Vol. 2 Issue 27 | July 8, 2016
Three Things This Week
1. Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile
What it is: In the past two days, the fatal shootings of two black men by police has the US asking big questions about systemic racism and police violence leading to the shooting deaths of 561 people in 2016.
Why it’s important: Because Sterling and Castile were God’s children. Because Christians are pro-life. Because we are a people who give voice to injustice. Because black lives really do matter. Because, as witnessed in Dallas, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. According to Beyonce, “We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action.” Help your students develop empathy for the hurting. Empathy starts with walking a mile in someone else’s shoes; it means mourning with those who mourn; it means that even though you aren’t a victim of police violence, recognize that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It means doing more than tweeting #ThoughtsAndPrayers. Throughout history, justice often comes for the oppressed when the privileged join in their struggle. Remind your students that outrage alone isn’t a strategy, that their task is to join in the fight for human dignity.
2. Teaching Tips For the 21st-Century
What it is: Today’s students are tech-savvy, socially connected, and media immersed (the average TV show changes scenes every 7 seconds), and it’s altering how they think. We as teachers/pastors should adapt our educational techniques accordingly as we disciple the next generation.
Do this: Incorporate media in your lessons, and change the visuals often. Utilize blended learning, allowing students to use computers for research, watch videos, and collaborate with one another on various topics. Finally, use pop culture as teaching tools. When students are given the opportunity to engage and write about their own interests, they feel more comfortable taking your instruction and guidance.
What it is: New photo pose and Internet slang term that’s not nearly as dirty as it sounds.
Why it’s important: Coined by Buzzfeed, the pose simply consists of draping one’s fingers around one’s mouth when taking a selfie to make it look, ironically, a little more spur of the moment and less posed. Though it can be much more sensual than simply smiling for a selfie, if you hear teens talking about this, no need for alarm! But it could be a great conversation starter about selfies, validation, and Instagram culture.
Teen Drug Use
In the past, the war against drugs has focused on illegal drugs. But prescription drug abuse–either taking a prescription medication that isn’t yours or taking your own medication in a way that differs from doctor’s orders–is on the rise among the next generation. In fact, 20% of high school students admit to taking prescription drugs without written consent from a physician. According to President Obama, “Addiction doesn’t always start in some dark alley–it often starts in a medicine cabinet.” The biggest potential health risk is “stacking,” when teens combine medication with either another medication or alcohol to increase its impact. The results can be both addictive and deadly. More teens die from prescription drug overdose than by heroin and cocaine use combined. Painkillers, tranquilizers, and anabolic steroids are the most commonly abused subscription drugs, with over 50% of these medications obtained from a friend or relative. Read these 12 reasons teens use subscription drugs.
Top 10 Prescriptions Abused by Teens:
1. OxyContin (opioid pain med)
2. Xanax (anxiety/panic med)
3. Adderall (the “study drug”)
4. Ritalin (used to treat ADHD)
5. Vicodin (opioid pain med)
6. Percocet (opioid pain med)
7. Valium (anxiety/sleeping med)
8. Ambien (sedative/sleeping med)
9. Cough Syrup
10. Phenobarbital (barbiturate hypnotic sedative)
Students often abuse drugs to escape stress. Instead of running away from their problems, encourage healthy ways of coping with stress by modeling active listening, healthy coping strategies (meditation, reading a book, or exercise), and being fully present with your students by helping them voice what they are feeling.