Youth Services Law

Showing 14 posts from January 2009.

Greatest Threat to Youth Online is Other Youth

Posted In Child Abuse

I didn't really intend for my theme this week to be child-on-child abuse, but a recent study certainly fits that topic. The Internet Safety Technology Task Force has published its findings on "Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies." Some of the conclusions did not surprise me at all, such as that the children most at risk are those who engage in risky behavior off-line (duh!).

The finding that has surprised most people, but is consistent with other research in the area, is that other youth pose a much greater danger than adults. As the executive summary notes, "Sexual predation of minors by adults, both online and offline remains a concern. . . . Youth report sexual solicitation of minors by minors more frequently, but these incidents, too, are understudied, underreported to law enforcement, and not part of most conversations about online safety."

Children Abusing Children

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruled last week that  a student who has been sexually harassed can sue the school and individual administrators under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. There has been plenty of legal analysis of the decision, so I decided to blog about the underlying problem of child-on-child abuse.

That particular case started when a kindergarten child told her parents that other children were coercing her into exposing herself on the school bus. The parents were not satisfied with the school's response, and eventually sued. This case is rare only in that it made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Child-on-child abuse in youth organizations actually is more common than abuse by adults. The problem for supervisors is knowing how to respond.

Continue reading Children Abusing Children ›

Preventing Child Abuse

Posted In Child Abuse

Prevention Science today released the results of a survey, funded by the CDC, that studied the effects of parent support programs. The researchers found that when parents have access to information and help dealing with common parenting problems, the incidence of maltreatment falls dramatically.

The CDC has more information about the study and related links here.

Day Care Tragedy in Illinois

A day care employee in Illinois has been charged with murder for throwing a child to the floor, causing a fatal skull fracture.  It is impossible to know from the other details we have now, but this tragedy may have resulted from something as simple as a snap decision by a normally caring staff member.

Young adults often do not understand how easy it is to hurt children, even with seemingly-minor actions that would not affect an adult.  Day care centers need to constantly train their workers about the risks of corporal punishment and rough handling.  Enforcing the rules is important, but helping employees understand the reasons underlying those rules may prevent their forgetting them in a moment of frustration.

This is a terrible tragedy that never should have happened.

CPR Tips

An excellent post on Outdoor Ed Community has some information that you should pass on to everyone in your organization who might ever need to perform CPR.  It discusses recent research in "agonal breathing," or gasping and moaning sounds in people who don't have a pulse.

The important take-away for us is that these breathing sounds are not adequate breathing, and no one should stop or delay CPR thinking that the person is breathing on his or her own.

The American Heart Association has more information about agonal breathing here and here.

Teen Robbers Create a Few Laughs

Posted In Humor

From Lowering the Bar, we get this humorous story about two teenage robbers who didn't think things through.  Before going into the store, they caught the attention of a passerby with their elaborate preparations, such as covering their license plate, in full view of the road.  When they attempted to rob the store, the owners refused to be intimidated and chased them back outside.  The passerby, who happened to be an off-duty security guard, was waiting for them. 

While he was holding them down, waiting for the police, the Korean woman who owned the store began hitting them with a flyswatter.  "The humiliation was then made complete when, apparently by pure coincidence, the mother of one of the robbers happened by."

Better Late Than Never

Posted In Media

Peanut Corporation of America late yesterday issued a press release voluntarily recalling peanut butter associated with the recent salmonella outbreak.  The company expressed concern for the salmonella  victims, a sentiment conspicuously missing from its prior statements.  Calling its customers individually also is a good move.

Someone at the company finally remembered the first rule of crisis management -- protect your clients.

"We Just Work Here"

Posted In Media

The responses to the the current salmonella outbreak offer a good lesson in crisis management.  King Nut Company, the distributor of the peanut butter linked to the outbreak in at least one state, on Saturday issued a press release explaining its voluntary recall of the peanut butter it has distributed.  The manufacturer, Peanut Company of America, issued a release on the same day.

Both of the press releases, undoubtedly approved (if not written) by lawyers concerned about litigation, used the traditional "we're investigating and cooperating" formula.  King Nut, however, went a step farther in expressing concern about the people suffering from salmonella.  Peanut Company was content to simply raise questions about the link between the outbreak and its product.  Its press release sounds exactly like what a lawyer would write in a court motion.

Yesterday, . . .

Continue reading "We Just Work Here" ›

Peanut Butter Recall

Posted In Illness

Since September 2008, the CDC has been investigating salmonella outbreaks throughout the U.S. Researchers have traced many of those cases to peanut butter distributed to food service institutions. One manufacturer, King Nut Company, has issued a voluntary recall of its peanut butter.

The CDC salmonella website has more information, as does the blog Minor Troubles.

UPDATE: I had an error in my post -- have I mentioned that I'm not a detail person? King Nut Company is a distributor of the peanut butter at issue.  The manufacturer is Peanut Corporation of America.

Foiled elopement

Posted In Humor

A nice note to end the week is this  BBC report about a romantic elopement foiled by suspicious police, anxious parents, and lack of funds. And the fact that the would-be bride and groom are only 5 & 6 years old.

The two German children concocted the plan at a family New Year's Eve celebration in Hanover. The next morning, they, and their designated witness, age 7, got up while their respective parents were sleeping, hiked a half-mile to a tram station and boarded a tram to the train station. At the train station, a guard became suspicious and called the police.

The children, who had packed their swimsuits and sunglasses, explained that they wanted to go to Africa, "where it is warm," to get married and have a vacation.

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