Tag Archives: Youth

Making Sense of School Shootings

By John W. Whitehead

On Feb. 27, 2012, a teenager—reportedly a victim of bullying and something of a social outcast—walked into a Cleveland high school and opened fire in the cafeteria, killing two students and wounding three others. The teenager, identified as T.J. Lane, has been taken into police custody. Now media pundits are speculating on who or what is to blame for this latest spate of violence.

Yet we’ve been caught in the grip of a cycle of school violence that started almost 20 years ago. It was February 1997 when a 16-year-old Alaskan boy pulled out a shotgun and killed his principal and another student. Two years later, on April 20, 1999, two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, opened fire on classmates and teachers at Columbine High School, killing 12 students and one teacher and leaving 24 others wounded.

Then, on October 10, 2006, a 13-year-old seventh grade boy, apparently fascinated with the 1999 Columbine High School bloodbath, carried an assault rifle into his Joplin, Missouri middle school. Dressed in a dark green trench coat and wearing a mask, he pointed the rifle at fellow students and fired a shot into the ceiling before the weapon jammed. This was no spur-of-the-moment act. It was a planned attack. The student’s backpack contained military manuals, instructions on assembling an improvised explosive device and detailed drawings of the school.

The outbreak of school shootings that have taken place over the past two decades have forced school officials, public leaders and parents to search for ways to prevent further bloodshed. In their attempts to make the schools safer, students have been forced to deal with draconian zero tolerance policies, heightened security, routine locker checks, guard dogs, metal detectors and numerous other invasions of their property and privacy.

Despite the precautions (all of which have proven to be altogether ineffective), other student-led shooting sprees and bloodshed followed, culminating with the most recent incident. To be sure, the instinctive response to this latest school shooting will be to appease parents by adopting measures that provide the appearance of increased security. However, enacting tighter zero tolerance policies and installing more metal detectors in the schools will do little to advance the dialogue on why such shootings happen in the first place.

One thing is clear: there are no easy solutions.

In struggling to understand the teenage mind—and find some motivation for the rash of school shootings of the past several years—public leaders have targeted everything from the negative influence of movies to music to violent video games. Now the scapegoat seems to be bullying and peer pressure.

Evidently, something more sinister than disgruntled students is at work here. While there are conditions—such as peer pressure, low self-esteem, childhood abuse, etc.—that can trigger or facilitate violent behavior, we’re facing a crisis that goes much deeper, one that has as much to do with a lack of spirituality and morality as it does with education, relationships and culture.

Young people have unfortunately become the casualties of our age. They know that something is dreadfully wrong, but many adults, busy trying to make ends meet and keep pace with the demands of work and raising a family, often do not hear when the kids scream for help. For example, at least one in 10 young people now believe life is not worth living. A 2009 survey of 16- to 25-year-olds by the Prince’s Trust found “a significant core” for whom life had little or no purpose, especially among those not in school, work or training. More than a quarter of those polled felt depressed and were less happy than when they were younger. And almost “half said they were regularly stressed and many did not have anything to look forward to or someone they could talk to about their problems.”

Indeed, our young people are members of a lost generation—raised in a world where life has little to no value, the almighty dollar takes precedence and values are taught by primetime sitcoms and Saturday morning cartoons. They are being raised by television and the Internet and nourished on fast food. They are seeking comfort wherever they can find it—in sex, drugs, music, each other. They are searching for hope and finding few answers to their questions about the meaning of life.

Gone is the innocence of childhood. In a multitude of ways, children have been adultified, and their childhood is disappearing. Today’s young people often know more about sex, drugs and violence than their adult counterparts. By the year 2000, 25 percent of U.S. teens were involved with weapons; 70 percent admitted cheating on tests in school; more than 15 percent had shown up for class drunk; and five million children—including three-year-olds—were regularly left home alone to care for themselves. As University of Edinburgh professor Stuart Aitken writes, “In short, the sense of a so-called disappearance of childhood is, in actuality, about the loss of a stable, seemingly natural foundation for social life that is clearly linked not only to laments over the lost innocence of childhood, but also a growing anger at and fear of young people.”

No wonder life seems so meaningless to so many. Wherever these young people turn, life is chaotic—wars, violence, environmental crises, oil depletion and terrorism, to name a few. Children are confronted on a daily basis with issues, images and material of all sorts—abortion, drugs, alcohol, pornography—and preyed upon by sexual predators, marketing mavens, even the government. Although teenagers can cope with a number of emotional hazards, with each additional hazard introduced, their resilience—like soldiers in combat too long—diminishes to such an extent that breakdowns are imminent. As Cornell University professor James Gabarino recognizes, one of the key factors leading to violence is a “spiritual emptiness” that brings on a feeling of not being connected to anything, of having no limits for behavior and no reverence for life.

Is anyone listening?

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Information about the Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

When the Culture Leads to Self-Inflicted Harm

(SAN FRANCISCO)   Research released last week shows that as many as one of every dozen teens harm themselves through cutting, burning and, in some cases, suicidal acts as they progress from puberty into young adulthood.

ABC News, reporting on the study, noted that at every stage — from the onset of puberty into young-adulthood, more girls reported self-harm than boys.

“The study is another example of how the culture is impacting our young people,” said Teresa Tomeo, bestselling author and syndicated radio host. “Medical and psychological experts tell us the teens most likely engaging in self-harming behavior are those who are on the fast track to adulthood such as young people who are sexually active, or using drugs and alcohol. Given the amount of sexual content in today’s mass media, along with the images of risky activities that are found all too frequently on social media sites, is it any wonder why young people act out in such frightening ways?”

This study from Oxford University suggests Tomeo’s comments are right on. “Those who cut, burned or otherwise deliberately hurt themselves were more likely to be seriously depressed or anxious, and to report smoking, drinking or abusing drugs,” ABC News reported. “Similarly, a small subgroup of students who began hurting themselves as young adults were more likely to report having been depressed or anxious as teenagers.”

“While the media can’t be blamed for all of our social ills,” Tomeo added, “the fact that young people consume, on average, 53 hours of media weekly leaves little doubt that the culture can and is taking its toll.”

In her new book EXTREME MAKEOVER, available now from Ignatius Press, Tomeo reports on the impact of media on today’s culture and talks about ways that women, children and families can make an “extreme media makeover” to rid themselves of the messages and toxic images that bombard them daily, and instead embrace the truth about their human dignity.

International Youth Coalition Members Challenge United Nations Approach to Youth Sexuality

By Lauren Funk

NEW YORK (C-FAM) Members of the International Youth Coalition are voicing their disapproval of the rights-based approach to youth issues and the promotion of sexual license presented at the recent United Nations High Level Meeting on Youth.

“Just as we have laws prohibiting youth from using drugs, it would seem that we also have a responsibility to protect youth from engaging in sexual license, ” reflected IYc member Savanna Buckner. Buckner made her comments after attending a discussion hosted by UNFPA, which asserted that youth have the right to sexual education and to make their own autonomous decisions regarding their sexuality without consent of their parents.

“As a young person, it is extremely disturbing to witness …certain UN forces working to isolate youth from their families and particularly their parents. For its education policies to be just, the UN must accept that focusing on the family as the fundamental unit of society and on parents as primary educators is not outdated and does not overlook the individuality of each person,” Buckner told the Friday Fax.

Buckner also commented on the rejection of abstinence by the proponents of sexuality education. “By assuming abstinence is impractical, these organizations discourage youth from practicing self-restraint and effectively make contraceptives the only ‘choice.’”

Antoine Kazzi, a member of the IYc from Australia, challenged the prevalent misrepresentation of sexual and reproductive health matters as universal human rights. “Sovereign nations are being misled into thinking they have to recognize and protect sexual and reproductive health ‘rights’ in their territories… [and] that these ‘rights’ are already recognized as universal human rights; and organs of the UN are being used to perpetuate this lie,” Kazzi said.

Kazzi noted the conflict these sexual ‘rights’ have with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “These ‘rights’ encompass the right to have an induced abortion, which is the deliberate ending of a child’s life. The ending of this vulnerable life offends the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… [including] the right to life.”

Maria Lizaur, another IYc member, recounted her frustration after presenting the merits of abstinence and family values programs in reducing HIV infections and unplanned pregnancies at one of the conference’s panel discussions. “Instead of [the panelists] encouraging dialogue about what is in fact good for the youth, and about what it is that the youth wants, we [who presented this information] were simply dismissed as “too young” to understand. It is tremendously sad that there were individuals and organizations at the conference who refused to listen to the voice of young individuals seeking to share ideas that expressed pro-life and pro-family solutions.”

Though voicing frustration with those at the United Nations Youth Meeting who supported autonomous freedom of sexual engagement for young people, the IYc members are hopeful that, through true dialogue, their peers and elders alike will heed their calls for support of the family and increased personal responsibility on the part of youth in matters of sexuality.

More observations by the members of the International Youth Coalition can be found at their blog, IYc Vox.

“Lauren Funk writes for C-FAM. This article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute (http://www.c-fam.org/). This article appears with permission.

Youth and Their Well-Being(?) – U.N. Agenda

By Tyler Ament

The draft outcome document for the High-Level Meeting on Youth proves troubling for those who want to maintain the unity and mutual understanding of families.

In the draft, governments and Heads of State:

“Reaffirm the World Programme of Action for Youth, including its fifteen interrelated priority areas, and call upon Member States to continue its implementation…”

Now, if one wishes to implement the WPAY, one can simply take a look at the implementation guide drafted by the UN Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs. This is where the trouble starts.

It is a good thing to desire the well-being of youth, but that also means it is a horribly wrong thing to use such language to break apart the foundation of youth development that is the family.

On the topic of health, pg. 54 of the implementation guide speaks of “how governments can promote the sexual and reproductive health of young men and women” and cites two steps:

1. Eliminate any policies that prevent young people under 18 or unmarried youth from using reproductive health services, including requirements for parental consent.

2. Support youth-based organizations that disseminate info on sexual and reproductive health.

Translation, keep parents out of their kids’ health decisions by leveraging the government, and replace a family discussion with info from the local “services” provider who has a direct financial and ideological interest in keeping parents out of the discussion.

Where did well-being go? Western society knows what happens when kids only have one parent to raise them, what will happen if we encourage it to be none?

This article was originally posted on the international law blog Turtle Bay and Beyond on July 23, 2011

American College of Pediatricians’ Letter To School Officials About Same-Sex Attraction

In a letter to public school officials, President of the American College of Pediatricians had this say about same-sex attraction and gender confusion:

Adolescence is a time of upheaval and impermanence. Adolescents experience confusion about many things, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and they are particularly vulnerable to environmental influences.

Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25. In one study, as many as 26% of 12-year-olds reported being uncertain of their sexual orientation, yet only 2-3% of adults actually identify themselves as homosexual. Therefore, the majority of sexually questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity.

Even children with Gender Identity Disorder (when a child desires to be the opposite sex) will typically lose this desire by puberty, if the behavior is not reinforced. Researchers, Zucker and Bradley, also maintain that when parents or others allow or encourage a child to behave and be treated as the opposite sex, the confusion is reinforced and the child is conditioned for a life of unnecessary pain and suffering. Even when motivated by noble intentions, schools can ironically play a detrimental role if they reinforce this disorder.

In dealing with adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction, it is essential to understand there is no scientific evidence that an individual is born “gay” or “transgender.” Instead, the best available research points to multiple factors – primarily social and familial – that predispose children and adolescents to homosexual attraction and/or gender confusion. It is also critical to understand that these conditions can respond well to therapy.

Dr. Francis Collins, former Director of the Genome Project, has stated that while homosexuality may be genetically
influenced, it is “… not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not
predeterminations.” He also states [that] “…the prominent role[s] of individual free will choices [has] a profound effect on us.”

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) recently released a landmark survey and analysis of 125 years of scientific studies and clinical experience dealing with homosexuality. This report, What Research Shows, draws three major conclusions: (1) individuals with unwanted same sex attraction often can be successfully treated; (2) there is no undue risk to patients from embarking on such therapy and (3), as a group, homosexuals experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical health problems compared to heterosexuals. Among adolescents who claim a “gay” identity, the health risks include higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and suicide. Encouragingly, the longer students delay self-labeling as “gay,” the less likely they are to experience these health risks. In fact, for each year an adolescent delays, the risk of suicide alone decreases by 20%.

In light of these facts, it is clear that when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to “come out as gay” and be “affirmed,” there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students (who may merely be experiencing transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation). Premature labeling may then lead some adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.

Optimal health and respect for all students will only be achieved by first respecting the rights of students and parents to accurate information and to self-determination. It is the school’s legitimate role to provide a safe environment for respectful self-expression for all students. It is not the school’s role to diagnose and attempt to treat any student’s medical condition, and certainly not a school’s role to “affirm” a student’s perceived personal sexual orientation.

But, why is letter being published here? Gay organizations and their politicians have created a school-based event called “Day of Silence.” While it is billed an an effort to promote tolerance to gay youth with the goal of preventing bullying, this event also has been used as a backboard to launch education and social policies in other states like Massachussetts. Those policies in effect engender hostility toward families who are morally or religiously opposed to gay behavior and legalizing efforts to indoctirnate children into accepting gay behavior as normative. Therefore, parents, grandparents, and others should be aware of such events and what medicial professionals other than APA have to say about the related issues of same-sex attraction and gender confusion.

To read the entire letter or for more information, please visit www.FactsAboutYouth.com

Democracy in Egypt? Large Minority Groups Say They Are Being Excluded From The Negotiations

By Mary Abdelmassih

The uprising of the Egyptian Youth, both Copts and Muslims, has been dubbed as the “Facebook Uprising” mainly because it was started by modern and educated youth who depended on the social network “Facebook” and “Twitter” to organize themselves. Until now it appears that they are nondenominational, do not belong to any political party and without a leader, demanding the “ousting of the present corrupt regime and the octogenarian President Mubarak, to make way for a democratic and secular Egypt, with social justice and equality for all Egyptians. The uprising which is now called “January 25th Youth Movement” has gained support from Egyptians of all walks of life.

Several Coptic organizations have been taking part in the demonstrations, believing that change in Egypt is coming and they have to be there. They perceive their participation will put weight and balance the scales for a secular state.

Activist Rami Kamel, one of those responsible for the Coptic Youth Movement, said thousands of its members participated in all protests and in all areas, including the “Day of Departure” demonstrations on February 4, which called for the immediate ousting of Mubarak, and confirmed their intention to do so, until all demands of protesters are met. He added they joined the demonstrations the first day. “We have to get rid of the President, and his regime, which was the cause of the decline of Egypt economically, socially, and caused all the sectarian problems suffered by the Copts.”

After President Mubarak bowed to international pressure and the ongoing daily protests asking for his departure, he declared that he would not seek reelection but would finish his current term. Mubarak appointed a vice-president and brought in a new government which called on all parties to join in a dialogue for the future. All parties have been invited to take part in this dialogue except for the Copts.

This has angered Copts world-wide, especially since they believe their January demonstrations all over Egypt after the bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve (AINA 1-2-2011) was the spark that ignited the present uprising “by breaking down the barrier of fear.” This view is also held by the Coptic Church, whose Bishop Anba Suriel of Melbourne told “The Australian” on February 5 that “he believes the nascent revolution began with the New Year massacre of 23 Copts.”

For his part, Coptic Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights Organization, addressed Major Omar Suleiman, Vice-President of the Republic, urging him to include the Copts in the dialogue with the national authorities, initiated by the Vice President on Wednesday, on grounds that the Copts are part of the national community, and must participate in decision-making, particularly in the constitutional committee.

Gabriel stressed in his message to the Vice-President, which was aired on some TV channels this morning, that it is not possible under any circumstances to exclude Copts from the national dialog. He pointed out that many Coptic youth were killed and wounded since the beginning of the January 25th Youth Movement, demanding with their compatriots constitutional, legislative and social reforms. He wondered how could the Muslim Brotherhood can be invited for dialogue and not the Copts, who comprise 15-20% of Egypt’s population.

It was reported today that Islamist groups have asked Major Omar Suleiman to be included in the dialogue.

Rami Kamel told the Egyptian daily el Masry elYom the Coptic Youth Movement has legitimate demands consistent with those of the rest of the demonstrators, pointing out the regime has ruled out Coptic activists from the dialogue with the political authorities, which confirms the marginalization of the Copts.

Coptic Pope Shenouda III said on Egyptian state TV two years ago that the number of Copts in Egypt exceed 12 million. “This is based on baptisms and marriages in addition to lists of families in the church registers all over Egypt,” said Father Antonius Isaac of St. Mary’s Church in the Mohandeseen area of Cairo. “This number does not include Copts in small villages and hamlets who have no church and have never seen a priest, due to the government policies of limiting church building.”

The main Coptic demands are a new secular and democratic constitution without the second Article of the present Egyptian Constitution, which states that Islamic Sharia is the source of legislation, and which makes them second class citizens.

“We are at least 15-20% of the Egyptian population and we demand proportionate representation and definitely no restrictions on church building,” said activist Joseph Armanious. “We also demand what all other Egyptian protesters are asking for, but these demands come on top.”

The Coptic Church had called on its followers not to join in the protests, angering many Copts who decided not to follow the soft attitude of their church towards the regime, saying that it only has to limit itself to spiritual matters. Faced with the pressure of the defiant Coptic youth, the church was later forced to relax its stance and allowed Copts to join but only in “peaceful protests, in a civilized manner and within the law.”

Pope Shenouda gave his support for Mubarak at the beginning of the protests, which led many activists to accuse the church of believing Mubarak, “who managed to present himself to the Coptic Church and the Coptic people as the ultimate guardian of Copts in Egypt, despite this regime being responsible, first and foremost, of all sectarian terrorist incidents that took place against the Copts,” says Coptic activist Fawzy Hermina. He added: “The scandal and the straw that broke the camel’s back was what the British Embassy in Egypt said, that the Ministry of Interior is the organ which is responsible for planning and carrying out the bombing of the “Two Saints” Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve, which killed thirty and wounded ninety Copts.”

Many Copts share this view, including Coptic political analyst and activist Magdy Khalil, who said “Mubarak has been involved one way or another in the Alexandria church bombing.”

Reuters/Arabic carried out an interview with Coptic demonstrators in Tahrir Square, published on February 4. It reported that most of them said that they want to see Mubarak toppled and his regime gone “now more than ever.” One Coptic dentist explained that the New Year’s Eve Alexandria church bombing brought to an end the lie that the regime was protecting the Copts, and that was why the Copts went out demonstrating against Mubarak at the time, while another Copt who came from Nag Hammadi, where six Copts were shot by a Muslim on Christmas Eve 2010 (AINA 1-7-2010) said “We came here to show that every Egyptian should be here and want to be here, no difference between Christians and Muslims.”

Speaking about the fear of the Copts at the present moment, Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub said “Things are moving so fast and nobody knows what to expect next, everything is up in the air, however, Copts are desperate that an Islamic outcome should be avoided. We all say yes to change, but no to an Islamic state.”

Asked in a television interview with CNN on January 31, Coptic business Tycoon Naguib Saweiress, who has been appearing recently as a Coptic leader, praised the “Facebook Uprising” as he also called it, but cautioned that “one has to watch the Muslim Brotherhood of not hijacking this uprising.” This view is shared by all Copts and Muslims who do not agree with Egypt becoming an “Islamic Caliphate.”

Permission to reprint this article was granted by the Assyrian International News Agency.

House Speaker Budish Reverses Decision About Teen Recognition

Facing mounting criticism over his ill-considered decision to prohibit
pro-life Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler from receiving a routine legislative honor, House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) today did an about face. Trisler was scheduled to receive a resolution from her state representative, John Adams (R-Sidney), honoring her accomplishment as the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner. However, Budish blocked the award presentation. He argued that honoring the teen was too controversial. Budish supports abortion.

In a news release Monday, Ohio Right to Life first brought attention to the issue. Executive Director Mike Gonidakis asked Budish to reconsider his decision. He was joined by several pro-life members of the General Assembly led by Rep. Adams.

“Speaker Budish recently called me to convey his change of heart and I thanked him on behalf of the pro-life community,” said Gonidakis. “Blocking speech because you don’t like what someone is saying or what they stand for goes against the very fabric of who we are as Americans. And, while the speaker got there the hard way,
at least he got there.”

Source: Ohio Right To Life, February 10, 2010

Ohio House Speaker Dishonors Teen: Unending Leftist Bigotry

In an unprecedented act of partisanship, House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) denied Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler a legislative honor routinely presented to others. Budish is refusing to allow Trisler on the House floor to accept a legislative resolution. The resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney), honors her accomplishment as the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner. Such honorary resolutions are routinely presented at the start of Ohio House legislative sessions to constituents, including those who win athletic championships or academic contests.

“Surely Speaker Budish can put aside his partisanship for 10 minutes to honor the accomplishments of talented and optimistic teenage girl,” said Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Mike Gonidakis. “Perhaps his real message to Ohio’s teens is that excelling in public speaking isn’t worth being honored if their views are different than his.”
Trisler won the National Right to Life Oratory Contest held at the NRLC Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in June, 2009. During the second half of 2009, Rep. Adams’s office worked to schedule the presentation of Trisler’s proclamation on the House floor, as is typical of such awards. The presentation was scheduled for Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

However, on January 29th, the House Clerk informed Rep. Adams’s office the presentation was canceled because the Speaker “had a problem with the subject matter.” The Clerk advised the representative’s staff to take the matter up with the Speaker. Speaker Budish supports abortion.

“The Ohio House chamber is a monument to the importance of oratory and persuasion on the great issues facing our state,” added Gonidakis. “Silencing someone because you disagree is a terrible lesson to teach teens. The Speaker should reconsider his unfortunately petty decision.”

“The Ohio House of Representatives is known as the ‘people’s house’,” said State Representative John Adams. “It is an outrage that Speaker Budish has decided to politicize and deny the presentation of a proclamation honoring national pro-life award on the House floor that was previously approved by the Speaker,” Adams said.

Source: Ohio Right to Life, February 8, 2010

New book series written by teens for teens

In January 2007, the founders of The Benchmark Group, who had been in the publishing business for a combination of more than 50 years, decided to form a company to launch a line of books written by teens for teens: The Young Writers Series.

The rationale behind the Youth Writers Series is simple: Give creative youth an outlet, a market, to speak to their world. Yes, Benchmark Group makes some money, writers make some money, and readers get affordable books that appeal to them.

Moreover, fresh young voices speak clearly to their generation. Their topics range from fantasy to free verse to the fight for freedom. Their writings are clever, historically accurate and, often, just plain fun.

Some recent titles by teens include “White Star” by Rebecca Wilson. This book of accurate historical fiction explores life in both 1912 and today. Creating two young characters who share their lives across time and space of both worlds. Another book by 14 year old Hannah Reeves is titled “By the Grace of God.” Grace is life during the Civil War. Reeves explores how families do and ought to respond to war.
Not all book are historical fiction. “Centaur’s Door” and “The Line” are fantasy fiction. One explores overcoming persecution and abuse in the fantasy world of centaurs and the other explores battling the darkness of evil through the power of good.

If you are a young writer looking for a way to share your ideas, check out Benchmark Group website at http://www.benchmarkgrouppublishers.com.

According to their website, the company name was chosen because a benchmark is a standard of excellence. The Benchmark Group desires to give excellent service and to be obedient to God in all our service, publications, and dealings with authors, clients and customers. Because the Biblical standard is the ultimate benchmark, it is the standard to which they hold themselves to. Therefore, Benchmark Group books are meticulously edited for clarity and accuracy and never contain offensive material or language.

Prostitution Ring Targets High School Girls

Nashville, Tennessee police have arrested 45-year-old Teresa West and her two adult children on charges of trafficking for sexual servitude. The police said they were prostituting a 16-year-old girl they recruited from a local high school.

The police suspect more minors may have been recruited by the Wests.

Sharlene Azam, author of Oral Sex is the New Goodnight Kiss, said underage prostitution in white, middle-class neighborhoods is more common than many want to believe.

“I am finding that middle-class girls from functional families in good neighborhoods are being drawn into prostitution by all kinds of people,” she said. “There are recruiters in schools, other teenage girls, who might be telling your daughter, ‘You’re already having sex, why don’t you get paid for it’?”

Source: CitizenLink Daily, August, 21, 2009