Social media and self-harm

In “Is Social Media Making Self-harm Worse For Teens,” Kimberly Leonard wrote about how posts online about suicide and self-harm are increasing the risk of other teens doing these acts. I felt a strong connection toward the information that was presented because I have seen these posts firsthand.

While scrolling through Tumblr and Twitter, I see frequent posts of self-harm and suicide-related things. When I see these on my feed, the posts do not trigger me, but if I scroll and look through comments and notifications on that post, it is clear that it is a trigger for others. Often, posters glorify these posts and try to promote such activities.

While it is great to express yourself on social media, promoting suicide and self-harm to others is not OK. The regulations on social media need to change, and such posts need to be deleted. Many networks have already put restrictions on what can and cannot be posted on their sites, (suicide and self-harm included in what cannot be put on), but monitoring every post that goes up online isn’t that easy. Limiting hashtag use does have its benefits, yes, but there is always a loophole that allows for posts like these to be put online. I feel that this article presents a very valid and concerning issue. Something needs to be done to stop these posts or even just make users aware of the harm they are causing. If people were to know the risks of what they put on the internet, by ads, or PSA’s or some sort of information site, maybe this harmful bandwagon will cease to exist.

Hannah Godsey, Boulder

No tolerance for racism

In the article “Air Force Academy finds cadet candidate responsible for racist messages,” by Tom Roeder, I was really disturbed by the thought that someone who was being treated as the victim was actually the perpetrator. Racism should not be tolerated anywhere, and it definitely should not be a problem at an Air Force Academy. In a place where men and women go to learn and help protect our country, it is in no way a place where racial slurs and racial profiling should ever occur. The fact that racism was the topic of this article makes me sad that our country still is having trouble accepting the idea of diversity as something that unifies us rather than something that divides us. We are better than that. Our country is better than that.

Izzie Lehman, Boulder

Students with ADHD need more attention

I have recently become aware of the lack of attention that students with ADHD are receiving in school. I believe that more teachers need to become aware of the warning signs and how to handle students who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a brain disorder that shows a difficulty in sustaining focus and impulsive hyperactivity which can hinder functioning and development.” Educating teachers about the effects that ADHD has on students could be very helpful before immersing straight into a classroom.

According to the study discussed in the article Knowledge of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attitudes toward teaching children with ADHD, “they found that teachers with average to high knowledge of ADHD reported more helpful behaviors toward children with ADHD and held more favorable beliefs about interventions than did teachers with low knowledge.”

Although not every student has ADHD, learning about how to handle students who do have it can be beneficial for everyone. In the book “Strategies for Teaching Adolescents with ADHD: Effective Classroom Techniques Across the Content Areas, Grades 6-12,” Silvia L. DeRuvo mentions the impact of “recognizing a student with ADHD in your classroom is the first step in being able to provide them with the supports and accommodations that they desperately need. Recognizing the behaviors and academic indicators of ADHD in adolescents will further inform your ability to more specifically meet their individual needs.”

Through further research and the help of medical professionals, students with ADHD can thrive not only in an academic environment, but also in social situations. I feel it is extremely important for teachers to be aware of the different strategies when teaching students with ADHD so that every student can retain and get the most out of their education without feeling left behind. This way, every student has the best and most equal opportunities to do something amazing with their futures.

Lauren Cleath, Boulder

Coming of age 60 years ago

When I was a boy becoming a man in the late ’50s-early ’60s, women were supposed to be sexually pure and virginal until they got married. Just before the birth control pill liberated women from unintended pregnancy, a “good girl” said “no.” But teenagers still engaged in sex with each other, risky as that might be, for risk is not much of a deterrent to youth. How did a “good” young woman keep her good reputation if she had sex with a “good” young man?

The game was that she would say “no” and he would continue seducing. They would finally kiss, and she, overwhelmed by his romancing, would melt into his arms. We saw the game in countless mainstream Hollywood movies. The girl had plausible cover for her reputation by saying she had fallen in love with him. The guy gained the valued reputation of being a successful hunter.

Both men and women were oppressed by these role model expectations. As a young man, I felt that I was obliged to take the initiative and pursue a woman or remain alone. No woman would have initiated a coffee invitation. Women had to dress and act provocatively around a man they were interested in to incite his pursuit. And her initial reaction to his pursuit would always start with a “no.” Complicated game? Head-banging confusion!

So when Baby Boomer men get accused of inappropriate sexual misconduct — I’m talking about an extended embrace, not a forcible rape — one needs to appreciate the social mores from which they came of age. A few years later, those same men carried banners marching in favor of equal rights for women, but intimate, personal attitudes were slower to change.

I’m glad the change toward gender equality is continuing, even accelerating at this moment, but some good men are being discharged for relatively minor infractions along with some beastly scoundrels. And some beasts, whose strategy is denial and denigration of accusers, continue to be given the highest public honors of the land. That just ain’t right, nor is it just.

Let us note that Sen. Al Franken did apologize to his first accuser, the lady in the flack jacket, years ago, immediately after it happened. He followed up with a written apology that she accepted and the incident was over. Now, years later, she is a Republican talk-show host and she re-opens the accusation? How many other accusers have been motivated by a Republican cabal to denigrate effective Democratic office holders?

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont, Calif.

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