party defines freak dancing

 

Freak or dirty dancing is sexually suggestive dancing and the question is whether it is appropriate for teens in middle or high school?

 

What are Sexual Boundaries?

 

Women’s Health Center has an excellent definition of boundaries

 

Boundaries

 

A boundary is your personal physical, emotional and sexual comfort zone. We all have a gut feeling that lets us know when our boundaries are being broken.

 

Below are examples of how boundaries can be broken:

 

Interrupting a conversation

 

Taking someone’s possessions without her or his permission

 

Teasing or making fun of someone

 

Asking very personal questions

 

Telling other people stories about someone

 

Making someone uncomfortable by always being around or invading their private space

 

Saying or doing things that others find offensive or vulgar

 

Forcing someone into doing something sexual

 

Physically assaulting someone

 

Using inappropriate language or touching

 

Using violence in any way

 

Healthy Place says the setting boundaries are important to minimize sexual assault

 

Teens must understand that communication is not only verbal, but physical as well. What they are communicating with body language or apparel may or may not be what they intend to communicate.

 

How to Talk to Your Teen About Sexual Boundaries

 

Stop It Now MN has some excellent guidelines about talking to kids about sexual boundaries

 

Things have sure changed from back in the day.

 

Resources:

 

 

Prom Night Perils

 

 

A Prom Night Plan: Avoiding the Perils of Drunk Driving

 

Straight Talk About Sex

 

Negotiate and Enforce Curfews

 

Keeping Teens Safe and Sober on Prom Night

 

Prom Lessons Learned the Easy Way

 

 

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

 

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

 

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

 

Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies

13 Mar

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World

Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.

We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.

When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.

Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.

Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.”

Ohio State University is reporting in the press release, SCHOOL BULLIES MORE LIKELY TO BE SUBSTANCE USERS, STUDY FINDS:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Middle- and high-school students who bully their classmates are more likely than others to use substances such as cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, a new study found.

Researchers found that bullies and bully-victims – youth who are both perpetrators and victims – were more likely to use substances than were victims and non-involved youth.

Our findings suggest that one deviant behavior may be related to another,” said Kisha Radliff, lead author of the study and assistant professor of school psychology at Ohio State University.

For example, youth who bully others might be more likely to also try substance use.  The reverse could also be true in that youth who use substances might be more likely to bully others.”

The researchers didn’t find as strong a link between victims of bullying and substance use.

Radliff conducted the study with Joe Wheaton, associate professor in Special Education, and Kelly Robinson and Julie Morris, both former graduate students, all at Ohio State.

Their study appears in the April 2012 issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Data for the study came from a survey of 74,247 students enrolled in all public, private and Catholic middle and high schools in Franklin County, Ohio (which includes Columbus).

Among the 152 questions on the survey were eight that involved bullying, either as a victim or perpetrator.  Students were asked about how often they told lies or spread false rumors about others, pushed people around to make them afraid, or left someone out of a group to hurt them.  They were also asked how often they were the victims of such actions.

In addition, the questionnaire asked how often they used cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.  For this study, users were defined as those who reported use at least once a month.

Results showed that bullying was more common among middle-school students than those in high school, while substance use was more prevalent among high-school students.

About 30 percent of middle-school students were bullies, victims or bully-victims, compared to 23 percent of those in high school.

Fewer than 5 percent of middle-school youth used cigarettes, alcohol, or marijuana.  But among high-school students, about 32 percent reported alcohol use, 14 percent used cigarettes and 16 percent used marijuana.

But substance use varied depending on involvement in bullying, the researchers found.

For example, among middle-school students, only 1.6 percent of those not involved in bullying reported marijuana use.  But 11.4 percent of bullies and 6.1 percent of bully-victims used the drug.  Findings showed that 2.4 percent of victims were marijuana users.

Among high school students, 13.3 percent of those not involved in bullying were marijuana users – compared to 31.7 percent of bullies, 29.2 percent of bully-victims, and 16.6 percent of victims.

Similar results were found for alcohol and cigarette use.

But the percentages tell only part of the story, Radliff said.  The researchers also used a statistical analysis that showed that bullies and bully-victims had much higher than expected levels of substance use.

That suggests there is a relationship between experimenting with substances and engaging in bullying behavior,” she said.

Statistically, however, there was no connection between being a victim and substance use among middle-school students, according to Radliff.  The use of cigarettes and alcohol was statistically greater for victims in high school, but there was no statistically significant effect on marijuana use.

Nevertheless, it was the bullies and bully-victims who were the most likely to be substance users.

Radliff said these results may lead to ways anti-bullying initiatives can be improved.

Many schools are mandating anti-bullying programs and policies, and we think they need to take this opportunity to address other forms of deviant behavior, such as substance use,” she said.

This might be especially important in middle school, where bullying is more prevalent, but substance use is still relatively rare.

If we can intervene with bullies while they’re in middle school, we may be able to help them before they start experimenting with substance use,” she said.

Contact: Kisha Radliff, (614) 292-6485; KRadliff@ehe.osu.edu
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/bullyuse.htm

See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

Teri Christensen , Senior Vice President & Director of Field Operations at The Partnership at Drugfree.org has written some excellent rules for helping kids develop healthy friendships.

Christensen suggests the following rules:

Here are 8 ways to encourage healthy friendships:

1. Regularly talk about what true friendship means – and the qualities that are important in a friend.

2. Help your child recognize behaviors that do not make a good friend.

3. Let your child know if you disapprove of one of his or her friends (or a group of friends) and explain why.

4. Try to be a good role model and use your own relationships to show how healthy friendships look and feel.

5. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.

6. Talk to your child frequently — about everything from events of the day to his hope and dreams to dealing with peer pressure.

7. Know who your kids are hanging out with. (I don’t make my girls feel like I am being nosy but I do let them know that I have the right to check their phones, email and text messages should I feel the need to.)

8. Remind your child that that you are always there to lend an ear.

To me, a good friend is someone you can always count on. Someone who is there in the good times and bad. A true friend loves you for who you are and does not change how she feels based on what other people think.

Related Links:
When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends
5 Things Parents Should Explain to Teens About Sexting
Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying
Obsessed with Being Connected: The Downside of Social Networking for Teens
How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less)

The Partnership for A Drug Free America has many resources for parents.

Here are some additional resources Christensen suggests from The Partnership for A Drug Free America:

Download our Healthy Friendships Tipsheet-PDF)

Since starting middle school, my girls seem to have a “best friend” of the week.  While I think it’s terrific to make new friends, I want to make sure they aren’t ditching their old pals. “How would you feel if you were her?” I asked when they suddenly stopped being friends with a girl they’d been close with for years. I cannot tell them who to be friends with, but I can teach them to be sensitive to the feelings of others.

And then there’s the flip side – comforting your child when a friend turns on her.

(Blogger and friendship expert Dr. Irene S. Levine offers tips on cheering your child up when a friend lets her down.)

I remember when Kendall told me how two of her “friends” suddenly cast her out at the lunch table. “Who invited you to sit here?” they asked before telling her to leave. It was heartbreaking to hear.

(Don’t like your child’s friends? Mommy blogger Jenny Runkel offers 3 things you can do.)

I had to remind Kendall that girls in their teenage years can be mean and say hurtful things just to make themselves feel better.

(Ask these 20 questions to find out if your teen has a toxic friend.)

I try to encourage my girls to be kind to everyone, even if they don’t like the person. As cliché as it might sound, what comes around goes around.

(Mommy blogger Lisa Frederiksen shares this important parenting reminder: Teens Learn Best When the Going Gets Tough.)

Parents have a huge influence on their children, particularly in the example they set in the use of alcohol, drugs, substances, and behavior.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©