Latest "Youth" 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 , , , ,

Technology Fraud: Ethics Challenges abound in 2016

The opportunity for the unethical to commit fraud had not changed. While the technology in recent years has undergone the transition from snail-mail and telephone sales to computers and hand-held digital devices, the intent and the opportunity are still there to create technology fraud. As the holidays are quickly upon us, it is good to remind ourselves that little has changed in terms of the “hearts of the unethical.”

Technology FraudTomer Barel of PayPal, in an article for CNBC (December 10, 2015) entitled: “Five fraud predictions for 2016,” said that technology “will continue to change the battlefield for fraud.” It is not surprising that Millennials are particularly vulnerable to digital forms of technology fraud.

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

Incarcerated! What happens to the kids?

The question that was burning in my wife’s mind as I faced an uncertain future – one that included the possibility of prison – was what would happen to our children?  We both were concerned as the future that we faced as a family was destined to be fraught Incarcerated - Children as Victimswith judgment that could undermine all that we wanted for our two sons.

Today one in 14 children have at least one parent behind bars as the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any developed country.  Incarcerating people – while perhaps well intended to curb crime – has consequences that radiate far out from the person being punished.  The people most vulnerable to negative consequences are the children.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in prison, Youth 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 , , , , , , , ,