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    The teen years are a time when you're expected to make dumb mistakes. Back in the day, we were able to do and say stupid things and -- if we were lucky -- learn from them and move on to become better people. Yeah, not so much anymore thanks to Twitter and Facebook.

    "Sarah" isn't the first teenager -- and she won't be the last -- to learn the hard way that one thoughtless tweet could possibly ruin her life, despite the fact that she's only 14 years old. The young girl, whose social media account has since been deleted, reportedly made the grave error of sending American Airlines a ridiculously reckless tweet. She pretended she was a terrorist who was planning a major attack. Uh, 14 or not, you could say the airline took her message very seriously.

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    Just because you made a baby does NOT mean you are in a position to get married to the mother or father of your baby -- especially if you are 15 years old. That's the message some Florida lawmakers are putting out there by moving to ban marriage for teens 15 or younger.

    According to state records, there were a whopping 110 marriages involving kids 16 and younger in Florida last year -- which just seems bonkers, regardless of whether these couples had children or not. If the law passes, Florida would be one of 10 states -- including Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin -- that already oppose marriage for children 16 and younger. But that's not going far enough.

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    There's no denying that kids face an incredible amount of pressure these days. The competition to get into college is stiffer than ever before and kids learn that at an early age. So getting good grades is of the utmost importance -- shockingly, even to grade schoolers. One 9-year-old's quest for the perfect GPA has sent him over the edge.

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    It's a sad truth that eating disorders are a part of life for some teenage girls (and some boys). Even those who are unafflicted by the illnesses aren't numb to the pressures put on girls to be perfect in every possible way. During this stage of development, it's more important than ever for girls to know just how beautiful they are. Unfortunately, that's not a message many of them are capable of hearing.

    Two young filmmakers at a private school in Colorado decided to tackle this sensitive and personal issue for a class project. They called their film "You Are Beautiful." It would go on to become a widely viewed PSA. They had no idea that their mostly-silent, powerful little film would garner such notice nor start a series of important conversations. With the help of their film teacher, the two novices made something really special. 

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    I don't know about you, but I wouldn't give a flying fig if one of my kids turned out to be gay -- in fact, I can't for the life of me begin to understand why any parent would be bothered by the idea. But, as we are all unfortunately aware, lots of moms and dads are quite bothered by the concept, to the point where kids are completely traumatized by the mere thought of coming out to their parents. (And who can blame them, when some adults are horrible and narrow-minded enough to do things like have their kids kidnapped in the middle of the night and shipped off to "camps" where they can "learn" to be straight?!)

    Anyway, the good news is, not all parents are intolerant, so not all kids are terrified. But even non-terrified gay children get a little nervous about breaking the news to their families. Like Ryan, the teen in this video.

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    There are a lot of things a gymnastics coach should be doing. Helping students perfect a routine on the uneven bars, working on the the front aerial, perhaps even the triple full. Giving tattoos and piercings isn't on the job requirement form; in fact, it's on the never, ever do under any circumstances unless you want to feel the full wrath of the anger of parents list. A gymnastics coach at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, has made that list.

    Terry Robert Hardy, 38, allegedly took a break from teaching kids pikes and side aerials to tattoo and pierce one of his 16-year-old students. This is a complete breech of trust on so many levels.

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    So much for encouraging kids to be themselves. A Texas principal banned Hispanic students from speaking Spanish. The reason? Reportedly to "prevent disruptions." Never mind the fact that this is Texas and that 50 percent of the student body is Hispanic. But there is another reason this may be one of the most asinine rules a school administrator has ever instituted.

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  • LOL

    7 Things Teens Can Get Away With That We Can't

    posted by Rebecca Stokes December 3, 2013 at 1:36 PM in Teen
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    I do not, as a rule, envy teenagers. Maybe give me another decade. But, as it stands currently, I look back on ages 13 to 19 with a wince and not a little mortification.

    What can I say? Things about me that contributed to this present state of not-wanting-to-be-a-teen-again: I fart when nervous and have thrown up in at least one bush. Plus, I can't tell when dudes like me. As an adult, I can handle most of these aforementioned disasters with aplomb. But as a youth? Oh my sweet taffy, no.

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    Imagine you are a mother sending your 13-year-old baby 400 miles away so she can pursue her dream of dance. You're nervous, but you know she will be okay, because she is in the care of two people you trust: Her dance instructors. But suddenly your daughter is in police custody. And they are insisting you fly to Houston from Oklahoma to pick her up. Even though she has done nothing wrong. That's the scenario that Destiny Thompson faced when her daughter, Landry, was handcuffed by police and given to Child Protective Services. The problem seems to be that Landry, who is white, was with two black men -- her dance instructors.

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    When we worry about the potential bullies our kids might deal with at school, we always picture those bullies as other kids ... right? Except sometimes -- probably more often than any of us care to realize, actually -- those bullies are adults: Teachers and other faculty members; the very people we trust to protect our kids from bullying. And usually, grown-up bullies push kids around not with mean text messages or actual physical shoves, but by abusing their authority. By taking things that don't belong to them and giving them back damaged or altered, if at all. Which is exactly what happened recently at one Oregon middle school.

    It all started with a "confrontation" between one student who apparently refused to remove his hat in the school gym and two teachers who, well, were hell bent on getting him to remove that hat. 

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