Teen School  &  Learning

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    A boy who was told that he would never walk or talk has beaten the odds yet again: he's been accepted into college. Noah Van Vooren, a senior high school student with Down syndrome, had applied to Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin and was eagerly awaiting a response.

    So when the letter came in the mail, he was more than eager to open it. It took a couple of seconds to sink in, but once he read that he'd been accepted, he immediately embraced his dad and declared: "Dad, you rock! I love you." Then he promptly tore off his sweatshirt and triumphantly flexed. Check out how amazingly excited he is:

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    Look who's kid just landed a 20-page fashion spread. Victoria and David Beckham's oldest son Brooklyn made his modeling debut on the cover of Man About Town -- and does he ever look exactly like both of his parents. But the 15-year-old doesn't look too grown-up in this men's magazine. He's featured in an article on the teenage lifestyle, and is posed to look just like you're typical 15-year-old boy ... well, maybe a much more glamorous version, anyway. But here's how Brooklyn's parents are keeping their superstar son grounded.

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    Not that any of us ever cut class when we were in high school, but (cough, cough) those of us who did probably wasted a whole lot of time goofing around at the park or stuffing our faces with fast food. That might have been the initial goal three 17-year-old seniors from California had in mind this week when they broke out of school in search of McDonald's burgers and fries, but they decided to make a little pit stop on their way to the restaurant -- in order to save a 94-year-old woman and her dog from a house fire.

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    Can you think of a better person to promote 1980s cultural awareness than actor Kevin Bacon -- he who is so powerful he was able to convince an entire uptight town to let down their hair and just dance in Footloose?

    In this absolutely hilarious video, Bacon attempts to school the Millennial generation on just how difficult and yet totally amazing life was 30 years ago. Never mind what our grandfathers told us about having to walk 20 miles to get to school -- '80s kids really knew what it was like to suffer, as Kevin begrudgingly shares with the young folks.

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    When was the last time your boss used the word "dissentious" at your Monday morning meeting? According to the College Board, which produces the much-dreaded SAT exam, the fact that the answer to this question is probably "never" is reason enough to get rid of those pesky and difficult vocabulary words that are, well, known as "SAT words." Test-makers are also planning to make other big changes to the college entrance exam, including changing the scoring system from 2,400 points back to the 1,600-point system it once used. And if your teen just hates writing essays, no biggie. The essay portion will be optional.

    Hmmm ... maybe high schools could just hand out college degrees at graduation and we could eliminate the test altogether?

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    In most teens' minds, the day they turn 18 is going to be a glorious one. All of those stupid rules they had to follow at home will suddenly be lifted like some great fog. Overnight, parents will begin to respect their newfound freedom and independence -- yet continue to provide them with warm meals, because who the heck wants to have to cook for themselves at 18?

    Rachel Canning is having a difficult time adjusting to 18. The New Jersey teen is suing her parents for refusing to pay for her college tuition and living and transportation expenses, despite the fact that she's no longer living at home and, according to her parents, left willingly because she didn't want to follow their rules.

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    It's become pretty common for high school students to post cutesy messages on their Twitter accounts asking celebrities to their proms. In the case of Miley Cyrus, the 21-year-old knew it would be bananas for her to show up at a dance and sweetly invited her suitor to attend one of her concerts instead, which was a really smart move on her part. Err, I'm thinking pro Houston Texans cheerleader Caitlyn, who is 20, figured she was being a sweetheart as well by responding to 17-year-old Michael Ramirez's online request that she be his hot date to the Crosby High School senior prom. Only she agreed to go. As his actual date. And no matter how platonic we know this whole night will be, there's something a little creepy about it.

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    There are days when you read or hear about something that reminds you of why you wouldn't want to trade places with a teenager for all the diamonds in the world. There's a decent chance Dana Snay, a prep school graduate from Florida, is grounded for the rest of her life after carelessly posting a Facebook message that cost her father $80,000. Patrick Snay had sued Gulliver Prepatory School for age discrimination and was awarded $10,000 in back wages and an $80,000 settlement. In order to receive the money, he had to agree to keep the case confidential. I guess he didn't think he'd have anything to worry about it if he opened up to his family.

    But teenagers are not known for their ability to keep secrets. And teens with social media accounts, which is basically the entire teen population, can't help but broadcast every detail of their lives to the world around them. In this case, Dana's oversharing led to dad losing his settlement.

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    High school student Kobe Nelson was recently suspended for two days after instigating a fight with another student. Okay, cool, fair enough, right? It's understandable that the administration would take action when it comes to disciplining a combative student. The only problem? Kobe didn't start the fight. In fact, a cellphone video shot of the whole encounter brought to light by Kobe's dad shows Kobe doing everything he can to get out of the situation without contributing to the violence.

    It's one of the few occasions I can think of where any parent finds themselves thinking, Thank god for cellphones. The proof of his son's total lack of involvement combined with talks he had confirming what he'd already seen was all Kobe's dad needed to hear. He went after not just the bully, but the entire school with a total vengeance.

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    There seem to be a few people at Richardson High School in Texas who didn't do their homework this week. "Motivational speaker" Justin Lookadoo clearly didn't get the memo about this one well-known fact: if you mess with teen girls, they're going to find a way to make you pay. And perhaps if the school's PTA had studied faith-based Lookadoo's website before inviting him to deliver what was supposed to be a "thought-provoking" lecture on teen dating, they would have learned that the guy thinks it's totally acceptable to preach to young girls that in order to be "dateable," they really need to shut their traps more often and stop having thoughts complaining. 

    But don't worry, the girls -- and boys -- at the school made sure to give him hell afterward. And their response will make you proud. 

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