On May 3, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick signed the state’s first anti-bullying law, four months after the suicide death of Phoebe Prince, 15, of South Hadley, Massachusetts. Prince committed suicide after alleged months of torment by her fellow high school students.
Prince’s death in January—followed by media reports detailing the relentless bullying she endured before ending her own life—thrust the age-old problem of bullying back into the national spotlight, prompting the questions, “Why didn’t anyone stop the bullying? Could this child’s suicide have been prevented?”
A member of the Hopi Nation, Stephanie Autumn directs EDC’s Tribal Youth Program, which seeks to prevent delinquency and improve juvenile justice systems for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. She and a colleague recently traveled to the Red Cliff Reservation in Wisconsin, home of the Red Cliff band of the Ojibwe tribe, for a site visit.
Jerry Reed is the director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) at EDC. SPRC collaborates with other organizations to develop tools and training programs for practitioners and community advocates. SPRC also serves as a clearing-house for information and resources based on best practices.
EDC’s Anara Guard offers a proposal to daycare centers and preschools: mandate a call-in policy so parents and providers can be alerted if a child is absent. The proposal seeks to prevent the 30-40 child suffocation deaths that occur each year when children are left behind in a vehicle.
EDC collaborates with the University of California, Berkeley, to develop youth worker safety training materials for students, teachers, and businesses that hire teenagers. Chris Miara conducted trainings in New Jersey, the Virgin Islands, and Georgia on youth and workplace hazards.
TEACH-VIP E-Learning presents a comprehensive list of topics to online learners, including injury prevention, measuring injuries and violence, and policy development and advocacy, as well as problem-specific content and self-assessments.
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) has appointed Jerry Reed, former executive director of SPANUSA, who will lead its policy and professional development activities in suicide prevention, and serve as Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
No one knows how frequently children are left unattended in vehicles, but each year, several dozen young children across the U.S. die in parked motor vehicles from heat-related causes. There is no typical family affected by these tragedies. They occur to children whose parents are wealthy, and those who are not. They affect two-parent families, and those in which a parent is in jail or deployed overseas. Many of the children were strapped in their child safety seats when they died, indicating that parents were compliant with laws intended to protect their children.
With school shootings, prescription drug abuse, childhood depression, and other signs of youth distress making headlines, schools are grappling with mental health issues in ways they never have before. As director of the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention at EDC, Deborah Haber helps districts across the country develop effective health programs and policies.