Teaching people to swim by locking them in a box; trauma, trust and friendship; Oakland, CA, schools’ restorative justice programs help kids

“Every study out there agrees that intervention at an earlier stage is far more effective and less expensive than trying to reform someone who had a lifetime of crime,” says Walt Monegan, former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety and former chief of police in Anchorage in this op-ed on the Anchorage Daily News web site. And, he notes, our criminal

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Video shows how Walla Walla, WA, high school integrates resilience into school discipline

Washington State’s League of Education Voters (LEV) produced this video about Lincoln High School, the alternative school in Walla Walla, WA, that took a different approach to school discipline and reduced its suspension rate by more than 85% percent over two years. LEV, founded in 2001 by parents, students,

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Making sure that air traffic controller in our brains keeps us from crashing in life

How’s your brain’s air traffic controller doing? Directing too many close calls? Or managing without breaking a sweat? This video, part of the InBrief series from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, explains how this air traffic controller — known to brain and development experts as “executive functioning” — emerges and thrives. And what can get in the way of its healthy growth.

Acquiring the early building blocks of these skills

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Walking Gallery features red satin “ACEs” jacket; Bikers Against Child Abuse in Arkansas; US Justice Dept. sues AZ, UT polygamous towns

Matthew Holt’s red satin “ACEs” jacket features pediatrician Nadine Burke.


Artist Regina Holliday’s Medical Advocacy Blog is “A place where art, medicine, social media and pop-culture collide and create a patient voice in health information technology”. She encourages people to paint patient-centered care stories on the backs of business suits. She calls this the Walking Gallery. You can check out the first year of the Walking Gallery — there are some fabulous stories there.

As you can tell, the painted jacket, above, is not a traditional business suit. It’s red satin, which is what

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Indiana child services in hot water; OK wants to stop child abuse deaths; Washington, DC, homeless families risk CPS probe; CA man charged after video shows he hit son with belt

Youth Opportunity Center juveniles walk through the hallways to their different classes. The Muncie facility was one of those to be closed in plan to “right-size” network.


It’s abandoned a plan to “right-size” the state’s network of youth treatment centers, but the Indiana Department of Child Services is still facing criticism, according to this detailed story by Keith Roysdon and Douglas Walker on Starpress.com.  Many people say that centralizing parts of its operation — including a centralized call system for reporting child abuse and long-distance oversight of local cases — is just not working.

This story aptly demonstrates how a policy of dealing with problems downstream instead of instituting

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States moving ahead on Adverse Childhood Experiences surveys, meetings, practices

Dr. Robert Anda explaining life to “12-year-olds” at Iowa’s first ACEs Summit in Des Moines.


Last week, nearly 800 adults — human services professionals, educators, judges, business leaders, philanthropists, and policy makers — sitting in a room in Des Moines, Iowa, imagined they were 12 years old. At the request of the speaker, half stood up. These kids are regular smokers, the speaker, Dr. Robert Anda, told the audience. All of those of you who are seated do not smoke, he explained. The half that are standing also have high ACE scores (ACE = adverse childhood experiences). That means that they have experienced or are living with four or more of the following:

  • sexual, physical or verbal abuse;
  • physical or emotional neglect;
  • a parent who is diagnosed mentally ill or who is addicted to alcohol or another drug;

A daughter’s letter to a father who sexually abused her

Marie Warga, at the age she says her father was sexually abusing her.

Editor’s note: When H. Marie Warga learned that her father was attempting to contact her, she wrote this letter to him. At the urging of Connie Valentine, one of the co-founders of the Incest Survivors Speakers Bureau, she sent it to ACEsTooHigh.com, with the hope that it will help other men and women who are struggling with the same issues: how to give voice to the unspeakable, how to establish boundaries, and what forgiveness means. Warga is entering her senior year in college, and intends to become a lawyer. 


I am writing this letter since hearing that you were attempting to contact me. There are things I need to hear myself say to you before I read or hear anything from you. First, I am going to tell you that you were lucky. You are a man who was able to violate the trust

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Lincoln High School principal on compassion and punishment: a bigger bat may hurt a student, but hurts a community more

Lincoln High School graduated 57 students this year. Four years ago, 12 students graduated.


Jim Sporleder, principal of Lincoln High School, has led his staff to take a compassionate approach to student discipline. Even though the results — an 85% drop in suspensions — have proven themselves, some people still think a bigger bat is the solution to behavior problems. In the following essay, Sporleder compares the punitive approach, which he used for years, with the compassionate approach to student discipline.

Max Carrera, a school board member, made this comment after Lincoln High School’s graduation ceremonies: “Historically our school system, like many others, do very good work in educating the traditional student (two parent, middle to upper income, white). Where we can do much better is in serving the kids who don’t have a family support system or financial means to succeed in such a system. Serving on the school board allows me to advocate for the kids who don’t have that support. I was raised by a single parent, lower income and was in a fair amount of trouble in school growing up. In fact, I barely graduated. Yet, this year as president of the board, I handed out hundreds of diplomas at our high school graduation. So there is hope that sometimes we (the school system) lose site of. The staff and Jim at Lincoln provide hope to kids of all colors and socio-economic backgrounds, including many who have been told by their own family, schools and society that they are ‘hopeless’ and ‘worthless’. So when I say we are blessed to have Jim and his staff, I really do mean it.”

 A Compassionate Approach to Discipline

By Jim Sporleder

Before I learned about how toxic stress impaired a student to problem-solve or to take in new knowledge, I disciplined students in what I thought was a respectful approach. I took time to listen, I shared with the student why his or her behavior was

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With 45 million U.S. victims of child sex abuse, we can’t put their millions of abusers in jail

Jerry Sandusky arrives for the fourth day of his trial in Bellefonte, PA, last week. He’s accused of 52 counts of sexual abuse with 10 boys over 15 years. Associated Press distributed this photo by Nabil Mark of the Centre Daily Times.


You might want to keep this in mind when you cringe at the heartbreaking testimony from the trial of former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky: You can’t throw five pebbles in a concert, a congregation or a conference without hitting someone who’s been sexually abused.

Throw five more pebbles and you’ll hit someone who has sexually abused a child.
It’s likely that about 45 million victims of child sex abuse are walking around the United States today (one in four women and one in six men). That number is the population of New York, Florida and Louisiana

Calgary expects spike in child abuse cases; Child abuse victim, offender face-to-face in court; Childhood trauma stories “must be told”; Christiane Northrop on ACEs, PMS link

Actually, as you’ll note in the screen-grab above, Calgary, Canada’s police chief said “skyrocket” to describe what he expects to happen when the new Calgary Child Advocacy Centre opens in the fall, according to this post on CBCNews. And that’s a good thing, he says.

The Centre will combine all child maltreatment services under one roof, including police, prosecutors, and health services. Calgary police chief Rick Hanson told the city council to expect many more people to come forward because, at the moment, child abuse victims don’t think they’re taken seriously.

“When the doors of the Child Advocacy Centre open,

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