Safety is Sharing!

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I can testify that in my own school, that as soon as this show came out there was talk everywhere. I heard a number of things despite not seeing it myself. However I am a film buff, and I see why people my age love this show and why many adults are so confused as to why we love this show. Here is the simple answer: the show is what a lot of teens are going through right now, it shows how harsh life can be at this age.

I’ve written about this series before and many have heard about it. In a typical news fashion way, the national conversations have flared up, mainstream news has covered it and moved on. But the realities of the 13 Reasons Why and the risks of suicide amongst everyday teens is not something I can easily move past. Right now, as I write this, there are tweens and teens across Houston who are contemplating suicide. In fact, another 15-year-girl lost her life to suicide just last month. The trends are not showing signs of slowing down and that’s frightening to me. ... So here I am, not wanting to put the topic down just yet; it’s time to turn #13ReasonsWhy into #13ReasonsWhyNOT. Please share these reasons with the youth in your lives.

 

For them, it’s literally the most wonderful time of the year. Gone are the rushed mornings, the panic over assignments, class projects and tests. At least for a few months. It’s a time to stop, take a breath, and relax, for the kids and the entire family.

That said, while out goes the angst over academics, in comes (I hope) concern over our kids’ safety. ... In fact, AAA calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day "The 100 Deadliest Days" for teen drivers. Why? Because of the overwhelming number of teen-related fatal car accidents. It’s actually incredible to think about. Parents, please, as kids get excited for the end-of-year festivities, please remind them to:

Shredding shouldn’t be your sole defense. ID theft is more likely to result from data breaches, computer malware, a lost or stolen wallet and other devious methods, including thieves buying sensitive information on the scammer black market, instead of searching for it among discarded eggshells and coffee grounds. Still, at organized shred fests with monster machines or at home with a more compact confetti maker (always use a “micro-cut” or crosscut model), shredding is a simple step to add another layer of protection, not to mention more storage or shelf space.

Exploitation of the elderly has always existed and only in the past few decades has it been recognized as an epidemic as more tragic stories surface into the spotlight. Today, exploitation of the elderly is a very prevalent problem wherein the perpetrators are usually family members, paid caregivers or in some cases unsuspecting strangers.

For Houstonians, the topic of elder abuse is one we don’t take lightly. Our community made this loud and clear following the release of this video in January by the Memorial Village Police, which showed (skip to 5:30) caretaker Brenda Floyd repeatedly striking 94-year-old Alzheimer patient, Dorothy Bratten, in her home.

Like last year Crime Stoppers of Houston partnered with Houston Independent School District on their district-wide policeweek art contest. Cesaer won 1st place and we surprised his class with Harris County Sheriff's Office K9 Bret who looks like the K9 he drew in this artwork.

Honestly, one of the worst things a parent can hear is that there is an active shooting or stabbing at their child’s school – and it doesn’t matter how old that child is – 5 is like 15 is like 25.

I was vividly reminded of last week when I was in Houston, with UT parents, when headlines broke: “Deadly stabbing on University of Texas at Austin campus.” I watched as phones lit up and frantic texts were going back and forth between siblings and parents. Where were their kids? Are they okay? Were they close to the incident? What was the incident? How do you get them to safety immediately?

 

In today’s world, it’s a rare thing to see parents and their children coming together to watch or talk about a TV or Netflix series. But parents, as early as the moment you finish reading this, I would ask your children (especially any teenaged children) if they are streaming Netflix’s controversial series 13 Reasons Why. People all over the globe are talking about this extreme series with opinions ranging widely.

Vacation victory or vacation misery? Victory is what everyone is looking for in a vacation, though misery may be what you come across if you’re not careful when planning. Travel scams can be mentally and financially exhausting. While you thought you were booking a week trip on a cruise ship, you potentially just sent thousands of dollars to an unknown, unreliable “travel agency.” Don’t be the next victim!

If it sounds too good to be true, chances are… it is! Mailings, phone calls and travel “agents” who congratulate you for winning a free vacation on a highly rated island are more than likely running with your money if they get the chance. The emails or voicemails you receive stating you won a free trip usually means the wrong person got a hold of your contact information. Don’t fall for it.