A teenager is an alleged human being aged thirteen to nineteen. Currently, the Western World is suffering from an infestation of tiresome teenage behaviours. This page documents some of the high-energy issues receiving comment. The views of downtrodden wrinklies must be heard. The wrinklies in question are adults whose lives are being ruined by the teenage terror: parents, teachers and media frothpots. All adults were once teenagers. This explains their dysfunctional perception of reality.
Teenage girl gang murder in Croydon
Eighteen-year-old Chelsea Bennett has been charged with the murder of teenager Sian Simpson (17) in Croydon, Surrey (UK). At 7.50pm on the evening of Tuesday 19th June 2007, as a violent thunderstorm raged about them, Sian Simpson and her cousin Chantal were attacked on the street by a girl gang. Fifteen teenage girls were involved in the assault. As Sian Simpson tried to escape, a white girl in the gang used a ten-inch knife to stab her in the heart. Sian Simpson was found by police in Mann Close with blood coming out of her mouth. She was dead by the time paramedics got her to the Mayday Hospital in Croydon. Sian's aunt, Cheryl Simpson (43) said: "Sian was at our house when she got a telephone call saying there was a problem with Chantal. There's been a rift for some time over her baby's father and she jumped in a cab and went to help. There was a gang of about 15 girls waiting." One witness said the confrontation looked like "a pack of animals fighting." Sian Simpson had just completed her A-levels. She was considering a career in accountancy. Her father Joseph Simpson (41) described Sian as "bubbly, bright and beautiful." The eldest of five children, Sian Simpson lived with her grandmother, Olive Watson, on a Croydon housing estate a mile from the scene of her murder. Her assailant, Chelsea Bennett of Gilroy Court Hotel, London Road, Croydon, is an ex-pupil of Coulsdon High School, in Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon, Surrey (UK). One of Chelsea Bennett's coevals at Coulsdon High School described her as "the worst bit of scum anyone could ever meet." The RateMyTeachers website has 56 of the teaching staff at Coulsdon High School, Surrey, listed with pupil and parent ratings. On a rating scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), Coulsdon High School teachers score an average of 3.1 overall. Sian Simpson's brother, Karl Simpson (15), was stabbed in the leg two months ago after being surrounded by a local gang in Croydon. Sian Simpson was an ex-pupil of Haling Manor High School and Carshalton College.
Sources: The Croydon Guardian (Croydon, UK) 21.06.07, Life Style Extra UK News (Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK) 21.06.07, The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 22.06.07 and The Sun (London, UK) 22.06.07.
An 18-year-old girl was taken into police care after trying to commit suicide by throwing herself in front of a train in Hampshire (UK). After her release on the 19th June 2007, she went straight back to the railway line, lay down on the track and waited for an approaching train. At 2.50pm a train, travelling from Totten to Romsey, ran over her. Paramedics found the teenager lying beside the track a mile away from Chandlers Ford railway station. Both her legs were severed just beneath the knees. She had remained conscious throughout. The girl was rushed to Southampton General Hospital for emergency surgery to reattach her limbs. The operation was unsuccessful.
Source: The Times (London, UK) 21.06.07. See also: The suicide portal elsewhere on this blog.
Ogun Samast, a seventeen-year-old Turkish youth, has confessed to the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink (53). Ogun Samast was identified by his father from CCTV footage. He killed Hrant Dink with a shotgun outside his Istanbul office on Friday 19th January 2007. Between 1915 and 1917, during the final days of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish forces were responsible for the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians. As Christians, the Armenians were viewed as infidels by the tribal Muslim majority. The genocide was an organised campaign of state-sponsored ethnic cleansing and mass extermination. The current Turkish government is trying to hush up this war crime as it attempts to qualify for entry to The European Union. Genocide denial is a mainline political policy in modern Turkey. Hrant Dink challenged this in Agos, the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper which he edited. In Turkey it is against the law to talk openly about The Armenian Genocide. In his last newspaper column before his death, Dink said that he had received numerous death threats against him. He was given no security protection by the Turkish authorities despite his complaints. Notwithstanding public pronouncements to the contrary, the Turkish Government is privately very pleased to see Hrant Dink dead.
Sources: The Guardian (London, UK) 20.01.07 and BBC News (London, UK) 21.01.07. See also: "Ultimate Crime, Ultimate Challenge" by Vartan Oskanian, The Zoryan Institute and Armeniapedia.
Heartsease High School in Norwich, Norfolk (UK), invited a prison sniffer dog and his police handler into school for an educational visit. The dog detected cannabis on a pupil's clothing. Investigations revealed that the cannabis traces were from one of his relatives at home. The pupil was not a user himself. Both the police and Norfolk County Council, who run the 12-18 mixed comprehensive school, are in a quandary. Richard Price, the Norfolk Police drugs liaison officer, is concerned that there are no clear guidelines for police on this matter. What should the police do if, during an educational visit to a school, a sniffer dog finds drugs on a pupil or on a member of staff? Norfolk County Council has asked James Shanley, the Governor of Norwich Prison, to stop sending sniffer dogs into schools while the policy is reviewed. The Norfolk Criminal Justice Board, on the other hand, has not made a final decision to stop using drugs dogs on educational visits. Combative meetings are expected.
Source: BBC News (London, UK) 15.01.07
Thirteen-year-old Samantha Devine was told by a teacher at The Robert Napier School, Gillingham, Kent (UK), to remove her crucifix. A crucifix is a traditional church symbol which glorifies the torture and death of a first century CE spiritual teacher, Jesus of Nazareth. He was executed on a wooden cross by the Roman occupiers in Jerusalem in 9CE at the instigation of the Jewish Temple authorities. Paul Jackson, Robert Napier School’s deputy head, said: “The school has a policy of no jewellery to be worn by any students in years seven to 10. All parents and students are aware of this. In this particular instance, the student and parent were informed that wearing the (crucifix) chain was a health and safety hazard, but that we would allow a lapel badge to be worn.” The Robert Napier School allows Muslim pupils to wear veils but said that the crucifix was not essential for religious reasons. Samantha Devine said: “I am proud of my religion and it is my right to wear a cross. I can’t understand why the school thinks a tiny crucifix on a thin silver necklace is a health and safety hazard. Other religions can show their beliefs by wearing bracelets or turbans, so why can I not wear a cross to show my devotion to God? I felt really upset and shocked when the teacher told me take off my necklace and crucifix. I am determined to keep wearing the crucifix whatever the consequences – even if I get suspended or expelled.” Samantha Devine is a devout Roman Catholic. Roman Catholicism is a fundamentalist version of Churchianity. The RateMyTeachers website has 13 of the teaching staff at the Robert Napier School, Gillingham, listed with pupil and parent ratings. On a rating scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), Robert Napier teachers score an average of 4.1 overall.
Sources: The Daily Express (London, UK) 13.01.07 and the Daily Mail (London, UK) 13.01.07. See also: Maybe try Romanism? and Photographed light blessings from Jesus elsewhere on this blog.
A fifteen-year-old schoolboy was pinned to the ground in a school playground and hit repeatedly on the head with a hammer. He bled profusely but stayed conscious. A gang of at least four adult men orchestrated the attack. It took place at The Ridgeway School, Wroughton, Swindon, Wiltshire (UK) at 4.00pm, just after the end of lessons. Eight men were arrested by police and held at Gable Cross police station. The Ridgeway School Principal, Steve Colledge, said that this was the second attack of its kind at the school recently. It is not clear what, if anything, the boy had done to engender the violence.
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 12.01.07
Teacher calls disabled teenager a cripple
A senior male teacher at Reddish Vale Technology College, Stockport, Cheshire (UK) said "move cripple" to fourteen-year-old Amy Wild as he passed her in the school dining hall. Amy is in constant pain and uses a wheelchair and crutches. She became disabled after heart transplant surgery. The unnamed male teacher said that he intended the comment to be a joke. Head Teacher, Jenny Campbell, said that the school had an excellent record for caring for its pupils. The RateMyTeachers website has six of the teaching staff at Reddish Vale Technology College, Stockport, listed with pupil and parent ratings. On a rating scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), Reddish Vale teachers score an average of 1.7 overall.
Sources: The Manchester Evening News (UK) 04.01.07, BBC News (London, UK) 05.01.07 and The Daily Mirror (London, UK) 05.01.07.
Fundamentalist cell at Exeter University is suspended
A church fundamentalist group calling itself the Exeter University Evangelical Christian Union has been suspended from the student guild and has had its bank account frozen. The measures were brought in because the group was breaking an established equal opportunities policy by asking members to sign a ten-point sectarian statement of religious belief. Similar groups in other British universities have been accused of discrimination against non-Christians and gays. Last year, an evangelical cell at Birmingham University was banned by the student guild from using student facilities after refusing to open membership to people of other faiths. At Exeter, the evangelical activists are seeking a judicial review in the High Court. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, seems to be siding with the church fundamentalists. He said that the refusal by some student unions to recognise evangelical Christian groups looked like a fear of open argument. While the views of evangelicals on the issue of homosexual sex may be embarrassing to liberal Christians, traditional values should not be compared to holocaust denial or racial bigotry, he suggested. Others at Exeter and Birmingham feel that these "traditional values" are a front for divisive spiritual fascism. This divisiveness has become incorporated into recently re-written evangelical constitutions after a controversial name change. Christian Unions are being morphed into sectarian gay-hate parties. The national organisation which supports evangelical cells in British universities is called the University and Colleges Christian Fellowship. Andy Weatherley, a UCCF activist, said: "Christian Unions should be permitted to restrict membership to only those people who profess faith in Jesus Christ."
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 05.01.07 here and here, and 25.01.06, and the University and Colleges Christian Fellowship. See also: My name is God and these are My instructions and Religion is a terrorist behaviour elsewhere in this blog.
Teen girl stabbed in eye with school scissors
A fourteen-year-old girl stabbed Natashia Jackman, also 14, in the eye, the head, the back and the chest with school scissors. The catfight took place in the playground during the lunch break at Collingwood College, Camberley, Surrey (UK). A girl gang of three was involved in the attack. The dispute started in the lunch queue. Natashia said that one of the girls had been bullying her for years because of her taste in music (heavy metal bands such as AC/DC and Led Zeppelin). From the very first day she started at Collingwood College she was taunted, spat at, sent prank phonecalls, had a new leather jacket shredded with scissors and was knocked unconscious during a lesson. "I was never invited to places, I didn't have people to sit with at lunch, I was nervous going into classrooms because if there was pair work, I would be on my own," Natashia said. The intimidation spread into her life outside school. Her mother listed further abuses such as "spitting on her, throwing rocks at her, following her home from school, taunting her, threatening her, tripping her up as she walked between classes, pushing her downstairs." Natashia said: "I was scared. I would walk past, my head down because I didn't want to draw attention to myself, and people would try and trip me over. It was just mean." On the day of the stabbing attack, the three girls had talked loudly about cutting her hair off and asked other pupils for a pair of scissors. "I was tired (of being bullied)," said Natashia, "so I decided just to give my opinion of her and ask them to leave me alone .... I didn't choose my words very wisely but I was fed up." One of the girls then came at her brandishing a pair of scissors. "I started trying to back away but there was nowhere to go. I turned away just as she grabbed me and stabbed me in the eye. She stabbed me in the head twice and in my back four times, but after she got my eye that's all I could feel. I thought she had dropped (the scissors) and was just punching me with her fist because it was so dull. I was scared I'd lost my eye .... I thought it was just rolling around on the ground or something." Natashia said that the teachers at Collingwood College were slow to come to help because it was common for fights to take place during lunchtime. Speaking of the three girls involved in her attack, Natashia said that she found it difficult to accept that two of the three had showed no remorse. "In court they laughed and giggled whilst they were being told they were found guilty." Natashia's family have now moved her to America to live with relatives. They feel that she will be safer there. She is lucky not to have lost the sight in her eye. The ring-leader of the girl gang was found guilty at Guildford Crown Court of wounding Natashia Jackman with intent. She was sentenced to three-and-a-half years youth custody. The two other girls hid the scissors. They were given community orders for perverting the course of justice. Collingwood College, Camberley, is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The RateMyTeachers website has thirty of the teaching staff at Collingwood College listed with pupil and parent ratings. On a rating scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), Collingwood College teachers score an average of 3.1 overall.
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 21.12.06, 07.11.06, 03.11.06, 18.09.06, 15.09.06, 31.08.06 and 29.08.06, and The Daily Mail (London, UK) 06.11.06.
Fifteen-year old Roman Catholic girl has unexpected baby at school
A Year 11 pupil at St Joseph's Catholic College in Cunliffe Road, Manningham, Bradford (UK), has given birth to a baby in the school's medical room. The girl did not know that she was pregnant. She went into labour just after the start of the school day. School staff called an ambulance, but the girl gave birth before it arrived. Speaking for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds, John Grady was supportive: "It is something that will be talked about for some time but we are just happy that the girl is OK, the baby is OK, and hopefully they will be home this weekend and spend Christmas at home. It is not going to help to go moralising on the whole situation. That is not important, what is important is that the child and the baby are fine and everything is being done for them and their parents." The Head Teacher of St Joseph's, Pat McDermott, met the girl's mother and preparations were made for the girl to return to school and continue with her GCSEs. There is no claim of a virgin birth, but John Grady explained that, at St Joseph's Catholic College, childbirth is "not an everyday occurrence". St Joseph's is a comprehensive day school for girls with one thousand pupils on the roll aged 11 -19. It was founded in 1908 by The Order of The Sisters of the Cross and Passion. The school is due to be reorganised in September 2008. The RateMyTeachers website has forty three of the teaching staff at St Joseph's Catholic College listed with pupil and parent ratings. On a rating scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), St Joseph's Catholic College teachers score an average of 2.8 overall.
Sources: The Bradford Telegraph and Argus 18.12.06, BBC News (London, UK) 19.12.06 and The Guardian (London, UK) 20.12.06. See also: Convent girl elsewhere on this blog.
Murdered Suffolk prostitutes had teenage drug backgrounds
There are about forty prostitutes in Ipswich, Suffolk (UK), working the streets around the football club. Many do it to support a drug habit they began as teenagers. "Heroin stops you feeling, it really does. If you want to cry, you just can't cry. The feelings are just not there. I know. And when your feelings are suppressed, that's when you come out to work," said a former Ipswich prostitute, Jackie, aged 34. In December 2006, a bag of heroin costs £15 in Ipswich. Prostitute Gemma Adams was 25 when she was killed. Her partner reported her missing on the 15th November 2006. An ex-pupil of Kesgrave High School, Ipswich, she had horse-riding and piano lessons when younger and came from a prosperous middle-class family. Her father said: "Gemma was a normal happy girl until we lost her to drugs when she was about 17." Her naked body was found in a stream at Hintlesham, near Ipswich, on the 2nd December. Another local prostitute, Anneli Alderton, aged 24, was found dead in an area of woodland at Nacton, near Ipswich, on the 10th December. She was three months pregnant. Her school friends had introduced her to crack cocaine when she was thirteen years old. In the following years, she was jailed three times for theft. Other Ipswich prostitutes found dead include Annette Nicholls (29) who went missing on the 4th December, and Paula Clennell (24) who went missing on the 9th December. Both were found dead by police on the 12th December, in a woodland area outside the village of Levington, near Ipswich. Annette Nicholls did not start taking heroin until she was 26, and was embarrassed by her work as a prostitute, asking a friend to keep quiet about it. Nicholls was well-known by male clients locally and often stole their money. Paula Clennell had a severely disrupted childhood. Her parents divorced 10 years ago. She had problems at school and her later education was spent in a referral unit half a mile from where her body was found. She was dependant on hard drugs by the time she was twenty. Her friend Brian Wilmhurst (51) of Ipswich, said: "The drugs were the be-all and end-all to her. She would thieve to get the money. She was known for it. She stole from me. She always said she would die before the age of 25, but she thought it would be the drugs that would get her, not anything like this. She was so streetwise, I never saw her as vulnerable." A fifth murdered prostitute was nineteen-year-old Tania Nicol who lived with her family in Ipswich. Her mother reported her missing on the 30th October 2006. Her partially decomposed body was found in a pond at Copdock, near Ipswich, on the 8th December. She was naked, but had not been sexually assaulted. Tania Nicol was an ex-pupil of Chantry High School in Mallard Way, Ipswich. She worked in hotels before she began taking drugs and then turned to prostitution to fund her habit. Her father said: "Tania was a caring, loving, sensitive girl who would never hurt anyone. Unfortunately, drugs took her away into her own secret world."
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 14.12.06 and 15.12.06, The Independent (London, UK) 14.12.06, and The Guardian (London, UK) 14.12.06 here and here. See also: The English Collective of Prostitutes.
Teenagers are damaging the planet with their excessive energy consuming habits
Our current teenagers are the most energy-hungry generation in human history. They consume 30% more energy than their parents did at the same age. Their bedrooms bulge with energy-gobbling televisions, computers, mobile phones and iPods. Today, bringing up a child to the age of 16 will generate 88 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to running 17 cars for a year. Despite being taught about global warming, 86% of 10-year-olds leave televisions in their rooms on standby all the time, and 85% of 16-year-olds sleep with their mobile phones plugged into their chargers all night.
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 14.12.06
Teenager worried about its father running a second woman
I am in my teens and my parents have been married for about 20 years. My father spends all his time talking to strangers on the internet. I know that, in particular, he talks to a woman who is around 25 years younger than him. Although this began as just chatting online, he now regularly texts her and sometimes telephones her. Many of the texts he has received from her say "I love you". Even though I feel bad for reading messages on his mobile, I cannot help feeling very angry about what he is doing. He is rude, unappreciative and moody with my mother and often makes excuses to leave family meals, saying he is working when he is actually on the internet. I do not know how much anyone else in my family knows about this. It feels as though there is a rising tension in the house. Should I approach my dad about this?
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 14.12.06
Teenagers can't talk properly
British teenagers are held back by poor verbal skills. The top twenty words they use include yeah, no, but and like, and these account for a third of all the words they employ in routine discourse. Tony McEnery, Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, and Chairman of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, conducted the research. His study of blogs, questionnaires and speech found that teenagers used half the words of average 25 to 34-year-olds. Analysis of a teenage speech database indicated that teenagers had a vocabulary of just over 12,600 words compared with the 21,400 words used by average people aged 25 to 34. "Of note when examining the word 'no' is the frequency with which the word is accompanied by the word 'but'. These words occur in the sequence 'but no' or 'no but' almost twice as frequently in teenage speech as they do in young adult or middle aged speech," Tony McEnery said. Employers often complain that new young employees are unable to answer the telephone in the formal way required of them for work. Young employees are also intimidated by speaking formally in meetings. This is due to a lack of training and the overuse of technologies such as computer games and MP3 players. This trend, known as technology isolation syndrome, can lead to problems in the classroom and in later life. The supermarket Tesco commissioned Professor McEnery's research report.
Source: BBC News (London, UK) 13.12.06. And the BBC has a teen slang quiz here. This should only be attempted by low IQ Essex chavs under the age of twenty.
Teenagers kick man to death in Henley
Stephen Langford, 43, was kicked to death by a gang of youths in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire (UK), as he went home at 1.45am after an evening with friends. He died at the Royal Berkshire hospital. Four teenage boys were involved. Two, aged 17 and 18, from Henley, have been arrested by police on suspicion of murder.
Sources: The Sunday Times (London, UK) 10.12.06 and The Guardian (London, UK) 11.12.06
Scottish schools told to keep quiet about headlice
Scottish local authorities have been criticised for banning schools from publicising outbreaks of nits for fear of stigmatising pupils. There have been complaints that headlice have been allowed to spread because schools are forbidden from informing parents of cases. Thirty out of thirty two of Scotland’s local authorities have policies that ensure that only the parents of an infected child are notified when nits are discovered. The other parents are being forced to rely on word of mouth anecdotes to find out if there is an alert. Scottish executive guidance says only parents of infected children should be told, to prevent those concerned from being bullied. Parents’ groups have dismissed the guidance as “nonsensical,” claiming it merely creates an attractive breeding ground for the parasites. “To rely on informal communication between parents is quite frankly a nonsense. You have no chance of combating a lice outbreak when nobody knows about it. The only winners are the lice in that game,” said Tina Woolnough, chair of Parents in Partnership. “By not informing parents and children, these (local authority) people are creating stigma. You end up with a whispering campaign. People talk informally behind the scenes, when what we should be doing is being open.” People in Britain spend £30m annually on treatments for headlice, parasitic creatures that live among the hair and are spread from person to person by contact. Earlier this year scientists reported that 80% of the headlice are immune to over-the-counter lotions sold at chemists and supermarkets.
Source: The Sunday Times (London, UK) 10.12.06. See also: Facts about headlice and nits here and here. And there are some nice pictures of headlice here, here, here, here and here.
Effects of cannabis on developing teenage brains
Half of young people using cannabis suffer side effects such as paranoia and blackouts. More than 80% of 727 young people in their teens and early 20s polled by the UK charity YoungMinds had tried the drug - the vast majority before they were 18. The charity is calling for urgent research on the effects of cannabis on the developing teenage brain. It is releasing guidance for young people and professionals on the effects cannabis may have on mental health. Studies indicate that young people who use cannabis regularly or heavily are at least twice as likely to develop a psychotic mental disorder by young adulthood than those who do not smoke.
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 10.12.06 and YoungMinds (London, UK) 19.01.06. See also: DrugScope.
Teenage girl passengers are being killed by teenage boy racers
In the UK in 2004 there were 7,017 convictions for “causing death or bodily harm by dangerous driving” or “dangerous driving”, and 33 per cent of them were committed by men aged 17-20. Male drivers of this age are estimated to account for only 3 per cent of the driving population. In September 2006, Megan Humphrey, 17, of Plympton, near Plymouth, was killed when the car in which she was a front-seat passenger crashed off the A38. A 19-year-old man was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving. In August 2006, Kathryn Price, 15, of Penryn, was killed after being flung from a car that careered down an embankment on the Penryn bypass. The driver, Steven Harris, 20, of Falmouth, suffered serious head injuries. In January 2006, Emily Bradley, 19, of Beverley, near Hull, died when the car in which she was travelling hit a tree. James Bruin, 19, the driver, also died. In December 2005, Stephanie Cherry, 17, and her brother Will, 18, were killed with their friend Ashley Hinkins, 18, the driver, in a head-on collision on Christmas Day in Norfolk. In December 2005, Lisa Clements, 16, died on Christmas Day when she was thrown from a car driven by her 17-year-old brother. Their car overturned into a hedge after colliding with another car in Binfield Heath, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Meredydd Hughes, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, comments: “One fact quoted to me quite often is that the single biggest killer of teenage girls is their teenage boyfriends driving their cars.”
Source: The Times (London, UK) 04.12.06.
Two teenage girls were killed when the stolen car they were travelling in turned over, smashed into a wall and split in two during a high-speed police chase in Plymouth, Devon (UK). Jade Brennand, aged 13 of St Judes, and Roxanne Trim, 17 of Ham, were in the back seat of a Vauxhall Nova. The accident happened at 10.20pm in Gdynia Way on Friday 5th January 2007. Police arrested two youths, aged 17 and 18. The 17-year-old boy appeared in court charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Sources: The Plymouth Herald (Devon, UK) 13.01.07 and The Times (London, UK) 08.01.07.
Mobile phone alarm kills teen girl
A 17-year-old who had an undiagnosed heart condition was killed by the sudden ringing of her mobile phone alarm. The girl, Kasia Ber, died in December 2005. She was later found to have had the genetic disorder Long QT syndrome. At the inquest in Hartlepool (UK), the coroner, Malcolm Donnelly, recorded a narrative verdict that Kasia died as a result of the undiagnosed condition and suffered fatal ventricular arrhythmia. In the days before she died her breathlessness was diagnosed as being due to stress.
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 02.12.06
Ecstasy harms brain on first use
People who use ecstasy for the first time could suffer impaired memory and harm to their brains. Even low doses can cause changes to the brain, according to the first study to compare users before and after they took the drug for the first time. It found blood flow to parts of the brain was reduced and that users struggled in memory tests. "We do not know if these effects are transient or permanent," said Maartje de Win at the University of Amsterdam, who led the study. "Therefore, we cannot conclude that ecstasy, even in small doses, is safe for the brain, and people should be informed of this risk." In the UK, 1.6% of 16 to 59-year-olds report using ecstasy. When the drug first hit the club scene in the late 1980s, a pill typically cost £25, but prices have fallen to between £1 and £5. Ecstasy is a Class A drug. The drug's effects are thought to come from disruption of the regulation of serotonin, a brain chemical believed to play a role in mood and memory. It is not clear whether these effects are the result of permanent neurotoxic damage or just temporary reversible alterations. Dr de Win's research team found subtle changes to cell architecture and decreased blood flow in some brain regions. They also found that first-time ecstasy users performed worse than non-users on memory tests. Previous research has shown that long-term or heavy ecstasy use can damage serotonin-dependent neurons and cause depression, anxiety, confusion, sleeping difficulties and decrease in memory. There have been more than 200 reported ecstasy-related deaths in the UK over the last 15 years. In the year 2001 there were with 43 deaths in England and Wales alone.
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 28.11.06
The rise of creationism in UK schools
Dozens of schools are using creationist teaching materials condemned by the government as "not appropriate to support the science curriculum." The DVD information packs being used promote the creationist alternative to Darwinian evolution called Intelligent Design. The group behind them, Truth in Science UK, said 59 schools are using the information as a useful classroom resource. Nick Cowan, a well-known local creationist and Head of Chemistry at The Blue Coat School, Liverpool, intends to use the DVDs to present intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. He said: "Just because it takes a negative look at Darwinism doesn't mean it is not science. I think to critique Darwinism is quite appropriate." The UK government has stated that in its opinion neither intelligent design nor creationism are recognised scientific theories. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee, Phil Willis, is horrified that the packs are being used in schools: "I am flabbergasted that any Head of Science would give credence to this creationist theory and be prepared to put it alongside Darwinism. Treating it as an alternative centralist theory alongside Darwinism in science lessons is deeply worrying." Richard Buggs, a spokesman for Truth in Science UK, disagrees: "We are not attacking the teaching of Darwinian theory. We are just saying that criticisms of Darwin's theory should also be taught." Some say that this growing row is just a battle between two tired old fundamentalisms: secular materialistic science and dogmatic religion. Both are getting desperate as their sell-by dates approach.
Sources: The Guardian (London, UK) 27.11.06 and BBC News (London, UK) 27.11.06. See also: Truth in Science UK and BCSE Countering Creationism Within the UK.
Irish age of consent to be lowered to 16
The Irish government is to reduce the age of consent from 17 to 16, in a reform of the law on teenage sexual activity and the protection of children. The only exception to the age limit of 16 will be in relation to sexual activity with adults in positions of authority, including teachers, youth leaders and sports coaches. In order to make a clear distinction from sexual activity among teenage peers, these adults will be liable to prosecution if they have sex with a teenager under 18. The Director of Public Prosecutions will also be given greater discretion and a far more influential role in deciding whether to prosecute teenagers younger than 16 who engage in sexual contact, or very young adults in relationships with older teenagers.
Source: The Sunday Times (London, UK) 26.11.06
Teenager dies impaled on railing
Nineteen-year-old Stephen Saunders was killed when he became impaled on spiked railings at a churchyard in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He was trying to climb over the railings and slipped.
Source: The Sunday Times (London, UK) 26.11.06
Dangerous cancer chemical in street cocaine
More cocaine is now being taken in the UK than in almost any other European country. Five per cent of young people in England and Wales have tried the drug in the last year. Cocaine use has risen more than four-fold for 15 to 24-year-olds in the last 12 years. Cocaine is now Europe's second most popular drug after cannabis. The addictive drug's popularity is rising because its street price is falling. This fall in price is due to street cocaine being mixed with cheap chemical additives to bulk out the weight of the drug. One of these additives is Phenacetin. It is used as a bulking agent because it resembles pure cocaine. Phenacetin is a carcinogenic painkiller banned from general medical use in 1968 after it was linked to bladder and kidney cancer. The average purity of manufactured cocaine is 70%. But investigators believe that street dealers in Britain are now selling the drug with a purity as low as 30%. Demand for cocaine has risen so much in the UK that drug smugglers are attempting to bring the substance into the UK in dogs as well as in human drug mules. In the case of dogs, the drug is wrapped in latex and sewn between the skin and stomach lining of the animal. Police have found six dogs alive with 49 latex packages inside their bodies, weighing a total of 4.3kg. Drugs like cocaine cost the UK fifteen billion pounds a year in medical, social and economic costs.
Source: BBC News (London, UK) 23.11.06
Crystal meth is Britain's deadliest drug problem
Crystal meth has the potential to rival crack cocaine as the country's most dangerous drug, police chiefs have said. The stimulant, methamphetamine, is also known as "ice" or "Nazi crank". This new synthetic drug is available in almost every city in Britain and is becoming popular among clubbers, gay men, heroin addicts and rough sleepers. Crystal meth can be smoked, swallowed, snorted or injected. It is now more popular than cocaine or heroin in parts of America, and is considered by some to be more dangerous. Crystal meth is highly addictive. It causes cardiovascular problems and increased blood pressure. An overdose can cause overheating and convulsions.
Source: The Independent (London, UK) 21.11.06. Late note: From the 18th January 2007, Crystal meth has been re-classified as a Class A drug in the UK. This puts it alongside ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. Crystal meth has been linked to kidney failure, internal bleeding, rotting of teeth and gums, premature aging, physical violence and uninhibited sexual behaviours. Source: BBC News (London, UK) 18.01.07. See also: Drugs and the law.
Scotland to raise smoking age
The Scottish Executive is backing plans to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes from 16 to 18. There is a possibility that the change could become law by May 2007. An organisation representing Scottish pubs and hotels has claimed that Scotland's smoking ban has already driven away regular drinkers. The Scottish Licensed Trade Association surveyed 365 members and said sales of alcohol appeared to have fallen by more than 10% since the ban was introduced.
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 23.11.06 and 23.08.06
Health fears cause schools to remove wireless computer networks
Parents and teachers are forcing schools to dismantle wireless computer networks. There are fears that they could damage children’s health. More and more schools have been putting transmitters in classrooms recently to give pupils wireless access from laptops to the school computer network and the internet. Many parents and some scientists fear that low levels of microwave radiation emitted by the transmitters could be harmful, causing loss of concentration, headaches, fatigue, memory and behavioural problems and possibly cancer in the long term. The scientific evidence is inconclusive at present, but some researchers think that children are vulnerable because of their thinner skulls and developing nervous systems.
Source: The Times (London, UK) 20.11.06. See also: The Times (London, UK) 11.12.06.
Sex with under-16s is a grey area
Chief constable Terry Grange says that young men who have sex with girls aged 13 or over should not necessarily be classed as paedophiles. The word "paedophile" should only apply to men who have sex with pre-pubescents. The term "child pornography" should apply to images of children aged below 13. Under UK law anyone who has sex with an under-16 has committed an offence. If the child is 13 or older and consenting, the offence is classed as "unlawful sexual intercourse". But if they are under 13 the offence is rape. Terry Grange, chief constable of Dyfed-Powys police and spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers on child protection and managing sex offenders, said his views reflected this "grey area".
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 19.11.06, The Sunday Times (London, UK) 19.11.06 and 26.11.06, The Independent (London, UK) 20.11.06 and The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 20.11.06. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Father cleared of raping teenage chess girl
In another of the growing number of false rape allegations made by teenagers, Ian Gilbert (49), a director at the Royal Bank of Scotland, has been cleared of repeatedly raping his daughter, Jessica Gilbert, over a five-year period when she was between the ages of eight and thirteen. Guildford Crown Court viewed videos of Jessica Gilbert claiming to police that her father had often crept into her bedroom at the family home in Woldingham, Surrey, to rape her at night. Jessie Gilbert, an unstable, headstrong and manipulative nineteen year-old, committed suicide in Paradubice in the Czech Republic on the 26th July 2006. She jumped to her death from the eighth floor of the Hotel Labe. Jessie Gilbert was a child chess prodigy who said that she hoped to go to Oxford University to read medicine.
Sources: The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 15.12.06, BBC News (London, UK) 07.11.06 and The Daily Mail (London, UK) 27.07.06. See also: The False Allegations Support Organisation (FASO), The False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and The suicide portal elsewhere on this blog. Late note: Alexander Baron offers an alternative view of Jessie Gilbert at the base of this page. See also: JessieGilbert.com for positive comments.
Pupil filmed sex with teacher
Drama teacher Rebecca Poole, 26, was filmed on a mobile telephone performing a sex act on a 15-year-old schoolboy. The matter came to light when the boy's parents saw the incriminating video footage while checking his phone. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had held a screwdriver to the teacher's head, grabbed her hair and forced her to give him oral sex. The incident took place in a Birmingham school drama studio. Mrs Poole did not report the matter to the school authorities because she feared it would ruin her career. The boy alleged that, in addition, he had had sex with Mrs Poole in her husband’s Porsche on about seven different occasions. Birmingham Crown Court saw the pupil’s video of the incident, in which he grins at the camera. Mrs Poole was cleared of three charges of sexual activity with a child and one of abuse of trust. The jury took just over an hour to deliver its unanimous verdict. Mrs Poole said afterwards that she will never work as a teacher again.
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) here and here (06.11.06 and 16.11.06), and The Times (London, UK) 17.11.06. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Six months detention for teenager whose rape lies put man in jail
A teenage shop assistant whose false rape claims wrecked a young man’s life has been sentenced to six months detention. Katie Davis was 16 when she claimed that a balaclava-clad man had raped her in an alley-way. In fact she had spent the night with a man she met in the street, and made up the rape story because she was afraid that she might be pregnant. Frank Chisholm, 24, was charged with rape, had three bail applications rejected and was held in prison for ten weeks. The case was dropped only after scientific evidence supported his explanation that they had consensual sex at his home in St Leonards, East Sussex. Katie Davis, now 18, has been convicted of perverting the course of justice and has began her sentence in a young offender institution. Judge Richard Brown said Mr Chisholm, who always maintained the pair had consensual sex, had no stain against his character, and described Katie Davis as “wicked and evil”. Frank Chisholm has gone from being an outgoing and sociable young man to feeling nervous and paranoid and unable to trust anyone. When he went into his local fish and chip shop after his release, people would call him a rapist and goad him by asking for ‘rape and chips’. Chisholm said: “One call from that girl has changed my whole life forever. This seems like a nightmare that will never end.”
Sources: The Times (London, UK) 14.11.06, Safari UK and The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 14.11.06. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Girl who cried rape is jailed
A teenager whose false claim that she had been raped led to four innocent men spending 36 hours in police custody, has been jailed for six months for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Cinzia Sannino, 18, withdrew her complaint after one of the men produced film of the private sex party which he had taken on his mobile phone. Welsh-born Sannino from Llanishen, Cardiff, met the men, aged between 20 and 28, at a bar, before she went back to the home of one of them. She voluntarily stripped naked to perform a lap-dance and encouraged the men to touch her sexually while she danced. She then invited them to have sex with her. Sannino, who was 17 at the time and wants to become a nurse, describes herself on her website as "a wild girl who likes to have fun." She told police she had danced for the men but had kept all her clothes on. She alleged she had felt dizzy and fell asleep but woke up the next morning to find one of the men having sex with her. She told police she felt like she had been drugged before being raped by two men. At Cardiff Crown Court, Mr Justice Roderick Evans told Cinzia Sannino that it had been fortunate for the men that one of them had filmed her. The False Allegations Support Organisation (FASO) welcomed the sentence: "Up to now girls who falsely accuse have had nothing done to them. We welcome this course of action because at the moment there are too many people jumping on the bandwagon as they are aware they can get compensation for false accusations. It's not fair on the girls who have actually been raped."
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 18.09.06 and The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 19.09.06.
Young UK teenagers are being groomed to become Islamic suicide bombers
Speaking at Queen Mary's College, London, on the 9th November 2006, the Director General of the British Security Service, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, said: "Today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers."
Sources: The MI5 website (London, UK) and The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 10.11.06.
Muslim abuse is rising in schools
Bullying prompted by Islamophobia is on the rise in schools across the UK. Schools minister Jim Knight reminded teachers, at a conference, of new ways to deal with bullying through the internet and mobile phones. This includes the right to ban mobile phones from school classrooms.
Source: BBC News (London, UK) 13.11.06 here and here.
Islamists infiltrate four universities
Islamic extremists have infiltrated at least four British universities to radicalise Muslim students. Fundamentalists are bypassing campus bans on groups with radical links by presenting themselves as ordinary Muslims to fellow students or by forming societies with alternative names. “We are dealing with people filled with hatred,” says Sheikh Musa Admani, a Muslim chaplain at London Metropolitan University. “It’s hatred for the white man and the West in particular, because they have read the works of Qutb and Maududi (Islamist ideologues followed by Al-Qaeda) who set Muslims apart from everyone else.” The four universities identified as being Islamist recruiting grounds are Brunel University (west London), Bedfordshire University (Luton), Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Source: The Sunday Times (London, UK) 12.11.06. Plus: BBC News (London, UK) 17.11.06.
Islamic hip-hop artists indoctrinate young against the West
Hip-hop and rap artists are teaching young Muslims the ideology of radical Islamism through songs about the war in Iraq, the oppression of Muslims and the creation of an Islamic state governed by Sharia, or religious law. Western intelligence agencies have identified music as a tool for indoctrination. The phenomenon began with an American rap group called the Soldiers of Allah from Los Angeles. The group has since disbanded but its music, ringtones and lyrics remain popular on the internet. Other groups in Britain, France and the US have been identified as giving cause for concern. Many use the derogatory term “kufur” to describe non-Muslims. An American intelligence analyst called Madeleine Gruen has highlighted the lyrics of a British rap group called Blakstone as a possible gateway to extremist politics. Such music, internet forums, board games and fashion have been used to radicalise youths. Blakstone’s lyrics echo the views of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamist political movement banned by the National Union of Students in British universities. Blakstone operates from an industrial estate in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. It sells its music on the streets from the back of a van.
Source: The Times (London, UK) 11.11.06. See also: Sex and hip-hop.
Pupils must stop hugging each other
Headteacher Steve Kenning of Callington Community College in Cornwall (UK) is trying to stop his pupils hugging each other. He claims that excessive hugging is making youngsters late for lessons and, in some cases, is leading to inappropriate embraces. Pupils say that some of them have received detentions for hugging while others have been publicly named and shamed in assembly. Local councillor, Kath Pascoe, thinks that the school's attitude is ridiculous. Mrs Pascoe, who has two grandchildren at the school, said: "I don't see anything wrong with hugging - better that than fighting and arguing." It would appear that control freak Steve Kenning is a metalloid automaton with no heart. The RateMyTeachers website has three of the teaching staff at Callington Community College listed with pupil and parent ratings. On a rating scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (good), Callington Community College teachers score an average of 4.0 overall.
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 04.11.06. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Substance abuse soars in UK schools
Thousands of young teenagers are risking their lives sniffing glue and aerosols in a new epidemic of solvent abuse in schools. While the use of cannabis and class A drugs has risen slightly over seven years, the numbers sniffing glue shot up from 28,000 to 168,000 in 2005. The number aged 11 to 15 years using stimulants, such as amyl nitrate, has doubled from 3 per cent to 6 per cent, or 144,000 children, in the same period. Volatile substance abuse (VSA) kills at least one young person a week in the UK. Twenty three per cent of these deaths show no evidence of any previous use. Butane lighter refills are responsible for more than half the lives lost. There are now more deaths from VSA among 10 to 16-year-olds than all illegal drugs put together, yet recent anti-drug campaigns have not touched on solvents, focusing instead on the dangers of Ecstasy and other hard drugs.
Sources: The Times (London, UK) 04.11.06 and The Institute for Public Policy Research (London, UK).
Teenager fed live cat to snarling dog
Callum Myers of Huddersfield, England, an eighteen-year-old human, has been recorded on a CCTV camera feeding a live cat called Tigger to a Staffordshire bull terrier called Gypsy. Tigger and Gypsy are now dead; Myers is still alive. He was captured on video grinning as two friends watched him dangle the cat above the snarling dog. He stood back as Gypsy savaged Tigger, snapping his ribs and ripping open his heart. Myers was on licence for robbery at the time of the attack. In court he showed no remorse and was told that he faced a life ban from keeping animals. Myers has a history of cruelty, and had enticed Gypsy to kill a puppy a few weeks earlier. Callum Myers is not an EMO, he is a hoodie. Tigger was a friendly cat.
Source: The Times (London, UK) 01.11.06
Are My Chemical Romance a danger to teenagers?
The Thought Police at The Daily Mail comic (London, UK) want parents to think that the gruntbucket band, My Chemical Romance, are an evil influence on vulnerable teen EMOs. An EMO is an emotionally maladjusted orc. But the band themselves insist that they are not EMO clones. Nor are they promoting a dangerous teen cult of self-mutilation. Chemical grunter Gerard Way said: "I'm surprised a newspaper thought we were such a threat that they had to write a whole article about us and our fans, calling them a death cult. We're so opposed to it because when we started out there were EMO bands all around and we stuck out as not being EMO." What My Chemical Romance do will never replace music.
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 27.10.06. See also the piece lower down this page headed Neo-Goth mutants at risk from EMO cult.
Fines for teenage Halloween troublemakers
Teenagers who cause trouble while out trick-or-treating face fines of £80 by some police forces this Halloween. Police are preparing for a sharp rise in anti-social behaviour to coincide with the annual festival. There is a 20% increase in nuisance crime around this time of the year. Thousands of extra police officers will be on duty on Tuesday 31st October. Unmarked spotter cars will also be on patrol, looking out for unruly youths who take advantage of the night when many of the nation's children will go out trick-or-treating. Donna Bell, spokeswoman for Cheshire police said: "Last year (in 2005) we received 1,519 calls on Halloween, when the normal level would have been about 1,000. The year before it was 1,317 and in 2003 is was 1,119. Last year, the majority of calls complained of damage to property, rowdy behaviour and intimidation."
Source: BBC News (London, UK) 28.10.06. Plus: A Halloween masque for religious terrorists.
Government minister tries to put up tax on alcopops
Labour Party fun-spoiler, Patricia Hewitt, the government Health Secretary, wants a swingeing increase in tax on alcopops and other alcoholic drinks favoured by teenagers. She is demanding this action in an attempt to stop young people damaging their health by binge drinking. Education, apparently, has failed. Hewitt has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking him to ratchet up the cost of alcohol in his next budget, to price it beyond the reach of youngsters' earnings or pocket money. She said: "We've got enormous numbers of young people, particularly on a Friday and Saturday night, ending up in the casualty department of hospitals because they're drunk. They've fallen over and bashed their heads in because they're drinking too much. I think putting taxes up on alcohol would help discourage young people from spending too much money on alcohol." Latest figures for 16-24 year olds in England showed that 33 per cent of young men drank more than eight units of alcohol on at least one day of the week in 2004. And 24 per cent of young women drank more than six units on at least one day of the week. These are the officially-recognised thresholds for unsafe binge drinking. Evidence reveals that 80 per cent of deaths on Friday and Saturday nights are drink-related. Alcopops sales were £1.2bn last year, in England alone. Drinking-related deaths are increasing. Four thousand people died from alcoholic liver disease in 2004. This was up 37% compared with five years before. The number admitted to hospital with alcohol-related liver disease has more than doubled over the past decade. Admissions in 2004-05 were a record 35,400, compared with 14,400 in 1995-96. About two-thirds of them were men. More people were turning up at Accident & Emergency units with alcohol poisoning. In 2004-05, about 21,700 had to be admitted for further care, against 13,600 a decade earlier. Alcohol is also damaging mental health. About 126,000 people with mental or behavioural disorders resulting from alcohol abuse were admitted for in-patient care in 2004-05, compared with 72,500 in 1995-06. The Treasury told Hewitt to piss off and stop being silly.
Sources: The Guardian (London, UK) 27.10.06, The Times (London, UK) 27.10.06, First News (Horsley, Surrey, UK) 28.10.06 and the British Medical Journal (London, UK) 28.10.06.
Nicaragua votes to outlaw abortion
Nicaragua has voted to ban all forms of abortion, including operations to save a pregnant woman's life, after a campaign by the Roman Catholic Church. Prison sentences ranging from six to thirty years will be given to women who terminate their pregnancies and to doctors who assist them. This decision will endanger women's lives and criminalise doctors who try to save their patients. Eighty five per cent of the population in Nicaragua is Roman Catholic. Religion sometimes has a poisonous influence in under-resourced parts of the world. Roman Catholicism has deliberately made the AIDS crisis worse in Africa by encouraging sex without condoms. Hundreds of thousands are dying unnecessarily as a direct result of this church policy. In the UK, the 1967 Abortion Act made abortion legal up to 28 weeks gestation. In 1990, the law was amended: abortion is now legal only up to 24 weeks except in cases where it is necessary to save the life of the woman, or there is evidence of extreme foetal abnormality, or there is a grave risk of physical or mental injury to the woman. The total number of abortions in England and Wales in 2005 was 186,400 (compared with 185,700 in 2004 - a rise of 0.4%). The abortion rate for under-16s was just 3.7 per 1,000 women and the under-18 rate 17.8 per 1,000 women, both the same as in 2004. 89% of abortions were carried out when the foetus was less than 13 weeks old; 67% at under 10 weeks. Here are stories from two teenagers who had abortions. Zoe Gillard was seventeen at the time and Kat Stark was nineteen. There are risks in having an abortion. Some women without past mental health problems are at risk of psychological ill-effects. Some research evidence suggests that women who have abortions have twice the level of mental health problems and three times the risk of major depressive illnesses than those who give birth or who have never been pregnant.
Sources: The Guardian (London, UK) 27.10.06 here and here, and The Times (London, UK) 27.10.06 here.
Children born after IVF treatment face higher health risks
Children born to parents who have undergone fertility treatment are more likely to have autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, hearing and sight problems than children born to naturally fertile couples. The research was done at the University of California and drew on an analysis of 19,000 medical records. In Britain, one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving, and 10,242 babies were born through IVF in 2003-04.
Sources: The Guardian (London, UK) 26.10.06 and The Times (London, UK) 26.10.06.
Death by chocolate
John Cumby, aged thirty, threw a large chocolate at the window of a 16-year-old boy's house in Great Yarmouth. The teenager responded by stabbing Cumby in the heart and killing him. The boy has been found guilty of manslaughter. For legal reasons, he cannot be named. The large chocolate, however, can be named. It was a Cadbury’s Creme Egg.
Source: The Times (London, UK) 26.10.06.
Neo-Goth mutants at risk from EMO cult
Teenage ex-Goths may be mutating into self-harming EMO clones. EMO is a new teen disease. It affects a chalky white corpse look with black lips and eyes. Fundamentalist Islam is not involved. EMOs are immature, erratically emotional BabyBats. They empathise with the undead. They hand in their coursework late. They exchange competitive messages on their websites and mobiles about the scars on their wrists and how best to display them as fashion accessories. Go to an EMO gig with a band like Panic! and you'll notice something strange. Sixty per cent of the audience is girls. It is said that these girls have wrists. And some flaunt them. The Panic! band members don't like their association with EMO. Panic! uglieboy Brendon Urie (13) is not an intellectual: "EMO is bullshit," he posits, "We're emotional, but we don't fit the EMO stereotype."
Sources: The Daily Telegraph (London, UK) 26.10.06 and The Daily Mail (London, UK) 16.08.06.
If I were raped today, I would not report it to the police
Julie Bindel has lost faith in the system. When she was 18, she worked in a pub. One evening, the landlord and his son tried to rape her. She got away but didn't report the incident to the police because, back in 1980, it was recognised that women who reported a sexual assault were seen as liars. Shabnam, an 18-year-old Asian woman, had been drinking in a pub with her friend Simon, before walking to a local park where she agreed to have sex with him. Afterwards, Simon rang a friend, who arrived a short while later with another man in tow. All three raped Shabnam, during which one of the men filmed some of the activity on his mobile phone. When the men left, Shabnam called 999 and reported that she had been raped. When the police arrived, the first thing the officer said was, "Ugh! She stinks of alcohol." Shabnam had been raped before when she was twelve. When she told the police this, their attitude changed, as if she was a loose woman. The police escorted her home, where her mother was waiting. The officer asked Shabnam's mother if her daughter was "mentally unsound".
Source: The Guardian (London, UK) 25.10.06. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Schools to be sent teen emotions packs
Research at Oxford University has indicated that ten per cent of UK teenagers self-harm. Inner pain is being exchanged for outer pain. Slashed wrists are becoming a nuisance. Forty one schools were involved in the research sponsored by The Samaritans. More than half of UK teenagers did not know how to express their feelings. God help the parents and teachers of the other half. Only forty per cent of young people sought a friend's help before harming themselves. The Samaritans DEAL pack being sent to schools includes lesson plans and a DVD of scary C-list celebs like Heidi Range (Chocababes) and Danny McNamara (Cuddle). DEAL stands for Developing Emotional Awareness and Learning. It also stands for Dummies Educating Adolescent Loafers.
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 24.10.06 and The Samaritans (Ewell, Surrey, UK) 24.10.06.
Lock 'em up - youth justice system in crisis
The number of young people held in custody in England and Wales has reached a record high. The Youth Justice Board says that over 3,350 youngsters are now incarcerated. Only a handful of beds are free to cater for new victims. Many teenagers are being held hundreds of miles away from their families. Not all families are complaining. The likely consequence of teenage imprisonment on this scale is the creation of more adult career criminals. Out of sight, out of mind, ducky.
Sources: BBC News (London, UK) 24.10.06 and The Youth Justice Board (London, UK) 24.10.06.
Teenage bolshies want a say in how schools are run
Adolescent rabble-rouser, Hannah Couchman, says: "Give us our voice in class." This Student Voice activist is a council member for the English Secondary Students Association. She admiringly cites teen revolutionaries at Flegg High School, Norfolk. In April 2006, a hundred and twenty of these malcontents walked out of school in protest when their school lunch hour was shortened to thirty minutes. The pupils had not been consulted. The police were called. Comrade Couchman says that there is a problem. It is preventing the articulation in schools of an effective student voice. What is the problem? The belief that adults know what is best for young people. A new heresy is emerging: schools exist for the benefit of their pupils.
Sources: The Guardian (London, UK) 23.10.06 and The English Secondary Students Association (London, UK) 23.10.06.
Teenagers are having far too much bad sex
Britain’s 15-year-olds are the most sexually active in Europe. But they routinely fail to take precautions against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, such as wearing a condom. The Institute for Public Policy Research says sex education for primary schoolchildren must be rethought. Britain has the highest rate of births to women aged 15 to 19 in Europe, with an average of 26 live births per 1,000. Sluts, the lot of them.
Sources: The Times (London, UK) 23.10.06 and the IPPR (London, UK) 23.10.06. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Yobbish teenagers are not being confronted
Teenagers are violent, antisocial yobbos. Most British adults would not intervene if they saw youths behaving in an antisocial manner. British adults are wimps. They would be the least likely to step in if they saw a group of 14-year-old boys vandalising a bus shelter. Only 34 per cent said they would intervene, compared with 65 per cent of Germans, 52 per cent of Spanish and 50 per cent of Italians. British adults said that they would turn a blind eye. They feared being attacked or verbally abused. Teenage yobbos need kicking up the bum.
Sources: The Times (London, UK) 23.10.06 and The Institute for Public Policy Research (London, UK). Plus - We're not so scary. Teenagers speak out. What are you afraid of? The Guardian (London, UK) 24.10.06
Genital mutilation threat to teenagers
Nineteen-year-old Esther Fornah survived war, kidnap, rape, pregnancy, a miscarriage, losing her family, escaping Sierra Leone and arriving, friendless, in Britain. But it was the threat genital mutilation that finally won her the right to stay in Britain, after a three-year legal battle. In Sierra Leone, girls are traditionally circumcised from the age of five. Another term for female circumcision is female genital mutilation. Often, it is a religiously-motivated adult behaviour, carried out without the informed consent of the female victim. In some local areas of Muslim Africa, as many as 95 per cent of women have suffered genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation has been carried out on about 75,000 first-generation African immigrants in Britain. Adult African immigrant families are clubbing together to pay for African genital mutilators to fly to Britain and circumcise their daughters in secret rituals. This practice is a violation of human rights. It is not a good idea to have you clitoris messed about with knives and needles. It's a bit like having the tip of you penis snipped off with pinking shears. A waste of perfectly good meat; an attempt by religion to destroy your pleasure.
Sources: The Times (London, UK) 23.10.06 here and here, and Wikipedia here. See also: Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers elsewhere on this blog.
Sexual health and safety for hot young lovers