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Newsletter: EBell: 2010: December 6
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December 6, 2010
SSWAA is pleased to announce that the brochure for the 14th National School Social Work Conference which will be held at the Kingston Plantation Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on March 30 to April 2, 2011 is ready. The conference will offer up to 21 CEUs for a variety of pre-conference and conference workshops presented by top experts in our field. Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services from the U.S. Department of Education will serve as our Opening Keynote Speaker on Thursday. Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida will serve as our Closing Keynote Speaker addressing the too often tragic impact of bullying and ways that we can "Uproot it at the Source".

Complete conference and hotel information as well as on-line registration is available on our web site at: Take advantage of the reduced conference "Advance Rate" fee by registering before January 15, 2011.

Foreboding - This isn't good: Every Senate Republican just signed a letter saying they will oppose moving any more legislation until all of the tax cuts are passed.

Urge Your Senator to Support the International Violence Against Women Act- Violence against women is a human rights violation and a worldwide pandemic - approximately one out of every three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. In some countries it's up to 70 percent.
More information at:

"Let shame be the punishment"
Maori (Indigenious People of New Zealand)

The landmark child nutrition legislation provides the biggest increase in funding for the school lunch program in decades - The bill makes it easier for qualified children to receive free school meals, extends after-school meals to more at-risk children, and provides additional technical assistance to local school food service providers. In addition, when signed into law by President Obama, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act sets the stage for the elimination of soda and other junk foods from schools nationwide. The bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update its nutrition standards for foods that can be sold through vending machines, a la carte lines, and elsewhere on school grounds. Current standards are 30 years out of date and apply only to the cafeteria during mealtimes. In addition to providing higher reimbursement rates for school lunches, the bill includes several no-cost provisions to strengthen school food finances, increasing the funds available for healthy school food. The bill sets schools on a path to gradually increase the price of paid school meals to make them comparable to the reimbursements USDA provides for free meals; it provides guidance to schools about which indirect costs are allowable; and ensures that money meant for healthy school meals is not diverted to subsidizing junk food sold through a la carte lines in the cafeteria.
Click here to view the bill and the summary documents on the Senate Agriculture Committee site:

A proclamation signed by the United States President regarding International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Read the proclamation at:


Why are the Marines the military's biggest backers of 'don't ask, don't tell'? After 17 years, "don't ask, don't tell" may finally be on its way out. Even if the Senate resists the latest efforts to end the policy, it appears that most members of the military - from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on down - support the law's repeal. But there's one part of the military where resistance is greater than in any other: the United States Marine Corps. That is clear from early reports about a survey sent to 400,000 active duty and reserve service members on "don't ask, don't tell" that will be officially released next month. More than 70 percent of respondents, spanning all branches of the military, said the effect of repealing the prohibition on openly gay troops would be positive, mixed or nonexistent. But about 40 percent of the Marine Corps respondents expressed concern about lifting the ban.
Read the entire article at:

Marriage injustice - EDITH "EDIE" WINDSOR and Thea Spyer were together for 44 years and legally married since 2007. They lived in New York, which recognizes same-sex marriage. But none of that mattered when Ms. Spyer died at 77 in 2009 after a decades-long struggle with multiple sclerosis. Ms. Windsor, now 81, was treated like a stranger to Ms. Spyer because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which recognizes only marriages between one man and one woman. She was forced to pay $350,000 in federal inheritance taxes. Gerald V. Passaro II and Thomas M. Buckholz had been a couple for 13 years when they were married in 2008 in Connecticut, which legally blesses such relationships. Mr. Buckholz had worked for 20 years for Bayer Corp., which extends certain benefits to domestic partners; he was also vested in the company's pension plan. But when he died in 2009, Mr. Passaro was denied benefits for surviving spouses. Because federal law governs the pension plan, DOMA applies.
Read the entire article at:

U.S. approves settlement for black farmers - The Obama administration announced a $1.25 billion settlement Thursday to resolve charges by thousands of black farmers who say that for decades the Agriculture Department discriminated against them in loan programs. Cabinet officials exhorted Congress to approve the deal by setting aside money for the farmers, who have fought through three administrations to secure a measure of justice. In the starkest cases
Read entire article at:

SAMHSA's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2011 - We are very excited about SAMHSA's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2011, which will continue its national focus on early childhood, and we are looking forward to working with you again as a collaborating organization. This year, in addition, we will be looking at trauma and resilience in early childhood.
Save the date/more information at:

“An Examination of Homophobia and Social Work Practice Among a Sample of School Social Workers” - Milka Ramírez, MSW, a member of the School Social Work Association of America and a school social worker in Chicago is conducting her doctoral research, and would like you to participate in the 30 minute survey.
Please take time to participate in this important study by clicking the following link:


The Black Dragon: Racial Profiling Exposed - The history of modern racial profiling developed and practiced by the New Jersey State Police in the nineties. The struggle on all fronts--personal, legal, and political--by those who dared to oppose.
More information at:

Baby Beads - Okay. Technically, Baby Beads is for babies—just like the name suggests. And while it’s a brilliant toy for keeping infants engaged while exercising fine motor skills, we happen to think it’s a smart toy for grown-ups, too. That’s because Baby Beads gives fidgety hands something to do, which can relieve stress and help wandering minds stay focused. Double bonus: Baby Beads is made from renewable rubberwood and non-toxic, water-based finishes so it’s totally safe for babies who are prone to putting positively everything in their mouths. And although we recommend Baby Beads for adults as much as babies, we have to draw the line at grown-ups putting toys in their mouths!
More information at:

The corporate takeover of American schools: The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice - The top positions in state education across the US – for example, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, recent chancellors Joel Klein (New York) and Michelle Rhee (Washington, DC), and incoming Chancellor Cathleen P Black (New York) – reflect a trust in CEO-style leadership for education management and reform. Along with these new leaders in education, billionaire entrepreneurs have also assumed roles as education saviours: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Geoffrey Canada. Gates, Canada, Duncan, Klein and Rhee have capitalised on their positions in education to rise to the status of celebrities, as well – praised in the misleading documentary feature Waiting for Superman, on Oprah, and even on Bill Maher's Real Time. What do all these professional managers and entrepreneurs have in common? Little or no experience or expertise in education.
Read the entire article at:

Enduring the bare necessities in airport screening - In the three weeks since the Transportation Security Administration began its new scanner/pat-down procedures, hundreds of people have protested. Some have reported to consumer agencies and the American Civil Liberties Union that they've been touched aggressively in the genital area. Others have reported inappropriate commentary about their physiques. Fair question: Is all this worth it? What price in dignity and privacy are we willing to pay for the illusion of safety? It's not as though flying is a delightful experience with out the sexual harassment.
Read the entire article at:

Vatican insider: Pope seeks to 'kick-start' debate on condom use to prevent AIDS spread - Pope Benedict XVI sought to "kick-start a debate" when he said some condom use may be justified, Vatican insiders say, raising hopes the church may be starting to back away from a complete ban that would allow condoms to play a role in the battle against AIDS. Just a year after he said condoms could be making the AIDS crisis worse, Benedict said that for some people, such as male prostitutes, using them could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility because the intent is to "reduce the risk of infection." The pope did not suggest using condoms as birth control, which is banned by the church, or mention the use of condoms by married couples where one partner is infected. Still, some saw the pope's comments as an attempt to move the church forward on the issue of condoms and health risks.
Read the entire article at:,0,292565.story

Founder of DuSable Museum dies at 95 - President Barack Obama issued the following statement: "Michelle and I are saddened by the passing of Dr. Margaret Burroughs, who was widely admired for her contributions to American culture as an esteemed artist, historian, educator, and mentor. In 1961, Dr. Burroughs founded the DuSable Museum of African-American History on the South Side of Chicago, which served as a beacon of culture and a resource worldwide for African-American history. She was also admired for her generosity and commitment to underserved communities through her children's books, art workshops and community centers that both inspired and educated young people about African-American culture." "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Burroughs' family and loved ones. Her legacy will live on in Chicago and around the world."
Read the entire article at:


'Dancing' up a political storm: Bristol Palin's feet have yet to meet defeat - With just one more night of competition to go before we find out if Bristol Palin wins the hideous-yet-coveted Mirror Ball Trophy, the executive producer of "Dancing with the Stars" insists the show's security system is catching and expunging all those votes for her that are being cast by people using bogus e-mail addresses to game the voting system. On the other hand, the executive producer, Conrad Green also insists he's shocked -- shocked -- to discover the Palin family could have such a polarizing effect on the American public, over a simple little dance-competition show. Meanwhile, a conservative blogger who's taking credit for the e-mail voting shenanigans, says he orchestrated the whole thing to pay back Democrats for years of voter fraud at the polls.
Read the entire article:

LeBron Dominates in Cleveland Return - "I don't want to apologize," he said. "I think my intentions were not to hurt anyone. My intentions were solely on kids during that whole process. I always say, decisions I make, I live with them. There's always ways you can correct them or ways you can do them better. At the end of the day, I live with them. I'm satisfied and happy right now."
Read the entire article at:

Janet Jackson: I got colonics at age 11 - Jackson is back in top form mentally, physically and career wise, but admits that getting to that place hasn't been easy.
"People tend to put entertainers on pedestals. We’re human beings, just like you," says the "For Colored Girls" star. "Whether we have money or not, we still have bills to pay, we still have our stresses.”
Read the entire article at:

You can get information about SSWAA Liability Insurance which is included with your SSWAA membership, by clicking the Insurance tab on our website.

SURVEYS and REPORTS (11 Items)

Incompetent Teachers or Dysfunctional Systems? Calls to fire the lowest-performing teachers are widespread, but such actions are not likely to improve teacher quality. Instead, educators should focus on improving the education system that can prevent even good teachers from providing high-quality teaching.
Read the entire article at:

Kids of Deployed Soldiers May Face More Mental Health Woes: Study found they needed more doctor visits to handle issues from parent's absence - Mental and behavioral problems cause children of U.S. soldiers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones to need considerably more outpatient medical visits than those with non-deployed parents, a new study suggests.
Read the entire article at:

Social Security's mental health proposal stirs fears - Advocates say new details could make it harder for the mentally ill to get disability payments. Deep inside a 34-page proposed federal regulation are a few sentences that are causing nightmares for mental health advocacy groups. The regulation, from the Social Security Administration, could change how people with mental illnesses are evaluated for disability payments. The angst is over whether standardized testing will be required to determine such payments. The proposed regulation is not clear on that controversial subject.
Read entire article at:,0,4841651.story

Children Ease Alzheimer’s in Land of Aging - South Korea is training thousands of people, including children, as “dementia supporters,” to recognize symptoms and care for patients. The 11- to 13-year-olds, for instance, were in the government’s “Aging-Friendly Comprehensive Experience Hall” outside Seoul. Besides the aging simulation exercise, they viewed a PowerPoint presentation defining dementia and were trained, in the hall’s Dementia Experience Center, to perform hand massage in nursing homes.
Read the entire article at:

Civilian soldiers' suicide rate alarming - National Guard soldiers who are not on active duty killed themselves this year at nearly twice the rate of 2009, marring a year when suicides among Army soldiers on active duty appear to be leveling off, new Army statistics show. Eighty-six non-active-duty Guard soldiers have killed themselves in the first 10 months of 2010, compared with 48 such suicides in all of 2009. The reason for the rise in suicides among these "citizen soldiers" is not known. It may be linked to the recession, says Army Col. Chris Philbrick, deputy commander of an Army task force working to reduce suicides.
Read the entire article at:

The True Cost of Poverty - The Chicago Tribune recently reported that hundreds of Illinois social service agencies are sending hardship letters to the State Comptroller's office describing doomsday scenarios if long overdue payments are not forthcoming. Currently operating without these funds, many agencies have exhausted reserves, reduced their work force to skeleton crews and will be forced to close their doors in the coming months.
Ironically, this article appeared the same day the U.S. Census Bureau delivered stark evidence that even more Illinoisans desperately need the very services these agencies provide. The Bureau reported that the poverty rate grew in Illinois for the third year in a row, from 12.3 percent in 2008 to 13.3 percent. Here in Chicago, single mothers and their children have been particularly hard-hit. In the last two years, Chicago families living in poverty have risen from 40 to 45 percent, meaning nearly one in two single moms and their kids are living in poverty. Using the current federal poverty guidelines, a family of four earning an income of less than $21,954 is within the poverty range.
Read the entire article at:

25 most dangerous neighborhoods 2010 - For the second year in a row, using exclusive data developed by Dr. Andrew Schiller's team at, and based on FBI data from all 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, WalletPop reveals the top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods with the highest predicted rates of violent crime in America. This year, Chicago took the not-so coveted top spot from Cincinnati for the most dangerous neighborhood, while Atlanta has the highest number of neighborhoods making the list (four). You may ask, why neighborhoods and not cities? Schiller explains that even the cities with the highest crime rates can have relatively safe neighborhoods, and thus it is less useful to generalize about an entire city.
More information at:

17.4 million U.S. families went hungry at some point in 2009, USDA says - The agency also found that 6.8 million households with up to 1 million children had continuing financial problems that left them unable to eat regularly.The number of these "food insecure" homes, or households that had a tough time providing enough food for their members, stayed somewhat steady from 2008 to 2009. But that number was more than triple compared with 2006, before the recession brought double-digit unemployment. The findings were from a survey of 46,000 households about hunger-related issues, including whether family members were able to pay for balanced meals, skipping meals or running low on or out of food and unable to restock because of financial constraints.
Read the entire article at:,0,3042029.story

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010 - Our nation's schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence. Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved, but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community (Henry 2000). Ensuring safer schools requires establishing good indicators of the current state of school crime and safety across the nation and regularly updating and monitoring these indicators. This is the aim of Indicators of School Crime and Safety. This report is the thirteenth in a series of annual publications produced jointly by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice. This report presents the most recent data available on school crime and student safety.
Executive Summary/Report at:

School Siting Guidelines - School buildings are fundamental components of the educational process and children spend more time in schools than in any other environment except their home. More than 53 million children and 6 million staff occupy more than 135,000 public and private schools in the U.S. A well located, thoughtfully designed, soundly built and efficiently operated school enhances the educational process by providing a safe and healthy environment for children, teachers and other staff. State-of-the-art schools also provide many opportunities to enhance the educational process itself and to meet multiple community goals. The decision to site and build a new school is a complex one. These voluntary guidelines are intended to assist communities and community members in making the best possible school siting decisions.
More information at:

Rx Drug Abuse Heaviest in Rural Teens - Teens living in rural areas were more likely than their urban peers to abuse prescription drugs, data from a large national survey suggested. In the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which included nearly 18,000 adolescents, 13.0% of rural teens reported nonmedical use of prescription drugs at some point in their lives, compared with 11.5% of respondents living in suburban or small metropolitan-area counties and 10.3% of those in urban areas (P=0.02), according to Jennifer Havens, PhD, MPH, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., and colleagues.
Read the entire article at:


FREE WEBINAR - Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM EST - We're Here, We're Queer! The Experiences of “Out” LGBT Youth in School - For LGBT youth, being able to be out or open about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity at school may not only enhance their feelings of school belonging, but also contribute to healthy development and positive well-being. Yet, being out may also be related to increased vulnerability at school. Join GLSEN’s Research Department for a look into the experiences of LGBT students. Participant benefits: Learn about results from the 2009 National School Climate Survey; Understand the relationships between being out in school and in-school harassment and assault, psychological well-being, and attachment to school.
Webinar Registration:

SSWAA is pleased to announce that the brochure for the 14th National School Social Work Conference which will be held at the Kingston Plantation Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on March 30 to April 2, 2011 is ready. The conference will offer up to 21 CEUs for a variety of pre-conference and conference workshops presented by top experts in our field. Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services from the U.S. Department of Education will serve as our Opening Keynote Speaker on Thursday. Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida will serve as our Closing Keynote Speaker addressing the too often tragic impact of bullying and ways that we can "Uproot it at the Source".
Complete conference and hotel information as well as on-line registration is available on our web site at: Take advantage of the reduced conference "Advance Rate" fee by registering before January 15, 2011. Please also note that once the SSWAA hotel block is sold out, conference rates may not apply. So plan to "Meet us by the Sea" and make your reservations NOW!
For more information contact: Dot Kontak, SSWS, LCSW, Director Conference Planning, School Social Work Association of America 636-236-7246
School Social Work Association Of America
SSWAA | PO Box 1086 | Sumner WA 98390 

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