February 16th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

Should states regulate bagged lunch?

Carolina Journal's Sara Burrows on furor over North Carolina forcing kids to eat school lunch if bagged lunch doesn't meet USDA rules.

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Filed under: At Home • Issues • Kids' health • Lunch • video
February 16th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Child's lunch confiscated over USDA rule

From CNN Affiliate WTVD: A North Carolina employee allegedly confiscated the homemade lunch of a preschooler for not meeting USDA guidelines.

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Filed under: At Home • Kids' health • Policy • Practice • School lunch • video
Obese children outgrowing school furniture
As children become obese, they're outgrowing school furniture, clothing and growth charts.
February 15th, 2012
04:05 PM ET

Obese children outgrowing school furniture

By Madison Park, CNN

(CNN) - In middle school, Taylor LeBaron struggled to fit into his seat. The desks in class had a ceramic plate attached to the chair.

"I was so large, I couldn't fit in there," said LeBaron, now 19. "Every other student could. I couldn't get my legs to fit underneath the desk or my stomach to fit between the chair without getting the desk stuck with me.

"It was really embarrassing. When class is over, everyone gets up, I would take a few minutes extra, tactfully maneuvering out without looking like a fool."

But LeBaron, who weighed nearly 300 pounds at age 14, never requested a separate table and chair because he didn't want to draw more attention to himself.

Taylor LeBaron, at nearly 300 pounds, struggled to fit in his seat during middle school.

As children are getting bigger, their clothing, their furniture and other objects that support their weight must also expand.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Issues • Kids' health • video
February 14th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

'Hard to be a little girl if you're not'

Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviews a high school student who appears in a controversial anti-obesity ad campaign. He also interviews the principal of her school about ways that schools can address obesity.

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Filed under: At Home • Issues • Kids' health • Policy • Practice • video
Are depressed kids bully magnets?
February 8th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Are depressed kids bully magnets?

By Anne Harding, Health.com

(Health.com) - Psychologists, not to mention parents, have long observed that kids who seem depressed tend to have trouble getting along with - and being accepted by - their peers.

What the experts haven't been able to agree on is which comes first, the depression or the social difficulty. Most researchers have supposed that kids who are excluded or bullied become depressed as a result (rather than vice versa), while others have suggested that the two problems go hand in hand and are all but impossible to tease apart.

A new study, published this week in the journal "Child Development," provides some of the strongest evidence to date for a third theory: Kids who cry easily, express negative emotions, and show other signs of depression ultimately suffer socially because they are shunned by their peers and attract the attention of bullies.

"Bullies target youth who are unlikely to fight back," says lead author Karen P. Kochel, Ph.D., an assistant research professor at Arizona State University, in Phoenix. "Youth who are depressed really have the potential to appear vulnerable, and are easy marks for victimization, unfortunately."

Copyright Health Magazine 2012

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Filed under: Behavior • Kids' health • Policy
Access to unhealthy snacks at school unchanged
February 6th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Access to unhealthy snacks at school unchanged

by Georgiann Caruso – CNN Medical
(CNN) – About half of public and private elementary students could buy unhealthy snacks at school during the 2009-2010 school year from stores, vending machines and snack bars according to survey results released Monday. The survey was part of a report published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"Given increasing attention in recent years to the problem of childhood obesity, we would have hoped to see decreases in the availability of junk food in schools over time," said study author Lindsey Turner, health psychologist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Our research demonstrates the continued need for changes to make schools healthier," she added.

The data represents no change in the ability to get the snacks like cookies, candy and chips throughout the four years of the study; the study began in the 2006-2007 school year.

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February 6th, 2012
01:37 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

The Gazette: Public schools turning to private financial sources
When Iowa's budget gap left schools scrambling to offer art, music and gym classes, school officials sought private donations to fill the gaps. Nationwide, some fear that private donations may blur the definition of public and private schools when funding comes with mandates to change education policies .

National Council on Teacher Quality: Helicopter parenting gets new meaning in New Hampshire
A new New Hampshire law will allow parents to object to almost anything their children are taught, and request alternatives. Tom Byrne argues that teachers' political views shouldn't be expressed in the classroom, and neither should parents'.

FOX16.com: Bill Clinton pushes A+ programs
Former President Bill Clinton is pushing the A+ program for Little Rock's students. The program uses hands-on projects to meld art with science.

WSBTV: Community to rally over Gainesville valedictorian battle
Cody Stephens could be Gainesville High School's first black valedictorian. His community plans to rally because school officials announced that Stephens and another student would share the honor.

University of Kentucky.com: Kentucky's plan to privatize housing raises some questions
The University of Kentucky says that getting out of the business of housing its students will allow it to focus on instruction. Critics raise the question that if UK wasn't making money collecting room and board, how will a private enterprise be able to do it?

January 27th, 2012
12:46 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

WAVY: Hundreds of VB teachers face layoffs
In order to cover Virginia Beach school district's $40 million deficit, 640 teachers received notices that they might not have a job next year. Most of the cuts will come from teachers who are in their first through third year of teaching.

NPR: Kids Have A Say In Louisville's School Lunch Menu
New federal school lunch guidelines are aimed at reducing fats and increasing fruits. The district worried that students wouldn't like the new foods, so they formed a student committee that performs taste tests.

U.S. News: What Does a College Budget Look Like?
A mother and daughter examine the daughter's college budget from two different perspectives. in her case, less than half of the money went towards tuition.

SacBee.com: Loomis kids give ailing principal a literacy lift
Principal Rick Judd hopes to return to his school soon after his cancer treatment is complete. Judd had implemented an independent reading program where students pick their own books. Now, the kids are reading to keep him going.

January 24th, 2012
12:04 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Detroit Free Press: At-risk youths who make it to college face obstacles
There are big challenges in front of high-risk students who get to colleges. Research shows that only 16% of students whose family incomes are under $30,000 graduate in six years.

The Baltimore Sun: State’s student homeless population doubles
The number of homeless students in Maryland has more than doubled over the past five years.  One homeless advocate says that school is the most stable environment for these kids.

ASCD: Educational Leadership: The Resourceful School: How you’re doing more with less
Teachers and administrators share ideas for making the most of resources during tough times.

Chicago Tribune: CPS to enact new policies on allergies, diabetes, asthma management
Chicago Public Schools plans to stock EpiPens and authorize school officials to give a shot to any student suffering a severe allergic reaction.

AZCentral.com: Arizona high schools may soon offer Bible classes
Legislation proposed by one state lawmaker would make Arizona the 6th state to offer high school elective classes on the Bible.

January 17th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Erin Burnett Out Front: Schools track kids' weight loss

CNN's Erin Burnett reports on a new program that asks kids to wear electronic devices to track weight loss.

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