Teen School  &  Learning

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    Being voted homecoming queen is every teen's dream ... only when Anahi Alvarez was granted that title at Grand Prairie High School in Texas last Friday, she didn't bask in the glory. Instead, she handed the crown to her friend, Lillian Skinner.

    Why would any high schooler in her right mind pass on such an honor? Because in the days leading up to the event, a group of mean girls had allegedly bullied Skinner, playing a prank by informing her that she'd been nominated for homecoming court. Only she hadn't ... ouch! So when Skinner's friend Alvarez heard what had happened, she and another queen nominee, Naomi Martinez, came up with a plan: If either of them won the crown, they'd hand it to Skinner.

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    'Tis the season when high schoolers get gussied up and pose for their senior portrait ... only these days, students are rebelling against the usual stiff poses and bland backgrounds and are shaking things up! Your teenager probably wants a creative senior portrait -- and some ideas on how to make that happen.

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    Once your kids are off to college, it can be hard to shower them with love and affection from afar ... which is why a homemade college care package can become an incredible creative outlet! A box from home is just the thing to give them a smile.

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    It's every teen's worst nightmare: their parents announce they're moving. New town, new friends, and last but not least, new school. While transitions like this can be tough at any age, for teenagers -- with the premium they place on friendships and their status among their peers -- it can seem like the end of the world is at hand. Doors slam, "I hate you"s are uttered, and many parents might start to worry whether moving schools will send their teen into a downward spiral that'll drain their self-esteem, grades, prom date prospects, and even alter their lifelong success and happiness.

    We won't sugarcoat it: Moving schools is indeed tough on teens.

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    A senior portrait featuring a dapper young man, his purrfectly content cat, and a pink-and-blue-straight-out-of-the-'80s laser background. What's so wrong with that? According to Schenectady High School in New York, the answer is ... uh, his loving tribute to his feline BFF may not be senior portrait-worthy. 

    Draven Rodriguez is petitioning school officials to use his laser cat photo as his senior portrait. School officials thus far say it can be included in the yearbook, but not as his graduation photo. Rodriguez launched a campaign to fight for his right for fluffy ... and it's gone viral. 

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    It’s hard to believe I have a 17-year-old going into her senior year of high school. Like any parent, I worry about how she will manage the college application process ... but I have to resist the urge to meddle. Guide, yes. Be a buttinsky stepmom with a scarlet letter on my chest? Nope.

    According to Jeannie Borin, president and founder of College Connections, LLC, my instincts to keep my distance are right. “Parents should have a healthy but not overbearing involvement in the college application process,” said Borin. “They can help with time management and organization by obtaining supplemental recommendations, collecting transcripts, reviewing applications, and being open to discussion.”

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    Imagine what life must be like at a school that gives away so many morning after pills to students that nurses actually run out of their supply. That's a problem the Stowe School in the UK is dealing with. They can barely keep up with the demand for emergency contraceptives! What are those kids up to?!? Never mind -- I think we know all too well.

    This isn't just a problem for schools overseas, though. Many public schools in the U.S. give out Plan B pills to students, too. You'd be surprised how many, in fact.

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    Buying prom dresses and renting tuxes is a prom tradition. But why stick with the conventional garb and regular corsages when the kids can make everything just a little bit different ... with Duck Tape.

    That's right. As part of their annual "Stuck at Prom" contest, Duck Tape is calling out all the best duct tape-designed prom outfits from this year. Whether the couples' costumes have strips of tape, are fashioned into inventive shapes, or feature intricately detailed designs, today's kids are forgoing the trip to the mall with Mom and getting more and more creative with their ensembles.

    Check out the absolute best Duck Tape prom dresses and suits from these creative kids!

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    We've officially reached graduation season and students everywhere are donning their robes and receiving their degrees. But for one family in Oakland, the occasion is also a bit bittersweet. Jahi McMath was declared brain dead last year at age 13, after suffering from complications during surgery to remove her tonsils. But now, after calling on the school board, the family will be awarded an honorary diploma from Jahi's middle school on graduation day.

    She was in the eighth grade at E.C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts and was on track to graduate at the time of her surgery in December. After the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest, and doctors confirmed that she was unable to breathe and had no blood flow or electrical activity in her brain. Her family has since privately moved her to a ventilator.

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    If anyone should be considered an expert when it comes to teenagers, it's a high school teacher. And most set wonderful examples for our young adults. But then there are some, like one drama teacher in Washington, who thought it would be a great idea to allow dirty jokes to be told and sex toys to be used as props onstage at an end-of-the-year drama club awards ceremony. 

    Teacher Teri Grimes, who is 62, issued a formal apology after parents were outraged at how she organized a stage event at Bellingham High School involving inappropriate jokes about child molestation and actual sex toys.

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