Sue Scheff: Youth and Teen Violence

memorialteenviolenceTeen violence and youth violence is becoming too common.

It seems we can’t turn on our news without hearing about a violent incident including teens and kids. Over the past month our community has been grieving over the shocking attack on 15-year-old, Michael Brewer, who was doused in rubbing alcohol and set on fire by other teens. This happened in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

More recently our attention is in Coral Springs, Florida where 14-year-old Matthew Gorzynski was stabbed to death by his 15 year old brother. Matthew was a student at Taravella High School. Police said he and his older brother, William Gorzynski, 15, also a student at Taravella High, got into an argument at their Coral Springs home about the noise level on a home computer on Monday. Police said William Gorzynski grabbed a kitchen knife and fatally stabbed Matthew.

Both of these stories are tragic and cry out for more education on teen violence, bullying, teen aggression, rage and more. Both parents and educators, as well as everyone that works with children, need to learn more about preventing violence and how to detect warning signs.

I am listing resources that can help you help today’s children and possibly prevent another act of violent behavior.

National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center: Offers statistics, prevention programs, and training opportunities.

Medline Plus – Trusted Health Information for You: Understanding Youth Violence, Understanding Violent Behavior in Children and Adolescents, BAM Guide to Getting Along

MADE Coalition (Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Dating Abuse): Dating violence is a growing concern that parents need to be aware of. Tips for Teens, Teen Resources and more.

Education.com
: Talk to your Teens About Violence

Love Our Children USA: Teen Violence Prevention
 

Don’t allow our news to continue with these horrific stories, take a stand, learn more about preventing violence and be proactive in your school and community.

Be an educated parent, you will have a safer teen.

Is your teen at risk or need outside help? Visit Parents Universal Resource Experts.

Tips to stop bullying and school violence.

Updated news on this story  visit Miami Herald UPI, NBC Miami.

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Magnolia Christian School formerly Carolina Springs Academy Alert

Are you at your wit’s end and desperately searching the Internet for help for your out of control teen? Is your child a good teen making some very bad choices? Failing in school? Underachieving? Defiant? Runaway? Teen drug use? Teen drinking?

Are you considering a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Therapeutic Boarding School (TBS), Emotional Growth Program, Behavioral Modification Program, Wilderness Program, etc?

As a Parent Advocate, I founded my organization after struggling with my own teenage daughter. My story has been widely read and published by Health Communications, Inc – original home of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

My daughter was harmed at Carolina Springs Academy. I won a court battle in 2004 proving my allegations against World Wide Association of Speciality Programs (WWASPS – the umbrella that Carolina Springs Academy fell under) and what they did to my daughter and the deception I endured.

It has been brought to my attention that Carolina Springs Academy recently lost their license and now have re-opened with a new name – “Magnolia Christian School“.

It is my own opinion that if you are considering this “school” for your family, you may want to do your homework and also read my story. I understand not much has changed except the name. Although my story was in 2000, sadly I still receive calls and emails from parents and former students that have claimed abuse and fraud recently (2009).

See Below for an updated list of possible affiliation with the same organization that harmed my daughter.

As of August 2009 it is believed that WWASP aka WWASPS or Premier Educational Systems LLC has affiliations with the following:

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (CLOSED)
Bell Academy, CA (CLOSED)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC (License revoked, re-opened as Magnolia Hills Christian)
Casa By the Sea, Mexico (CLOSED)
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA (CLOSED)
**Discovery – Mexico (see below)
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS (CLOSED)
Horizon Academy, NV
Jane Hawley – Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred – Lifelines Sales Representative
Lisa Irvin – Helpmyteen and Teens in Crisis
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Magnolia Christian School, SC – formerly Carolina Springs Academy
Mark Peterson – Teen Help Sales Representative
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide – Promotes and markets these programs
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy, (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (CLOSED)
Sherri Schwartzman – Lifelines Sales Representative
Sky View Academy, NV (allegedly closed?)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT (CLOSED) Rumors they have re-opened in another location of MT.

Sunset Bay Academy, CA

Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis – Lisa Irvin
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Oceanside, CA – rumors of short term program there.

**There is reason to believe a new program in Mexico is now open – parents need to be aware of this. It is believed they may have re-opened Casa By the Sea location with another name – possibly Discovery. We have heard that Jade Robinson is running this program – he was formerly at Horizon Academy, Bell Academy (closed) and Casa by the Sea (closed).

In addition to the legal battle with WWASP, P.U.R.E. and founder Sue Scheff won an unprecedented $11.3 million jury verdict for Internet defamation. Despite being vindicated, many of the attacks on P.U.R.E. continue out of malice and spite.

Sue Scheff:Learn to Stop Teen Violence and Bullying

catiross10-22-09Last week the horrific story of the fifteen year old, Michael Brewer, who was doused in alcohol and set on fire by other teens! The story literally stunned our community. According to the Miami Herald, the doctors say he is making significant progress. The five teens are charged with aggravated battery in the attack earlier this month at a Broward County apartment complex. Authorities say they were retaliating in a quickly escalating dispute over a video game.

Recently Michael Brewer’s parents have sent a letter of thanks (via CBS News) to everyone for their prayers, donations and support. Read here.

Ross Ellis founded one of the leading organizations to help STOMPOUTBULLYING in combination with Love Our Children USA has offered some excellent advice and tips for parents, educators and everyone working with children today.

1. Bullying hurts and being a victim of any kind of bullying feels really bad. And it’s important for you to know two things: You’re NOT alone and It’s NOT your fault

2. If you’re being bullied there’s a lot you can do. Depending on how bad the bullying is (and as long as you don’t feel at risk, scared or physically threatened) you might want to try and work it out yourself.
If the bully doesn’t change their behavior, that’s when talking to someone else can be really helpful.

If the bullying is verbal – ignore them. This means walking away from them – no matter how badly you want to respond. The bully wants you to react. And if you don’t, they will most often lose interest.
When possible, ignore them (This includes cyberbullying you by text, email or instant messaging – with one exception. Ignore them but save the texts, emails or instant messages for proof in case you need it.)

Ignoring the bully may be helpful, particularly for one-off cases. Bullies are looking for a reaction from you and often lose interest if they aren’t given the satisfaction of getting one.

3. If You Feel Safe, Here Are Some Ways To Ignore The Bully:

• Walk away when the bully approaches you. Try and imagine you’re walking away from a stranger. Both you and your body language will show you don’t care.
• Concentrate on thinking about something else (maybe a concert you want to go to, or a new outfit you want to buy.)
• When the bully approaches you, count to 100 and keep walking. They’ll never see how upset you are.
• Yelling STOP and walk away. Keep walking and don’t turn around no matter what they say.

4. Be Positive

It can be hard to remember all your good points when someone is doing their best to be negative. However, try to think of all the things you do well and that you are a valuable person. Thinking of how bad the bully must be feeling may also help you to stay positive.

5. Picture This

Picture your bully standing on their head with their body stretching – almost as if they were standing in front of a distorted mirror like the kind you see at a carnival. Listen to their voice as comes out all distorted and warbled. And they’ve turned yellow with pink stripes. Now who’s laughing?

6. Build A Wall Around You

Can you visualize a tall stone wall? Build that invisible wall around you and when it’s up, imagine all the things the bully is saying bouncing off that wall.

7. Be confident

Bullies usually pick on people that they think are weaker than they are, so it may help if you stand up to them.

Some great comeback lines are:

• Whatever!
• Let’s move on!
• You finally found something funny to say?
• I’m not sure why you keep saying these things about me, but I don’t care.
• Be really cool and stop this!
• Enough!
• Why are you talking to me?
• Here we go again. This is boring. Let me know when you’re done.

8. The Buddy System

Bullies feel empowered to bully one, but rarely will they bully a group. Hang out with your friends.

If after using these tactics and the bullying doesn’t stop, it may be time to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to let someone know that you are being bullied. There are people who care about you and will help you.

9. Get Help – Tell An Adult

It may seem scary to tell someone but, telling will not only get you help, but make you feel less afraid. If you are being physically bullied and are in danger you must speak with a trusted adult immediately. And if you can’t go to your parents, seek out a trusted teacher guidance counselor or school psychologist. If an adult does not help you, tell another adult and keep telling someone until you do get help.

10. What NOT To Do If You Are Bullied

DON’T…

•Think it’s your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied!
•Fight back or bully a person back
•Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will “go away.” Make sure you report the bullying.
•Skip school or avoid school or afterschool activities because you’re afraid of the bully
•Don’t be afraid to tell. Telling is NOT tattling! It’s the right thing to do!
•Hurt yourself. Nothing is that hopeless that it can’t be resolved.

For  more information on bullying and cyberbullying visit www.STOMPOUTBULLYING.org, www.CatiCares.com, www.LoveOurChildrenUSA.org and follow them on Twitter @ProtectChildren and @CatiCares

More news on Michael Brewer on CBS News.

Pictured above is Ross Ellis, Founder of Love of Children USA and Teen Ambassador, Cati Grant.

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Sue Scheff: Conversations with Moms Interview

conversationswithmomsbadge

By Maria Melo

If you haven’t read my review on the, “Google Bomb” book, be sure to read it.  It is the untold story of the landmark internet case that won Sue Scheff $11.3 million for defamation of character.  I was so amazed with what I read, that I just had to follow through with some questions.

Click here  for my complete interview.

Sue Scheff: Another Great Book Review for Google Bomb Book

Google_BombCoverGoogle Bomb Review – The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict

By Conversations with Moms

When I first started being active on the internet, I was very naive to the Internet World. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and thought that I truly understood the power of the internet. Until I read, “Google™ Bomb”.

Lets just say that I now feel as though I lived in a cave. I was totally unaware of the true power and damage that the internet can do. I don’t know where I was in 2006 to not have heard of the landmark internet case that won Sue Scheff $11.3 million for defamation of character. The only thing I can think of is that I wasn’t active online and didn’t really pay attention to what happened in the internet world.

When I was asked to review this book, I was curious as to find out what could have happened to Sue to make her have won such a large lawsuit. I had never heard of the term Google™ Bomb and thought it would be an informative read. I HAD NO IDEA JUST HOW MUCH I WOULD LEARN.

I was happy to provide this review if only to spread the word of how vicious the internet could be and in hopes of getting the word out that there are simple things you can do to protect yourself.

Read the entire review here: http://conversationswithmoms.com/2009/10/20/google-bomb-review-untold-story-113m-verdict/?sms_ss=twitter

Part 2 will be tomorrow.

 

Sue Scheff: Teens giving to teens

locks of loveThere is nothing funny about the word cancer, and I recall Gilda Radner stated something similar to that in her book, “It’s Aways Something” which chronicled her battle with cancer.

Cancer has touched many lives. Whether you are a survivor of cancer, know someone battling it, or have lost someone to this disease, cancer is not a welcome guest in our lives. Unfortunately we don’t have control over all aspects of our ever changing life.

What can we do to help those that are suffering? Especially young children that are struggling with different forms of cancer such as Leukemia or other causes of hair loss. We need to give them hope and a sense of normalcy.  These kids want to reach their teens, and hoping someday they will be going to college, have a family and so much more we take for granted.

You don’t have to have deep pockets to help. You don’t even have to write a check! All you need is hair! Do you or your kids have 10 inches or hair or more? Maybe you can work towards this and encourage your kids too. This is great way to not only bring self confidence and a smile to a child that has lost their hair; you can feel good about yourself. The benefits of giving will not only change the life of the recipient, it will change you too. Everyone knows it is better to give than to receive, and in this case, the gift is priceless and costs you nothing. You truly are the one that will be gaining so much.

Locks of Love is a win-win organization all the way around. During this month of Breast Cancer Awareness learn how you can help, and you don’t have to have a bank account. As a Parent Advocate I encourage parents to get their kids and teens involved. Giving back to your community is part of building their self esteem which in the end will help them to make better choices in their lives.

Be an example for your kids, reach out and give to children that need a boost of self confidence and a sense of normalcy simply by donating something that you are fortunate enough to have and will grow back faster than you realize. However the best part is how your heart will grow.

What is Locks of Love:

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

Mission and Vision for Locks of Love:

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.

Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.

Benefits for Children:

The children who receive these hairpieces have lost more than their hair; they suffer from a loss of self. Many children have been teased by classmates and/or embarrassed by the attention they receive because of their hair loss. They often will withdraw from normal childhood activities such as swimming, going to the mall or even playing with their friends. While wearing a hairpiece is certainly not a cure for these children, it can help restore some of the normalcy to their everyday lives that most of us take for granted. It is our goal to help provide a foundation on which they can begin to rebuild their self-esteem.

As holidays approach, think about this. Today’s economy will cause many cut-backs on commercial gifts, but this gift will keep on giving and doesn’t cost you anything but time and love.

For more info: Locks of Love, Causes of Hair Loss, Other ways to help, Donate Hair, Contact Locks of Love.

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Sue Scheff: Chat Room Safety Tips

teen-chat-roomsDoes your child, teen or do you venture into “Chat Rooms” online? Chat rooms are among the riskiest places on the Net for children and teens. Most Internet Predators are lingering waiting for their next victim in a variety of chat rooms. Don’t allow it to be your child.

As a Parent Advocate, I encourage all parents to take the steps to educate your children about cyber safety with a strong emphasis on chat room safety. October is National Cyber Safety Awareness Month, which is a reason for you to set aside time to sit with your kids and discuss what lurks online.

Here are some great Chat Room safety tips from Connect Safely to share with your family:

Remember that what you say in a chat room or instant messaging session is live — you can’t take it back or delete it later.

Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want the public to know — this includes your full name, your address, phone number of other personal information.

Don’t get together with someone you meet in a chat room. If you must, meet in a public place and bring along some friends.

Don’t reveal your actual location or when and where you plan to hang out.

Choose a nickname that’s not sexually suggestive and doesn’t give away your real name.

If someone says or does something creepy, block them and don’t respond.

Just sign out if the topic turns to sex. That can often lead somewhere you don’t want to go.

For more info: Connect Safely,iKeepSafe, ReputationDefender/MyChild, Google Bomb Book, Love Our Children USA, The Kristin Helms Internet Safety Foundation, Cati Cares.

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