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Kids These Days: The Difference is Our People

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The editors at Master of Education Degrees decided to research the topic of:

Kids These Days: Issues Facing America's Youth

Single-Parent Households


- An estimated 60% of kids spend part of their childhood in a single-parent family
- Most single parents are mothers
- Connection with fathers tends to improve educational performance
- Single parents often work multiple jobs
- Children receive less attention and guidance on their homework
- This may lead to behavioral and academic problems
- About 6 out of 10 children who live with only their mother are living near or below the poverty line. (According to US Census Bureau)
- Emotional effects on children can include
- low self-esteem, increased anger and frustration, increased risk for violent behavior
- Children of single-parent families may have feelings of
- abandonment, sadness, loneliness, difficulty socializing and connecting with others
- Studies show that the more time boys spend in a single-parent household, the less school they are likely to complete
- Parentification
- A form of emotional and psychological abuse
- Children are forced to meet the emotional and instrumental needs of their parent and siblings
- Parentified children have to suppress their own needs
- They do not have normal development and lack healthy emotional bonds
- These children may have difficulties having normal adult relationships in their future
- They may also develop anger problems
- Certain expectations from other adults may act as a trigger
- May have a "love/hate" relationship with parent
- Positives:
- Kids often form close bonds with their siblings, family friends and extended family
- Because kids are called upon to do more chores and tasks, they are more responsible

Violence and Bullying in Schools


- In the late 80's and early 90's, teen gun violence increased dramatically as teens began to acquire and carry firearms
- Columbine
- April 20, 1999
- Two boys attempted to blow up Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado
- When their bombs failed, they opened fire and killed 12 students and one teacher
- Injured 21 others
- Virginia Tech
- April 16, 2007
- Senior, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 17 in two separate attacks before killing himself
- Cho had a history of anxiety and depression
- 20% of high school students were bullied at school
- 33% reported being involved in a physical fight in the last year
- In one month, nearly 6% of high schoolers stayed home because they felt unsafe at or on their way to school
- More than 7% of 9-12 graders reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property at least once in the last year
- 6% admitted to bringing a weapon to school for protection
- In the US, 33 school-associated violent deaths occurred in the 2009-2010 school year
- Includes homicides, suicides, and legal interventions
- 18 of these were on school property.
- 23% of public schools reported gang presence
- The problems aren't really being addressed
- Only 39% of schools in the 2009-2010 school year took serious disciplinary action against a student for special offenses.
- Includes out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or transfer to a specialty school.
- Effects:
- Youth and school violence can lead to depression, alcohol and drug use, suicide, anxiety, and fear
- Cyber-Bullying
- Cell-phone text messaging and e-mail provide additional platforms that support a new form of violence - cyberbullying.
- Suicide of Megan Meier
- October 17, 2006
- Committed suicide after she was bullied and rejected by a boy she had grown close to on Myspace
- "Josh Evans" was actually a work of fiction being controlled by Lori Drew, 48
- Mother of Megan's former friend
- Reportedly thought that Megan was spreading rumors about her daughter

Obesity


- Today, about ? of American kids and teens are obese
- Nearly triple the rate from 1963
- Overweight children are more likely to develop health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Overweight kids may be victims of social discrimination
- Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression
- Studies have shown obese kids rating their quality of life with scores as low as those of young cancer patients on chemotherapy
- teasing at school, difficulties playing sports, fatigue, sleep apnea and other obesity-linked problems severely affect obese children's well-being
- Society, culture and the media send children messages that girls should be thin and boys should be buff
- This pressure can lead to the development of eating orders or related mood symptoms
- Boys may start using potentially harmful dietary supplements and steroids

Education Disparity


- The education disparity affects differing ethnic origins, income levels, and school systems
- The education gap deprived the US economy of as much as $2.3 trillion in economic output in 2008
- The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is 30%-40% larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier
- College-completion rates between rich and poor students has grown by about 50% since the 1980s
- Higher college tuition rates allows less low-income students to get higher education
- Perpetuates a cycle of poverty
- Slows social mobility
- (US Department of Education announced in 2011) School districts across the US give less funding to school that serve low-income students
- Low-income neighborhoods are usually populated by minorities
- Chicago Shutdown
- May 22, 2013
- Chicago School Board voted to close 49 elementary schools and 1 high school
- 10% of schools in district
- Cite falling enrollment numbers as the reason
- Said they would save $560 million over 10 years and cut annual operating costs by $43 million.
- Critics say closings will disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods
- Will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school
- In the 100 schools that have closed in Chicago since 2001, 88% of the students affected were black
- Black students make up 42% of the city schools enrollment

Sources


- http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-issues-facing-our-youth-today.php
- http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/08/15/harming-your-child-by-making-him-your-parent/
- http://www.livestrong.com/article/83670-effects-single-parent-home-childs/
- http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/29/garden/single-parent-homes-the-effect-on-schooling.html
- http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-school-violence
- http://goodwin.drexel.edu/cposav/sav_stats.php
- http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2004/04/the_depressive_and_the_psychopath.html
- http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html
- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/16/us/16myspace.html?ref=meganmeier&_r=0
- http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/WeightManagement/Obesity/Childhood-Obesity_UCM_304347_Article.jsp
- http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/childhood_obesity_effects_physical_mental_health
- http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/social_sector/the_economic_cost_of_the_us_education_gap
- http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/february/education-equity-report-022013.html
- http://chronicle.com/article/Has-Higher-Education-Become-an/132619/
- http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57585769/chicago-board-of-ed-votes-to-shut-down-50-schools/
- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/education/chicago-says-it-will-close-54-public-schools.html
- http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/Youth_Gun_Violence_Fact_Sheet.pdf


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