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The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

Susan Brock, the wife of Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock in Arizona, was in court on Wednesday on charges of sexual molestation. She is also charged with sexual conduct with a minor, and is being held without bond, Fox Phoenix reports.

The victim, currently 17 years old, admitted to his parents that sexual activity was occurring between himself and Brock, 48. It was then that the Chandler Police Department was notified of the relationship by the parents. Police say the two did not engage in sexual intercourse.

The parents showed police printouts of sexually explicit messages exchanged between Brock and the teen, as well as the messages on iPod Touch, which was given to the teen by Brock. Over the years, the teen said they have had about 20 or 30 sexual encounters.

The teen explained that the two had been engaged in such activity since he was 14 years old. He said that she would pick him up from school or from home and they would go to secluded areas where they wouldn’t be found.

Brock would also help the boy meet with his girlfriend, also a minor, who was forbidden to see the boy. Brock enabled the two to meet and have sex, providing transportation and even condoms.

Brock made her court appearance Wednesday morning. A status hearing has been scheduled for November 3, and a preliminary hearing on November 8.

Read more: http://www.thirdage.com/news/susan-brock-charged-child-molestation_10-28-2010#ixzz13m1aYQqe

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Category:general -- posted at: 10:38pm EDT

10 Things Employment Recruiters Won't Say

1. “There are better ways to find a job.”

A recruiter or agency is one part of a job search, but it shouldn’t be your primary source – and maybe not your secondary one, either. Referrals – that is, a connection made by someone you know – remain your best bet. CareerXRoads’ annual survey of more than 200 employers shows that the percentage of hires made through referrals has remained remarkably consistent over the last five years. Nearly 27% of respondents said referrals were the biggest factor in external hires in 2009, practically unchanged from its 27.1% figure in 2005. Third-party agencies, meanwhile, accounted for only 2.3% of external hires last year, compared to a 5.2% success rate in 2005.

2. “We don’t work for you.”

Christy Ezelle, a media advertising executive in New York, was in her first job out of college when she got a call from a headhunter working for a major advertising agency. It was a good experience, until she tried to negotiate her salary – the company wouldn’t budge. Why? They had already shelled out for the headhunter that tracked her down – a fee that was eating into the amount they were willing to pay Ezelle. Recruiters work for the hiring company, and that’s where their allegiance lies – not with the job-seeker. That means headhunters will always be more interested in making their client happy than in finding a candidate the best possible package, says Carolyn Dougherty, an executive search consultant in Villanova, Penn. “There’s a belief that the recruiter is working on the candidate’s behalf and that’s not the case,” she says. “They’re working for the client – that’s where the fee is coming from.” And because most recruiters don’t get paid until the position gets filled, they care more about sealing the deal than about getting you another $10,000.

3. “Until a year ago, I was a car salesman.”

There are no laws or rules that govern what constitutes an “employment agency” or who can call himself a recruiter, and setting up shop is pretty easy: A year’s worth of advertising, office space, travel and communications equipment is just $50,000 for an experienced recruiter like Eleanor Sweet, who runs the Remington Group in Barrington, Ill., an hour outside of Chicago; a rookie could put out a shingle for far less. Anyone can do it, she says, “It’s pretty much like getting a real estate license.” That means job seekers have to vet a recruiter with the same diligence they’d investigate a potential employer. Ask how long the recruiter’s been in the business, and where they’ve placed candidates in the past – and then call those companies and confirm, experts advise. Also, though a certification isn’t required to be a recruiter, there are a handful of designations a pro can earn. Getting certified as a Temporary Staffing Specialist, a Personnel Consultant, or a Professional in Human Resources don’t require any coursework, but all require previous experience and the passage of an exam – legitimate hoops for a dedicated professional to jump through. One strategy to avoid at all costs: firms that charge for job search services or call themselves “fee-based counselors” raise red flags with experienced recruiters, because “It’s expected that the company pays the fee,” says Dougherty. (see No. 2, above).

4. “The job we advertised may not exist.”

Recruiters often advertise appealing jobs that aren’t vacant, just to build up a stable of candidates, says Nick Corcodilos, who heads the executive search firm North Bridge Group and runsw ww.asktheheadhunter.com4 in Lebanon, N.J. From a staffing firm or recruiter’s perspective, this is a practical way to do business, because many assignments offer a bonus for filling a key job fast. But for the job hunter, it’s misleading, raising false hopes at an already anxious time. That doesn’t mean an applicant’s efforts are useless. Just because there’s no job now doesn’t mean there won’t be one in a few months. Jeremy Dixon, general manager at A-1 Temps in Tampa, says client companies will ask him for 50 people qualified for customer service positions “in a couple of weeks.” If he has a sufficient pool of established applicants, he can place them in a hurry. For the best odds of success, job-seekers should identify companies and positions they’re specifically interested in and seek out recruiters who work with them. (This is particularly true for anyone seeking an upper management job, for which companies typically rely on an established relationship with a recruiter or recruiting firm.)

5. “We already know quite a bit about you.”

As soon as you sign up with a recruiter or search firm, they check you out – your background, your credit history, even legal records. That’s why they have applicants sign all those disclosures. If you want to work with them, you have to submit. That’s fairly standard in the job market these days, whether or not you work with a recruiter, but unlike a recruiter, a prospective employer usually doesn’t do the background check until after he’s met you. That gives a candidate the opportunity to impress on his merits, and explain anything that might be dodgy in his history. Working through a recruiter, a job seeker might never get that chance. In that case, all you can do is make sure that the information they have is accurate, says Corcodilos. Almost 80 percent of credit reports contain errors, and 25 percent have what’s considered to be a “serious error” such as false delinquencies or accounts that did not belong to the consumer, according to a 2004 study fromU .S. PIRG5. To ensure you’ll be judged on your own merits, check your credit report for errors and take steps to fix what you find 6.

6. “Our jobs aren’t so hot either.”

Because most agencies don’t get paid unless they place candidates at jobs, the weak labor market has taken its toll. In Orange County, Calif., for example, the 20 largest employment firms saw revenue drop almost 20% in 2009, prompting many to lay off employees, according to an Orange County Business Journal survey. A lot of experienced people have left the field, says Darrel Gurney, an independent career consultant who runs the CareerGuy.com web site, leaving “empty desks and brand spanking new people who have never done this before.” That means you often don’t get the best help in your job search, particularly working with smaller firms, he says. Bigger, national and international firms are doing better. Revenue at Switzerland’s Adecco, the world’s largest staffing company, rose 16% in July and August. Meanwhile, revenues at domestic search firms Manpower (MAN 7) and Robert Half International (RHI 8) are up 15% and 6% respectively in the last three months, in part a result of an increase in revenue-producing job placements.

7. “You’re at the mercy of a computer, just like online job board users.”

The rise of online job sites like Monster (MWW 9) and Careerbuilder has changed the way many staffing professionals work. The sites use computer programs to scan applications for particular keywords – and now, so do recruiters. Even if you submit your resume on fancy stationery, it gets scanned by the recruiter or staffing agency. Especially for entry or mid-level jobs, cover letters don’t get read, Gurney says: It’s this digital process that drives the professional match-making. To get through the computer gatekeeper, applicants need to make sure the relevant, searchable words are on their resumes. For example, he says, if you want to work in the entertainment industry, listing a past job at Sony Pictures on your resume isn’t enough; the word “entertainment” must be there too. Candidates who aren’t sure what the magic keywords are should look at the description of the job they’re applying for, says Jessica Mazor, an account manager for the accounting and finance business at Kforce Professional Staffin g(KFRC10) in New York. The “must have” criteria in the description are particularly important.

8. “The ‘temp-to-perm’ carrot is rotten.”

Many staffing agencies hold out the promise of permanent jobs after success in a temporary position, but that trend isn’t holding in this recovery. Since temporary Published October 25, 2010 Related articles and videos Where to Find a Good Job During the Holidays1 Job Seekers: How to Negotiate a Higher Offer 2 Age Bias at Work: Should You Sue?3 employment trends hit bottom in September 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor says the service and professional sectors have added 392,000 temporary jobs. But the CareerXroads survey showed that positions explicitly advertised as temp-to-perm accounted for just 1.6% of all hiring in 2009 – and even in better times, that rate was only around 3%. “Temp-to-perm is basically a marketing ploy,” says Corcodilos, who says it’s really more of a fantasy: “It’s what recruiters would like to see happen.”

9. “If you have a job, I could get you fired.”

Not all recruiters are careful, and the last thing you want is to have your resume land on the desk of your current boss. This is a very real risk, says Sweet, president of the Remington Group, so job seekers need to make sure they know exactly what recruiters are doing on their behalf. “Put every recruiter you work with on notice,” she says. “Say, ‘You do not have permission to release my paperwork without my permission.” And then there are the aggressive recruiters who pull resumes off LinkedIn profiles and job boards and circulate them without getting the candidates permission – or even letting him know. That’s what happened to Michael Segel, an information consultant in Chicago, who was interviewing with several different companies when one prospective employer asked him why he’d received his resume twice. An overzealous recruiter whom Segal had never met had sent it. Now Segal only posts his resume as an un-alterable PDF, and he keeps careful track of where he and any recruiters he’s working with send it. He says it can’t stop the practice of unauthorized circulation, but if he’s contacted by a recruiter he doesn’t know, he can quickly figure out what’s happened. “I usually cut off contact right there,” he says.

10. “If I’m in Virginia, I probably won’t help you find a job in Nebraska.”

If you’re willing to relocate, don’t rely on your contact in your home city to help you find work outside the area — even if you’re working with a national search firm. Recruiters at big firms have little incentive to spread your resume around to other locations; they’ll have to split a commission with the colleague that helps you land a job. Instead, send your resume to the branch offices in the places you would like to go. As soon as that office has you on file, “they take ownership of your search,” says Sweet. Smaller, more local firms agree – and may even refer you to someone else. “We have alliances with other staffing companies,” says Diana Wall, a senior account manager at Accel Financial Staffing in Oklahoma City. “There’s no commission – it’s all friendly referrals.”

** http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/employment/the-best-places-to-find-a-good-job-during-the-holidays/
** http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/employment/job-seekers-how-to-negotiate-a-higher-salary/
** http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/employment/age-bias-at-work-should-you-sue/ ** http://www.asktheheadhunter.com
** http://www.uspirg.org/home/reports/report-archives/financial-privacy--security/financial-privacy--security/mistakes-do-happen-a-look-at-errors-in-consumer-credit-reports
** http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm
** http://www.smartmoney.com/quote/MAN/
** http://www.smartmoney.com/quote/RHI/
** http://www.smartmoney.com/quote/MWW/
** http://www.smartmoney.com/quote/KFRC/

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Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 9:23pm EDT

What happening to the Manly men? 

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Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 10:23pm EDT

You can do anything because I believe in you.

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 1:37pm EDT

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Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

By Ross Bonander
Published October 19, 2010 | Askmen.com

The state of California's recent step toward fully decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana with Prop 19 has reignited one of the more contentious flash points in modern society—where, if anywhere, marijuana has a place.

Few things illustrate the controversy better than a comparison of the web pages that purport to separate myth from fact published by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). They are almost mirror images of one another, addressing the very same points, but drawing on different studies to reach their preferred conclusions. It's stunning to see how differently these agencies can interpret the same information.

There is a single salvation from this cherry-picking point-counterpoint: the seminal report "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base." This comprehensive summary of marijuana was written in 1999 by the most highly regarded nongovernmental medical organization in the country, the Institute of Medicine, and it serves as the primary source for the information in this article concerning the risks and benefits of marijuana.

Health Risk Myths & Realities

The essential questions are whether the active ingredient in marijuana, a cannabinoid (chemical compound) known as THC, has any medicinal value; whether the risks associated with its use outweigh the benefits; and whether THC answers a need not currently met by any other medications on the market. In the course of that debate, several health risks are often cited:

Marijuana overdose

There is no existing evidence of anyone dying of a marijuana overdose, but this doesn't preclude the possibility of experiencing adverse or unpleasant effects when it is consumed in large amounts. For comparison's sake, alcohol overdoses claim approximately 5,000 casualties per year.This is often cited as a reason that marijuana is safer than other drugs, like alcohol.


Marijuana does impair short-term memory, but only during intoxication. THC has been shown to have a negative effect on memory, and chronic abuse of marijuana will cause permanent impairment.


The DEA's general opposition to marijuana is comprised of 1) that whatever medical value it has is already fulfilled by other, equally effective drugs on the market, and 2) that marijuana is highly addictive.

Both points can be turned upside down: There is already an abundance of drugs that do the same job as products already on the market, and they receive approval anyway. This seems to run contrary to the DEA's first argument. And even a cursory look at many of the Schedule II opiates and amphetamines shows that high addiction potential is not a basis for legal classification of drugs. The point is that marijuana is not physically addictive, and even if it was, the DEA would appear to be quite hypocritical arguing this point.

The immune system

If smoked marijuana were to inhibit the activity of T-lymphocytes in the blood, it would compromise the body's ability to fight infection. This would put some people at the mercy of opportunistic infections and diseases, notably those who have immunosuppressive conditions like HIV or lymphoma.

However, the data does not support this. What it does support -- barely -- is the compromised immunity of the lungs due to the smoke from marijuana.

Heart problems

It is accepted in medical circles today that marijuana use causes no evident long-term cardiovascular problems for normal persons. The DEA aggressively goes after this point, claiming that according to Harvard researchers, in the hour after having smoked marijuana, one's heart attack risk goes up five fold. However, this 'fact' is not properly cited and is indicative of the DEA's sloppy attempts to cite its sources. Marijuana's effects on blood pressure are complex and inconsistent as of yet.


Is THC considered a carcinogen (cancer-causing) in humans? Not according to the two most esteemed agencies of relevance, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP). However, the same cannot be said for smoking marijuana, as the smoke from burning marijuana shares an array of dangerous and potentially carcinogenic chemicals with cigarette smoke. The DPA fumbles here, saying "there have been no reports of lung cancer related solely to marijuana," subtly hinting that it's even possible to determine causation for any cancer in the first place. It should be said that although the DPA's information is generally more reliable than the DEA’s, it does contain its fair share of porous arguments.

The gateway effect

Does marijuana use lead to harder drugs? Most long-term studies show that those people who report having tried disparate drugs like cocaine and heroin often share a history of having smoked marijuana. However, the implication that marijuana causes people to try harder drugs is as yet unproven, and indeed it may act as an alternative to more dangerous drugs.

Potential benefits

No serious proponent of medicinal marijuana would claim it cures anything. Marijuana does, however, treat symptoms -- pain, nausea -- that are caused by a wide range of illnesses.

Pain management

The receptors in the brain that allow uptake of cannabinoids (like THC) are actually part of the most widespread receptor system in the body. Not only is the body naturally attuned to these molecules, it also uses them to great effect -- numerous studies have established that cannabinoids help reduce pain and other distressing symptoms.


Some chemotherapy regimens are notorious for causing terrible bouts of nausea and vomiting, and both THC and marijuana have been explored as antiemetic (antinausea) medication. Smoking marijuana does give the desired effect in a matter of minutes and could, therefore, relieve the symptom quickly.

The potential drawback

If marijuana becomes fully legalized in plant form and open to commercialization -- a stance largely supported by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) -- one notoriously vile group of manufacturers is uniquely poised better than any other to take control of the emerging market: Big Tobacco. Having fully established its disinterest in the public health generations ago by the shady promotion of smoking, the idea of Big Tobacco becoming the nation's pot supplier should frighten anyone favoring legalization and regulation.

Still much to learn

The dearth of useful clinical trial data—randomized, controlled, double-blind trials involving large patient populations—is the biggest hurdle facing marijuana's legitimacy. While numerous smaller tests have been performed that support both sides of the health argument, political and economic reasons will form the primary impetus for the legalization of marijuana. For a state like California, whose budget deficit amounts to billions of dollars, the potential tax revenue from legalized marijuana is a lot of money that is currently going up in smoke.


Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 4:01am EDT

Gays Reportedly Attacked in Uganda After Newspaper Publishes List of 'Top 100' Homosexuals

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 3:15am EDT

Published October 20, 2010 | FoxNews.com

At least four gays have been attacked in Uganda since the publication of a front-page newspaper story that listed the African nation's 100 "top" homosexuals, according to activists there.

The Oct. 9 article in a Ugandan newspaper called Rolling Stone included photographs and addresses of the 100 individuals alongside a yellow banner that read: "Hang Them."

Rolling Stone, which is not connected to the American magazine of the same name, claimed that an unknown but deadly disease was attacking homosexuals in Uganda and that gays were recruiting 1 million children by raiding schools -- a popular rumor in the nation.

"100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Leak," the newspaper's headline read.

Charles Ssentongo, deputy chief of the Republic of Uganda's embassy in Washington, told FoxNews.com that embassy officials had not seen the article as of Wednesday.

"We are not aware of that list, nor do we have anything to do with it," Ssentongo told FoxNews.com.

He said all Ugandan citizens -- regardless of sexual orientation -- deserve equal rights and protection. He declined further comment, since he had not seen the article.

In the weeks since the article was published, at least four of the people on the list have been attacked and many others are hiding, Ugandan civil rights activist Julian Onziema told the Associated Press.

A lawmaker in the country introduced a bill last year that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. The bill was shelved after it was condemned throughout the world, but gays in Uganda say they have faced a year of harassment and attacks since it was introduced. The legislation was proposed after a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy they say enables gays to become heterosexual.

"Before the introduction of the bill in parliament most people did not mind about our activities. But since then, we are harassed by many people who hate homosexuality," Patrick Ndede, 27, told the Associated Press. "The publicity the bill got made many people come to know about us and they started mistreating us."

More than 20 homosexuals have been attacked over the last year in Uganda, and an additional 17 have been arrested and are in prison, said Frank Mugisha, the chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda. Those numbers are up from the same period two years ago, when roughly 10 homosexuals were attacked, he said.

The Oct. 9 newspaper article appeared five days before the first anniversary of the controversial legislation. After its publication, the government Media Council ordered the newspaper to cease publishing -- not because of the newspaper's content, but because the newspaper had not registered with the government. After it completes the paperwork, Rolling Stone will be free to publish again, said Paul Mukasa, secretary of the Media Council.

That decision has angered the gay community further. Onziema said a lawsuit against Rolling Stone is in the works, and that she believes the publication has submitted its registration and plans to publish again.

"Such kind of media should not be allowed in Uganda. It is creating violence and calling for genocide of sex minorities," Mugisha said. "The law enforcers and government should come out and protect sex minorities from such media."

Rolling Stone does not have a large following in Uganda, a country of 32 million whose population is about 85 percent Christian and 12 percent Muslim. The newspaper published its first edition on Aug. 23. It publishes about 2,000 copies, but a single newspaper in Uganda is often read by 10 more people.

The paper's managing editor, Giles Muhame, said the article was "in the public interest."

"We felt there was need for society to know that such characters exist amongst them. Some of them recruit young children into homosexuality, which is bad and need to be exposed," he said. "They take advantage of poverty to recruit Ugandans. In brief, we did so because homosexuality is illegal, unacceptable and insults our traditional lifestyle."

Homophobia is rife in many African countries, particularly in Nigeria, where homosexuality is punishable by death or imprisonment. In June, Pastor Martin Ssempa, chairman of Uganda's National Taskforce Against Homosexuality, reportedly told attendees of a community meeting that "eating poo poo" was part of the definition of being homosexual.

In South Africa, the only African nation to recognize gay marriage, gangs are known to carry out so-called "corrective" rapes on lesbians.

FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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(CNN) -- A lesbian couple who say they were asked to leave a North Carolina shopping center after sharing a kiss and a hug met with the center's property manager on Saturday.

"We welcomed the opportunity to sit down with the women and offer our sincere regrets over last week's incident," said George York, president of York Properties, which manages the Cameron Village shopping center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The incident took place Wednesday at Cameron Village.

Caitlin Breedlove told CNN Raleigh affiliate WRAL that she and her partner were being affectionate, but appropriate with one another, when a security officer asked them to leave the shopping center.

The officer told the couple that they were being inappropriate and that "nobody wants to see that here at Cameron Village," Breedlove said.

The couple asked to speak to the officer's supervisor.

Dan Palatucci, who manages the Flying Biscuit restaurant at the shopping center, where the couple had eaten before the incident, told WRAL that he also voiced concern about the officer's actions to Cameron Village's management. "We really just don't discriminate at all," he said. "We love everybody that loves our food."

On Saturday, York said his company is planning additional sensitivity training for its security personnel.

"We apologized that the women were offended, and we affirmed that Cameron Village and York Properties, Inc. have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind and believe all people deserve the right to be treated fairly in their work, homes and daily lives," York said in a statement.

A letter of apology was also sent to the women, he said.

Breedlove is a gay activist, but she says the incident wasn't planned.

WRAL reported that the American Civil Liberties Union may take legal action over the episode.

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Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 4:36am EDT

Cyberbullying, gay bashing, and parental to-dos

by reneeschaferhorton on Oct. 12, 2010, under Life, Media, Parenting

There are certain things that I cannot wrap my mind around, no matter how hard I try, and believe me, I do try. I struggle mightily to see all sides of an issue, but sometimes, it turns out there is only one side: the right one. When children are killing themselves, something has gone terribly, horribly wrong and, being the ever helpful person I am, I’m going to say that that “something” is technology. And, to a certain extent, a lack of parental involvement in this digital generation. Stay with me, class, while I explain.

I lived through adolescence, and I remember the terror of being picked on and made the butt of jokes. Many – if not most – kids are cruel when in a pack (ala compulsory schooling), and the kids in my high school were no different. I saw the issue again as I raised my own children, some of whom were bullied in middle or high school. And now, as a student teacher in a high school, I see this water torture of life up close and personal once again as students shun, ostracize or joke about various classmates. As they say, some things never change. Unless, of course, you add some social networks and iPhones and web-cams so the bullying and terrorizing can be all the more horrific.

The recent suicides of Seth Walsh, 13, Asher Brown, 13, Billy Lucas, 15 and Tyler Clementi, 18, are all attributed to gay-bashing. Their tormenters believed the young men were gay and used that as a reason to terrorize them in the hallways, locker rooms and cafeterias of their schools. In the case of Clementi, the terrorizing was spread to the Internet, when his stupid (can I call a spade a spade? roommate webcammed Clementi making out with a man in his Rutgers dorm room and (surprise!) streamed it live. Two days later, Clementi jumped to his death off a bridge over the Hudson River.

What kind of horrible person web cams his roommate’s sexual encounter and streams it online? The kind of young man who no doubt teased guys like Walsh, Brown and Lucas in hallways and cafeterias in middle and high school. The kind of young man who was never stopped in a school yard by a teacher or principal when he or she called someone “fag” or “homo.” The kind of young man who didn’t hear enough lectures at home about respect for ALL human beings. And, perhaps most tellingly, the kind of young man who is a product of the digital generation that sees nothing as private and lives for their next Face Book status update. The kind of young man brought up in a culture of YouTube, which is just as likely to have “lets make fun of her” clips streamed as it is to have cute videos of babies and kittens. The kind of young man who has been so surrounded by technology that he’s lost the ability to think, “Would I want someone to do this to me?” in regard to fellow human beings.

Remember Phoebe Prince? She wasn’t tormented for being gay, but she was tormented through technology. Or Alexis Pilkington? Tormented to death with technology. The latest rash of teen suicides are attributed to the terrorizing of young gay men – treating them as something “less than” their tormenters – but this lack of respect for other humans crosses sexual, racial and religious boundaries. It is everywhere, all the time, as close as the next iPhone. And it is time parents did something about it.

So here’s your free parenting advice for the day: Turn off the darn TV – especially the one in the back seat of your car that you keep on to keep your kids quiet. Go to your computer and pull up the news about these recent deaths and have a come to Jesus meeting about what is happening in your child’s school. Have your child login to his/her social network sites and read what is being posted there. Then ask for their cell phone and read their text messages – incoming and outgoing. Figure out if you’ve got a little cyberbully in your house or if your child is being bullied by others. Do not think your child will tell you if he or she is being bullied – that rarely happens. And if he or she is being bullied, force the school to deal with it or go to the school board.

On the other hand, don’t think your child necessarily knows that he or she should not send that nasty text message about the oddball kid at school. They have to be taught how to be kind and loving to each other, they have to be asked “Would you like it …” questions to develop their sense of empathy. Discuss why it is wrong to say, “That’s so gay” or “You’re such a loser.”

In otherwords, do not assume children can raise themselves. They have parents for a reason. Be the grown up in your house – take responsibility for what your children do and look into what might be happening to them. And, for heaven’s sake, if your child is gay (or you suspect they are), keep loving them. They have a hard row to hoe in high school and they need you to help them make it. If you think you’d have issues with having a gay child, get yourself some help through a GLBT family group so your child can have the support he or she needs. Finally, teach respect for ever human being in everything you do and say.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is our job as parents: To be good examples, to know what is happening in our kids’ lives and to make sure they are behaving as caring, decent human beings – iPhones and webcams or no. Phoebe Prince, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Alexis Pilkington, Billy Lucas, and Tyler Clementi were human beings deserving of the same respect you and your children deserve. Make sure your kids know – and act – on that information.

Category:Aliya Leigh Videos -- posted at: 5:50am EDT

Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walk off the set of the View after Bill O'Reilly indicated that the Fox News Channel-majority-sharedholder-funded-low er-Manhattan community center should not be built because "Muslims killed us on 9/11" Midweek Politics with David Pakman is a nationally syndicated talk radio and program. 24/7 Voicemail Line: (219)-2DAVIDP

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