Podcast 031: Letting Kids Set Boundaries

In This Episode: Following on the previous episode, a lot of child abuse could be stopped if we encouraged our kids to set boundaries — and then we honored them. The story from the middle school in Utah where girls were not allowed to say no to boys asking them to dance really drives this all home: the rule actually sets girls up for abuse. Plus another segment of No Longer Weird.

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Originally posted 22 February 2018

When Good People Do Nothing

See Update Below Last Week’s Story about the teacher-student sex scandal in a Colorado school — the principal and vice principal were indicted for failure to report the case, as required since they’re “mandatory reporters” of child abuse under state law — is followed up this week by another that really applies to the whole … Continue Reading

Originally posted 12 February 2018

Podcast 030: What ‘Mandatory’ Means

In This Episode: A home-town story has a notable parallel to a national story, and they both hinge on men in power taking advantage of the young — while other supposedly responsible adults failed to do their legal, and “mandatory”, duty. It was a tough one to record, and it’ll be tough to listen to, but it’s an important, and thought-provoking, issue: what would YOU do?

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Originally posted 8 February 2018

Podcast 010: Zero Tolerance

In This Episode: No Longer Weird: An obliviot trying to pass a 99-cent “$1 million bill”. And it’s Episode 10: you’re darn right it’s time to do a bit of a rant on zero tolerance! Clare and I talk about an older case that was so clearly a case of “Sue ’em!” — that the family did. But it sure wasn’t an easy road, in part because the offending school fought it hard (read: freely spent tax money to defend absolutely outrageous actions!)

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Originally posted 7 September 2017

Podcast 007: A DUI-What?

In This Episode: We talk about two stories: the new “DUIE” law in Washington state, that was the subject of last week’s “Story of the Week” (right: click to see larger), and this fairly amazing story also from last week, about a minor slap on the hand for an apparently long-term sexual predator.

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Originally posted 17 August 2017

Gasping for Breath …Still

The Two Lead Stories this week (the “asthma stories”) were by far the most-suggested stories by readers recently. I think every one of them just suggested one or the other, and they probably didn’t know about the other. The two stories, which happened about a week apart, and about 165 miles apart, are pretty amazing together. Let’s start with the two stories, in True’s 24 January 2016 issue:

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Originally posted 25 January 2016

Everyday Heroism

The Feel-Good Story of the Week comes out of Colorado. It starts, however, in tragedy: a family — a man, woman, and four kids — rolled their car over in Brighton, which is northeast of Denver, along Interstate 76. The father of the family was killed. I know, this doesn’t sound too feel-good, but stay with me.

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Originally posted 22 June 2015

What Nightmares Are Made Of

The first and last stories from this week’s issue (7 October 12) are posted here: the first because you’ve got to shudder at the thought of the poor kid trying to escape a kidnap attempt …when you see the guy’s mug shot. And the last because I want to talk about how the tagline came about — and give you a place to politely discuss the story, if you wish.

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Originally posted 8 October 2012

Bonfire of the Gravities

I don’t tell many stories about the ambulance calls I run on as a volunteer medic here in rural Ouray County, Colorado, but this one is worth telling. At 12:51 a.m. this past Saturday morning, my pager went off for an injured 16-year-old female, just a few miles from my house. It was in an odd location for a middle-of-the-night rescue, and as my wife and I got dressed, I was a bit confused.

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Originally posted 30 May 2011

Patrick Timoney’s “Gun”

The “zero tolerance” stories just don’t stop, despite court decisions and legislators demanding “common sense.” A 2″ hunk of plastic isn’t a gun, unless you’re a hysterical grade school principal who demands that 9-year-olds in your care sign confessions when they bring a toy to school.

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Originally posted 8 February 2010

Zero Tolerance and the 800-lb Gorilla

The New York Times had an article today on a ridiculous zero tolerance situation: a kid in Delaware who was so excited to get his Cub Scouts camping utensil — a fork, knife and spoon combo — that he took it to school to eat his lunch with. Yeah, a Cub Scout: Zachary Christie is just 6 years old. Wait: it had a dull, kid-appropriate knife included? Why, knives are weapons! Run in circles! Pull out your hair! Scream like a little girl!

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Originally posted 12 October 2009

ZT v. Savana Redding: a Court Decision

A tremendous number of zero tolerance stories pass in front of me as I search for stories for True, and (contrary to what some readers think) I pass by most of them. I’ve previously encouraged those who are truly wronged by ZT to consider suing their schools.

The family of Savana Redding, who was 13 when she was ZTd on October 8, 2003, did just that, suing the school district and school officials with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit was thrown out, but they appealed, and after two rounds got a strongly worded victory from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit — but with a shockingly thin 6-5 margin.

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Originally posted 14 July 2008

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