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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Study of high school students links heavy texting and harmful behaviors

On a brighter side, see if you can find an article about online activities or uses that are positive, practical and uplifting.
Newspapers embrace the era of Internet-access smart phones and social media. Can you spot an invitation to connect or receive news alerts via texts or Twitter? How about an icon that lets you post article links?
Look for coverage of any electronic technology or social networking developments.

The list of dangers for teens from a heavy daily routine of texting just got longer. Parents, teachers and government officials have warned for some time about not texting behind the wheel, in class or sending messages with sexual content. Now a study says high school students who spend the most time texting or on social network sites (or both) are at risk of worrisome behaviors such as smoking, depression, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, risky sex and absenteeism.

Researchers at a Cleveland university questioned 4,200 students at 20 urban high schools in Ohio. About one-fifth sent at least 120 text messages per school day, one-tenth were on social networks for three hours or more and 4 percent did both. That last group of about 170 teens were at twice the risk of nonusers for fighting, smoking, binge drinking, becoming cyber victims, thinking about suicide, missing school and napping in class.
No one says texting and social networking cause the problems. Instead, the study's main author says: "These technologies make it easier for kids to fall into a trap of working too hard to fit in. If they're working that hard to fit in through their social networks, they're also trying to fit in through other behaviors they perceive as popular."

Just as with other activities by students, selection of friends is pivotal. "It does depend on who they're texting with," stresses Dr. Scott Frank, the lead researcher. "Their choice of friends in the single most important thing. The more texting they do, the more potential for exposure to high-tech peer pressure."

Researcher says: "This is a red flag for parents . . . because they need to be monitoring and taking charge of the choices their kids are making. We want parents to set more restrictive rules for their kids regarding texting and networking." -- Dr. Scott Frank, study' lead author and associate professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

Parent warns: "Texting is not only a powerful way to experiment in conversations you might not have face to face, but also a great tool for finding more trouble than you might otherwise." -- Sheri Reed, Northern California blogger

Teen says: "Just because someone texts a lot doesn't mean they're going to do drugs or drink." -- Jimmy Clements, high school student in Pasco, Wash.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2015
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