youth at risk

To my queer friends struggling with a big decision today, share your truth at the *right* time, not just because there’s a national day for it. Be smart- you’re already honest and brave.

For those who are happily out and about, today’s a good excuse for a shindig!

(Here’s a handy infographic in case you’d forgotten how to laugh ;)

If you’ve never personally experienced an at-risk youth camp, imagine Taken if Liam Neeson was the kidnapper.

6 Shocking Realities of the Secret “Troubled Teen Industry”

#6. Your Parents Can Hire People to Take You Away

One night in August 2004, I awoke to a man and a woman in my room whom I had never seen before telling me that they were “escorts” and we were going to a place called “wilderness.” I was not allowed to bring any belongings or tell anyone where I was going. I didn’t know what “escorts” and “wilderness” were, and I was terrified. … The escorts drove me to an airport where the three of us got on a plane to Boise, Idaho. I didn’t try to run, and running wouldn’t have done me much good: Kids who resist have been pepper-sprayed and hog-tied.

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Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who participated in #GISHWHESTakesTumblr and our subsequent #givelovetoday gifting event last weekend!

We enjoyed running through Tumblr with you! Even more so, we were truly touched by all who took the opportunity to fight against the painful events of Sunday by sharing beautiful stories about one another. Your stories put a little more light back into the world on a dark day. Thank you.

You made an incredible impact- not only on us and on Tumblr, but also on the world!

Collectively, our winners donated:

  • 1 year of clean water to 30 families in Kenya
  • 6000+ feminine hygiene products to help homeless women at the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, CA
  • 2 sets of enrichment activities for the Downtown Women’s Center, to brighten the lives of women in crisis
  • 4 donations of needed school supplies to Dreams2Acts: Nicaragua
  • 6 months of support for an orphan in Haiti
  • 2 $250 donations to Wounded Warriors
  • Sponsorship of a hearing ear puppy for Hearing Dogs of the UK
  • 2 Donations to LGBT support organizations in Orlando, FL
  • Support for 30 at-risk youth through the Trevor Project
  • 1 donation to Random Acts, llc
  • A goat & family farming package to a needy family through Heifer International
  • Funding of the surgery center costs for 2 reconstructive operations for breast cancer patients

Incredible! You made a real difference in the lives of others. Thank you all for your generosity.

GISHWHES  in August is going to be so much bigger than this event, so we hope you’ll join us!  Don’t miss out - Register today! 

Thank you and thanks again for helping us take over Tumblr!

feminismandmedia  asked:

What exactly is the school to prison pipeline? What studies have proven the practices within this to be true?

The school-to-prison pipeline is the process by which some youth are at an elevated risk of contact with the criminal justice system due to the growing alliance between our systems of education and criminal justice. Beginning in the late 1990s, many urban school districts began to implement and enforce disciplinary policies, using a “zero tolerance” approach, that would use severe penalties, usually suspension and expulsion, for even minor violations of a school’s code of conduct. Around the same time, public school systems began incorporating a “universal carceral apparatus” into the schools by using metal detectors, surveillance cameras (e.g., in Chicago Public Schools video feeds go directly to the Chicago Police Department), embedded police officers with arrest authority, etc. to provide “safety and security.” However, it has become clear that strict zero-tolerance policies and a highly visible police presence do not contribute to learning environments, and many of these penalties are disproportionately punishing our most marginalized youth. As I argue in my book, Unequal City, not only are these contacts with police in the institutional setting of a school shaping young people’s perceptions about police and the legitimacy of the criminal justice system, they are also shaping their life trajectories. For some youth, particularly those who are the bottom of America’s racial/social strata, the contacts with police in school are simply the beginning of what are likely to be repeated contacts with the state and its representatives at deeper and deeper levels of severity.

The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the specific practices of punishing students, particularly young people of color, in ways that put them in direct contact with jails and prisons. These practices include the overuse of suspensions and the inclusion of police officers in school, who can arrest students for school-based infractions.

Several reports have established the existence of the school-to-prison pipeline, including this report that analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education and found that the pipeline starts as early as preschool.

One great resource if the ACLU’s guide on how it works. Similar resources include this Justice Policy report and UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. Here’s another one from the Advancement Project with helpful visuals.

The school to prison pipeline is a set of policies and practices in schools that push kids out of the education system and into the criminal justice system. It includes excessive use of detention and expulsion, and has law enforcement address student misbehavior that when I was growing up would have been handled by teachers and parents.

By bringing students into the criminal justice system, we also see the mirror effect of the criminal justice system coming into schools, which more and more resemble prisons rather than places of learning, with metal detectors, heavy surveillance, and other tools that make students feel like they are constantly being punished. The Sentencing Project and others have looked at the detrimental effects of these policies.

The “school to prison pipeline” refers collectively to practices that push students out of the education system and into the criminal justice system. Punitive practices like suspension, removal to an alternative school, and arrest are applied, too often for minor infractions like “disruption” or “defiance.”  When students experience these consequences, they miss out on educational time and it can be hard to catch up. Experiencing punitive discipline can also make students feel less attached to their school, a critical factor in school success and graduation. Often, punitive discipline takes the place of positive supports as a very short-term solution to behaviors that may result from a disability or from other physical or psychological stresses in a young person’s life. This can end up exacerbating challenging behaviors. Rather than working to keep young people educationally engaged, the school to prison pipeline pushes them out. It’s not very surprising then, that students who experience exclusionary discipline like suspensions are less likely to complete school and more likely to have future contact with the juvenile and criminal justice system. Sometimes, the criminal justice system end of the pipeline actually reaches into schools.  For example, some schools have police officers regularly patrolling the halls, and breaking a school rule can become a criminal violation.

Students of color and students with disabilities are more likely to be harmed by the school to prison pipeline.  There is a large body of research demonstrating disparities in school discipline.  The most recent data collection from the U.S. Department of Education found that, across the U.S., Black students were 3.8 times more likely to receive a suspension than were white students.  This included Black girls, who were 8% of students, but 14% of suspensions. American Indian or Alaska Native, Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and multiracial boys were also disproportionately suspended. Students with disabilities were more than twice as likely to be suspended.  One factor that contributes to the school to prison pipeline is implicit bias.  For example, one study found that Black students were more likely to be disciplined for less serious and subjective offenses (categories like “disrespect,” which depend upon personal perception) and that fewer disparities existed in categories of more serious and objectively defined offenses (something like alcohol possession).
Company forces trans person to "explain" gender identity on paper, then rescinds job offer

A trans person in Oregon had a job offer rescinded after xyr potential employer learned about xyr identity. 

Sorin Thomas, who identifies as gender neutral and uses the pronouns xe/xyr/xem, began interviewing with New Vision West Coast, Inc. earlier this year. The organization offers wilderness therapy to at-risk youth, and Thomas spent five days in the field with a group of youth and potential coworkers to get to know them and the business. 

The trip was going well, so Thomas brought up xyr identity and xyr desire for an inclusive workplace to other staff and was assured that New Visions would be respectful and inclusive. Shortly after, the group offered Thomas the job, and xe accepted. But a few days later, xe got a phone call that changed everything. 

“During our phone conversation, Steve referred to me as ‘a final candidate’ even though Todd had already offered me the job and I was scheduled to start work in 4 days,” xe says. “That was my first internal hit that something was wrong. It was clear that Todd informed Steve of my request to be out at work and, in his own words, Steve had ‘concerns that my gender identity might negatively impact clients.‘”

Sawyer requested Thomas write a letter “reflecting” on how xyr gender identity would affect the clients at New Visions, something Thomas says was never asked of any other applicant at New Vision regarding gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion. “I was shocked, hurt, and humiliated by the request,” xe says “I felt personally attacked in a situation where only my professional skills should have been under scrutiny. Although I complied with the request, my hands shook as I tried to explain that my gender identity would not prevent me from being effective therapist.”

Thomas’ lawyer Lake Perriguey asserts that requesting this letter constitutes gender discrimination on Sawyer’s part. “To be asked to write a paper about how your gender identity is going to affect customers is illegal and humiliating,” Perriguey says. “Sorin did it, because xe was eager to begin this new opportunity in a field xe had trained for.“ …

“Steve never responded to my reflection letter,” xe says. “In fact, the only response that I received in the two weeks after I was offered the job was an email from Todd stating, ‘I am deferring clinical hiring over to Steve,’ and two emails from Steve stating, ‘I have been busy,’ and, ‘We are still reviewing and interviewing current applicants. If you need to move forward on other opportunities we certainly understand.'”

This is unapologetically dehumanizing. I really hope xe takes this to court and wins hard. 

Youth protestors run away from police during #handsupwalkout earlier today. The police had a heavy presence surrounding high school youth despite a peaceful protest. Light jogging was used as a tactic to navigate away from police blockades. This was effective but placed the lives of youth at risk to traffic. #handsupwalkout #blacklivesmatter #ericgarner #nojustice #nojusticenopiece #youth #handsup #nyc #mikebrown #fergusonnyc

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Who dies from binge drinking? It’s not who you think.

By Lisa Wade, PhD

At Everyday Sociology, sociologist Karen Sternheimer made a nice observation about the problem of teen drinking. It’s not our biggest alcohol problem.

According to the CDC, the age group most likely to die from binge drinking is people 35-64 years old. In fact, three out of every four alcohol poisoning deaths are in this age group — 4.5 out of a total of 6 a day — and 76% of them are men, especially ones who earn over $70,000 a year.

So why all the PSAs aimed at teens?

Sternheimer argues that the focus on teens has to do with who what groups are identified as problematic populations. In the 1800s and early 1900s, she points out, laws were passed in several states making it illegal for African Americans and Native Americans to drink alcohol. Immigrants were also targeted.

Young people weren’t targeted until the student rebellions of the 1960s and ’70s. Like the “protest psychosis” attributed to black Civil Rights activists, the anti-establishment activism of young people was partly blamed on drug and alcohol use.

Today, she observes, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism focuses its attention on young people, minorities, women, and people with HIV.

It’s about power. She writes:

White, middle-class men over thirty typically have more social power than the groups commonly targeted as problems. They also vote, and no sane politician is going to campaign warning of the danger some of these men cause and how we can control them.

Not to mention, she says, how the alcohol industry would feel about the government telling their richest customers to curb their drinking. They much prefer that PSAs focus on young people. “This industry can well afford the much-touted ‘We Card’ programs,” says Sternheimer, “because teens usually don’t have the money for the expensive stuff that their parents can buy.”

The industry’s marketing to wealthy, white men, then, goes unchecked.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


i’m going to try to go to bed tonight thinking about the real angels in this god forsaken league.

like pk subban. he pledged a $10m donation to the montreal children’s hospital and visits the hospital’s patients so often he was granted staff parking. or jordin tootoo, who founded the Team Tootoo Fund which provides grants to several charities dealing w suicide prevention and at risk youth. andrew ference, who is very passionate about being an LGBT ally and has helped launch Rainbow Tape in support of LGBT athletes, and has literally done countless amounts of charity work. phil kessel, a cancer survivor who has demanded that there be no publicity about his work with children suffering from cancer and who donated a private box while with the leafs to children battling cancer.

the nhl is an awful organization that enables and even encourages abuse, violence, and mistreatment of players and fans. but there are some guys there who do recognize the privilege they have to have made it to the show and try to make the world (and the league) a little less ugly. goodnight.

Don’t forget – there are only a few days left in January, but that’s plenty of time to get out and #GetKind for the youth in your community! 

Our theme this month, “Mentoring At-Risk Youth” has been a real success thanks to you, our lovely supporters. We’ve been showered with stories of kindness and love – messages of hope for those who need it and warm thanks for those who have helped us along the way. With less than a week left until we debut a shiny new theme, we’re hoping you can help move even more mountains by putting together a few last-minute kindness projects of your own!

If you’re still stuck on ideas, head over to our official blog or check out the Kindness Files for some inspiration and start planning. (Don’t forget to take lots of photos and videos and submit them to us – you might be featured in the Kindness Files next!)

Good luck!

IMPORTANT, please don't ignore

People from Poland, especially from Częstochowa and Kraków please be careful this summer. As you probably know there are World Youth Day very soon and there is a real threat of terrorist attack. There had place some weird situations in Częstochowa recently, in the shopping mall and few larger stores. In one of those situations was involved my cousin’s friend. She works in a shopping mall and few weeks ago she found a wallet of an arabic man. While she was returning the wallet to the owner he told her, i quote “she seems to be a good person and as a thank-you he advised her not to come at 27th July to work”. This is a legit situation and it’s not the only one like that and each one involves an arabic man. That’s very likely those things were planned and they want to scare us. I don’t know if those warnings are some kind of a prank, distraction or whatever. But we need to take it seriously. So please stay safe.

What you need to know about ADHD and your legal rights when you turn 18

Editor’s note: legal information in this article provided by former Edge Executive Director and nationally recognized author and lecturer on special education law, Robert Tudisco.

Going off to college and becoming independent is difficult for everyone. There’s so much to be learned about being out on one’s own. It’s a very exciting time and most kids are pretty excited to turn 18 and are…

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