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All Posts By

Sue Amory Verner

Four Ways Adults Can Help Teens Stay Safe in a Drug-Exposed World

Babysitting can be dangerous for teens, but not the kind of babysitting you might be thinking of. “Babysitting” is a term used to describe kids looking after or “babysitting” friends when those friends have over-indulged in drugs or alcohol.  At first, babysitting may seem like a good idea. Kids are thinking of someone else. They are concerned about their friend’s welfare, but overall, it’s a decision that can change lives forever, and not for the best. Most of the time, babysitting ends up ok, that is nothing terrible happens. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. When we see babysitting go wrong, it ruins lives forever. Continue Reading

What is SEL?

SEL, or social and emotional learning, is essential, but its definition may not be easy to pinpoint. In the past, education centered around academic achievement – give students information and expect them to remember it. But times have changed. Our understanding of human beings has changed. And as a result, what we teach in school has, and still needs to, change. Enter Social Emotional Learning.

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8 Ways Adults can Help in a Bullying Situation

Picture a bullying situation. See the place where it is happening, the people involved, what is being said and done. Now, here’s a question – how many people are there? Is it just the one doing the bullying and the victim? Does the one doing the bullying have a gang of friends standing around helping?

Sometimes our image of bullying is too limited. While the person doing the bullying, the victim, and even their friends are all playing a part in the bullying situation you might have imagined, they aren’t the complete story. To understand how bullying really works and, ultimately, how to stop it, we need to look at ALL the roles in a given situation.

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5 Dangerous Relationships Students in your School Need to Know About

Friends mean a lot to the teens in your school. In fact, peer relationships are so important they are often referred to as the second family. And yet peer relationships can often be harmful in the life of a teen. Poor or dangerous relationships can lead to risky behavior, substance abuse, truancy, and worse. For teens, having the right friends can have a huge impact on where life leads. Continue Reading

5 Steps for Developing Protective Factors against Teen Suicide

Tylor blamed herself for everything wrong in her life and saw no hope for her future. She’d never been in trouble before, but she’d just gotten caught bringing marijuana to school and was suspended. As a result, she felt like everyone was disappointed in her, and she felt like she had irrevocably ruined all her dreams and plans for the future. She sat in suspension alone in her pain, seeing no way to recover. She blamed herself for everything wrong in her life. When she left school that day, she went into her basement and took her life. Protective factors could have made a difference in her story, and they can make a difference in your teens’ too.

Tylor’s story is not unique. Every day teenagers across the nation die by suicide, teens who should have lived and prospered, teens who deserved to be happy. Their deaths, these tragedies, impact families and communities forever. And whether anyone in your school has taken their life or not, you can be sure that suicide has had some impact on your teens one way or another. Continue Reading

Creating an environment of empathy: 6 classroom strategies you can implement today

On July 9, 2017, a group of five Florida teens, aged fourteen to nineteen, watched a man drown. They did not call for help. They did not try and assist him. In fact, the teens recorded the man’s final moments, taunted and mocked him as he struggled to stay afloat, and then posted the video of his death on YouTube. (CNN reported on the story.) And though this story speaks to many issues, one thing is certain. These teens lacked empathy. Continue Reading

Refusal Skills: Teaching Teens What to Say When No Isn’t Enough

Have you ever had someone ask if you could make something for a bake sale or volunteer to coordinate a fundraiser for your child’s school? Did you ever just say no without explanation or follow-up? Probably not. That’s because in general people don’t like to say no. And certainly not without some kind of excuse to go along with it. It’s true most of the time, but it’s even harder to say no when someone we care about asks us to do something. Learning how to say no means building up your refusal skills. Continue Reading