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October 25th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Bullied to Death

cyberBullyIf you think cyber bullying isn’t really that big of a deal, or just kids being kids, let me throw a few facts at you: More than 40 percent of kids in this country say they’ve been bullied on the Internet, and 35 percent say they have received online threats. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyber-bullying victims are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to those who have not endured such bullying. Since 2003, at least a dozen young people between the ages of 11 and 18 have killed themselves after some form of cyber bullying.

The Dr. Phil show has been inundated with letters and calls from kids desperate to escape these keyboard bullies — omnipresent, electronic stalkers who go after them day and night, destroy their reputations, if not their lives, and then log off their computers and disappear. For every sickening cyberbully incident you read about — such as the suicide of Rutgers University college student Tyler Clementi, after he learned a roommate had allegedly videotaped his sexual encounter with another young man and streamed it live online — there are at least a half dozen more that never make headlines.

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October 1st, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Are You Raising a Bully?

blog1What would you do if you found out that your child was a menace on the schoolyard?

Since the bullying crisis began to garner national attention a few months ago — with headlines focusing on a series of tragic teenage deaths by suicide — school districts have been frantically putting together anti-bullying policies, while politicians have been proposing one law after another to protect victims. There are new curriculums and self-help programs that teach bullied kids how to deal with their attackers. And I’m so grateful for that. We have gone too long ignoring those kids who have been singled out for torment.

What I want to know is where are the parents of the bullies? It’s their job to know what their child is doing — who they’re talking to online, who their friends are, if they’re ridiculing somebody.

On Tuesday’s show, we’re going to talk about just that. We’re shining a spotlight on one of the most shocking cases of bullying I’ve come across. Zach, a 14-year-old boy, was allegedly held against his will while four older boys from school tattooed a lewd phrase on his buttocks. Blake, the accused ringleader, was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and was recently released from jail. He and his mother, Patti, claim there’s another version of the story that the media aren’t telling. They go so far as to suggest that Blake’s actions have been mischaracterized. I want you to watch on Tuesday and make up your own mind. (more…)

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May 20th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Loose Girls? Or Confused Girls?

TooYoungTooFastOn Friday’s show, we’re going to have a very frank and sometimes startling conversation about teenage girls and the reasons they are deciding to have sex.  I think you’ll be surprised at some of the things the girls say, including how so many of them see sex as no big deal.

The facts are what they are: this generation of teenage of girls is certainly becoming sexually active younger and faster than their moms.

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May 18th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

How Do We Stop Teenage Binge Drinking?

bingeDrinking1We’ve got an interesting show Wednesday on teenagers who love to party and their parents who don’t seem to know how to get the problem under control. Coincidentally, I’ve been following a lawsuit in Massachusetts filed by one mother, Kathi Meyer, who decided to do something about a group of teenagers who, one night, went out and partied, which she says led to tragic consequences.

Ms. Meyer’s daughter, Taylor Meyer, was a beautiful teenager — an honor student, an athlete, a young woman with a bright future. In October 2008, she was with a group of friends who decided to celebrate after a high school football game in their small Massachusetts town. After going to a couple of house parties, they headed to a wooded area that was popular for teenage drinking. They allegedly began binge drinking, throwing down one drink after another. Taylor, who was said to be drunk, wandered off alone toward a swamp and disappeared. She tripped and fell into the frigid waters. Three days later, after a massive search, her body was recovered. (more…)

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April 29th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

The Tragedy of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois

A couple of weeks ago, blog1when John Albert Gardner III, a 31-year-old registered sex offender, was sent to prison for life after pleading guilty to murdering two teenage girls in San Diego County, I felt some sense of relief that we had gotten another monster off the streets.

But in all candor, I still felt a raw, unbridled anger that such gruesome murders had happened in the first place.

Before Gardner murdered 17-year-old honor student Chelsea King, who went out for a run and was found in a shallow grave, and before he murdered 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who was last seen in front of her school in Escondido, carrying a check to buy a lamb for her Future Farmers of America project, he previously had served five years in prison for beating and molesting a 13-year-old girl. A psychologist who evaluated him said he was a continuing threat. (more…)

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