<h3>Bullying is a Big Problem</h3>
<p>Whether is is traditional bullying found on the playground or at the lunchroom table or the 21st century-style bullying in cyberspace, bullying is a problem that is on the rise. Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students, and it has everyone worried as it hits the news channels and online media.</p>
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<p>Bullying is when a person is picked on over and over again by an individual or group with more power, either in terms of physical strength or social standing. Two of the main reasons people are bullied are because of appearance and social status. Bullies pick on the people they think don't fit in, maybe because of how they look, how they act (for example, kids who are shy and withdrawn), their race or religion, or because the bullies think their target may be gay or lesbian.</p>
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<p>Reluctant to seek help, victims feel ashamed and powerless, and fear retaliation should they "rat out" the bully. It is unrealistic to expect kids to make rational, self-protective decisions while under emotional stress.</p>
<p>Verbal bullying can also involve sending cruel instant or email messages or even posting insults about a person on a website — practices that are known as cyberbullying.</p>
<p>As a PTA, you can help education parents about bullying and what to do to make it stop. PTAs can also help advocate for proper policies and anti-bullying programs to protect and education children in the schools.</p>
<p>Whether your PTA is at the elementary, middle or high school level, be sure participate actively to make sure bullying does not become a problem at your school. And if there is a problem with bullying, make sure your PTA is aggressive in finding a solution.</p>
<p>Resource Links:</p>
<p>Stop Bullying Now/US GovernmentTeens Against BullyingParent Power NowKidsHealth.org</p>
<p>Chairman:</p>
<p>Scott Rhyne, Family Engagement Chairman</p>

<h3>Dating Violence</h3>
<p>Teen Dating Statistics</p>
<p>About one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.</p>
<p>Forty percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.In one study, from 30 to 50 percent of female high school students reported having already experienced teen dating violence.</p>
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<p>Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.In 1995, 7 percent of all murder victims were young women who were killed by their boyfriends.One in five or 20 percent of dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship.One of five college females will experience some form of dating violence.A survey of 500 young women, ages 15 to 24, found that 60 percent were currently involved in an ongoing abusive relationship and all participants had experienced violence in a dating relationship.One study found that 38 percent of date rape victims were young women from 14 to 17 years of age.A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults.More than half young women raped (68 percent) knew their rapist either as a boyfriend, friend or casual acquaintance.Six out of 10 rapes of young women occur in their own home or a friend or relative's home, not in a dark alley.More than 4 in every 10 incidents of domestic violence involves non-married persons (Bureau of Justice Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2000)</p>
<p>(Statistics courtesy of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence.)</p>
<p>With statistics such as these, PTA/PTSAs at all school levels must contribute to the education and awareness of teen dating violence and sexual abuse. Domestic abuse has severe affects on young children. Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children. Family violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear. Children who witness family violence are affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused. They are often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent Children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home.</p>
<p>April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.</p>
<p>Links:</p>
<p>National Sexual Violence Resource CenterChoose RespectLiveStrong: Teen ViolenceNational Center for Victims of Crime/Dating Violence Resource CenterBy Parents-For Parents</p>
<p>Chairman:</p>
<p>Scott Rhyne, Family Engagement Chairman</p>

Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) is Virginia's Health Insurance Program for Children

Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) makes health care affordable for children of eligible families. FAMIS covers all the medical care growing children need to avoid getting sick, plus the medical care that will help them get better if they do get sick or get hurt.

HIV/AIDS and America's Youth

One in 300 persons in the United States is infected with HIV. 1 in 4 new HIV infections occurs in people under the age of 20. HIV infection/AIDS is the 2nd leading cause of death among adults 25-44.

When Things go Wrong: How to Discuss Difficult World Issues with Children

PBS.org has a great website on talking with kids about events in the news. A section of age-by age Insights which discusses how kids from preschoolers to preteens, comprehend the news. Tips on how much news to let each age see and how to discuss it.

Internet Safety Partnership: Virginia PTA And "Enough Is Enough"

In 2008, Virginia PTA, in partnership with the non-profit organization Enough is Enough, supplied to each PTA unit a copy of "Internet Safety 101: Empowering Parents," a multimedia, educational teaching program for parents, guardians, caregivers and educators?

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning is one of the most wide-spread environmental hazards facing children today. According to the CDC, about one in 11 children has high levels of lead in the blood. Because a person cannot see, taste, or smell lead, many parents don't realize they have a lead problem in their home or school, or both, until their children become ill.

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness that is caused by infection. Work with your school administration and nurse to raise awareness of Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a preventable illness. Please encourage your patients to follow those practices that will decrease their risk of acquiring Lyme disease such as proper clothing when outdoors, use of repellants, and prompt removal of ticks.