Latest "Youth Ethics" Posts

Down Syndrome: Blevins Middle School Teaches Us about Ethics

Blevins Middle School is located in Ft. Collins, Colorado, a small city that is about 90 minutes north of Denver. There is an interesting story that comes out of a class of 11 and 12 year olds that many adults could embrace.  It relates to a Down syndrome student and the power of an ethical student voice.

Down Syndrome Kid helped by FriendsBrady Green was a fifth grade student who has Down syndrome. Brady was scheduled to start in a special school this coming year, while the rest of his classmates were scheduled to go into Blevins Middle School. This is apparently standard procedure in the Poudre Valley School District as in many other school districts. Down syndrome students are apparently segregated at a specific and pre-determined age and grade-level. However, we should avoid easy answers.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Power of One, teen ethics, Youth, Youth Ethics and tagged , , , , ,

Bullying – The Destruction of Emilie Olsen

A few weeks ago, we discussed the tragic suicide of Emilie Olsen, a teenaged girl who committed suicide after three years of bullying and physical abuse by students at Fairfield Middle School in Ohio.

The bullying began when she was in the fifth grade and continued unabated into the seventh grade. Emilie Olsen committed Emilie Olsensuicide on December 12, 2014. A lawsuit was filed on December 11, 2015.

To most of us, legal language is boring and long-winded. To read the details of the lawsuit brought by the Olsen family, the lawsuit reads like a three-year nightmare. The longer one reads it, the angrier and more disgusted one gets.

The lawsuit is more than 80 pages long. Yet, three major themes seem to be emerging with increasing clarity.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Crimes Against Children, Youth, Youth Ethics and tagged ,

7 Things You should do about Teen Lying

At an ethics presentation I made several weeks ago I was asked by a concerned parent – what should I do about teen lying?  Her question was sincere and heart felt, but she acted as if teen lying was new.  Reality is we learn at an early age to lie by watching others lie.

Teen LyingIn all honestly, being completely honest is challenging for most people. We lie in order to avoid hurting people’s feelings and sometimes, we lie because of political correctness.

Over time, I shared with her, that your teen probably noticed you lying to others.  I then asked, are there circumstances where you are modeling behavior that you want your teen to avoid?  She sheepishly said, “Yes.”

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in teen ethics, Teens and Family, Youth, Youth Ethics and tagged , , , ,

Bullying leads to Suicide: The Tragic Case of Emilie Grace Olsen

My position has not changed. School Districts, administrators and teachers must receive ethics training. I am inflexible on this point. The tragic case of Emilie Grace Olsen is but one clear example of the need for action.

In addition, I have noted that our school systems which are seemingly never far away from imposing their “correctness” on students and parents are incredibly absent from many scenes where bullying is involved. Despite all of the rhetoric and posters, the feel-good messages and politics, Emilie Grace Olsenthe burden of bullying is far too often placed on the shoulders of 12 and 13 year-old’s, and not where it belongs – on the adults who can stop it.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Choices and Consequences, Youth Ethics and tagged , , ,

Where are Ethan and Tonya Couch? Was the Affluenza Defense Ethical?

Where are Ethan and Tonya Couch? Does it really matter? – UPDATE: Seems the question has been answered – Mexico!  However, the issue around his original defense still raises ethical questions especially since there was a significant turn of events in this case.  Of course, every choice has a consequence and it is clear that Ethan will be facing the likelihood of prison time following his choices and his mother Tonya will likely be facing charges of her own in her role in aiding her son flee from justice.

Ethan and Tonay CouchIt was in 2013 that Ethan Couch got drunk, and due to his negligence, he was charged with four counts of manslaughter. In case I am not being clear enough or I am too politically correct, he killed four people with his mom’s SUV and he injured two others.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Ethical Behavior, Youth Ethics and tagged , , , ,

5 Ways Adults Can teach Teens not to Lie

Teens will lie.  So will adults.  Lying is not a youth issue its a human issue.  The challenge for most of us is curbing the natural tendency to lie or creating an environment, especially for our youth, so we can teach teens not to lie.

Teach Teens not to lieThe Josephson Institute of Ethics did a study surveying teens about lying.  92 percent of the teens surveyed admitted to lying to their parents at least once in the last year.  My question: only once?  Somehow I think the teens are lying about lying – which by the way is not uncommon for our species!

It’s natural to lie!

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in teen ethics, Youth, Youth Ethics and tagged , , , ,

What Your Kids and Jihadists have in Common!

You’re not going to like what I have to say and frankly I don’t care!  We have entered a time when technology has advanced us beyond our capability to make wise judgements.  The most vulnerable are our kids and most who read this have their heads in the sand – not having a clue what risks our children – youth – teens – young adults face.  It’s a scary world and with technology kids and Jihadists have at least one thing in common – their desire for secrecy!

Telegram appGet your head out of the sand and wake up.  Know what your kids are doing and what apps they’re using is critical today.  If you don’t you risk being awakened by the police knocking at your door informing you of something no parent would want to hear.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics, Youth, Youth Ethics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Hidden Truth Behind Dishonesty with Youth – 6 Things Every Parent Should Know

As he began putting the first bite of his McDonalds pancake in his mouth, I told my son, “It’s time you told me the truth.”  The fork slowly came out of his mouth as he looked at me with stunned surprise in silence.  “What are you talking about Dad?”

Youth Cheating on a TestYour mom and I know what you’re doing.  It’s time you told us the truth.”  From that point on my son lost his appetite as he was faced with the unpleasant task of telling us about behavior that he hoped would stay hidden.  As his father I begin my presentations on ethics with the phrase, “Every choice has a consequence.”  On this day the truth of his unethical behavior was coming to light and the consequences – most of which he never considered – were just beginning.  The road ahead would be less than pleasant.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Youth, Youth Ethics and tagged , , , , , , , ,