Teen

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    Before this week, the song "Rude" by Canadian band Magic was just a catchy tune playing on the radio in my car as I shuffled my daughter from one summer vacation moment to the next. Then a father named Benji Cowart decided to respond to "Rude" with his own version in a viral video being hailed as a "perfect" response to the song about a young man asking for a girl's hand in marriage only to be turned down by her dad. The father of one 11-year-old girl has had everyone from morning TV hosts to Internet writers fawning over him for his "adorable parody."

    To everyone who has "liked" and "shared" Cowart's video, I have one question: are we listening to the same song?

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    I write this post knowing full well I'm going to take a lot of heat for it. That plenty of more forgiving folks are going to remind me that a child of 14 or 15 doesn't think about the consequences of his actions. That, in this technologically advanced age, it's impossible to predict how far a viral video will travel. That kids will be kids and kids will always make fun of other kids and parents need to just deal with it and teach their children to toughen up.

    But those excuses are the reason why we continue to hear heartbreaking stories like this one. They are the reason why a 14-year-old boy named Matthew Burdette chose to kill himself rather than deal with the humiliation of being a laughing stock -- not just at his school, but at schools all over California -- after an embarrassing video of him that another classmate filmed in secret spread like wildfire.

    There's one person to blame for this, and teen or not, he deserves to be punished to the full extent the law allows.

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    A 16-year-old boy died this weekend in California after doing something a lot of other teens probably wouldn't think twice about: standing on a bus.

    Mason Zisette was just one of several teens under the age of 18 who was traveling with adult chaperones on a double-decker Starline Tours bus that had been chartered to attend a private birthday party for one of the young passengers at a venue south of Manhattan Beach. As the bus made its way down the San Diego Freeway at 45 miles per hour, Zisette -- who was seated on the roofless top deck -- reportedly stood up on his seat to dance. He was facing the opposite direction of the freeway signs and had no idea what horrible thing was about to happen.

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    In their latest attempt to peddle hate and lady-on-lady crime in exchange for dropped jaws around the globe, The Daily Mail ran a piece yesterday entitled, "Why are today's young women so unashamed about being fat?" written by Linda Kelsey, a self-described, unapologetic "fattist." In her own words, that means she believes that extra weight is "unattractive ... unhealthy, and, given the problems that being fat can cause, it should be as unacceptable as smoking."

    Kelsey illustrates her spite with an anecdote about three young women she witnessed at the airport who were "not chubby, but fat. They had bulging bellies and billowing pillows of back and shoulder stuffing, punctured by flabby arms and lardy legs that no amount of fake-tan could disguise." As a result, Kelsey seems to believe these girls would hate their bodies and be "racked with self-loathing," but instead "they were doing a grand job of projecting exactly the opposite impression." Gasp!

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    This story makes the teen in me (even though I'm so past being a teen) cringe in horror and the mom in me wince in terror. A college student named Nyjah, who posts on Twitter under the moniker @dearfashionn, accidentally texted a nude photo of herself to her DAD instead of to her boyfriend.

    Did you just flash back to when you were a reckless college kid? Or, even worse, are you thinking about what your own college or high school kids are up to?? Well, as you might expect, Nyjah's dad did not simply shrug off the mistake and laugh about it like some cool TV dad who knows he has to come to terms with the fact that his baby is all grown up. No, no, this dad texted her back ... again and again and again ... before showing up at her doorstep to, presumably, ground her for life -- if it's even possible to do that to a college kid.

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    Scary story for parents of thrill seekers and roller coaster fanatics today. The famous Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, collided with a fallen pine tree on Monday night, derailing the first car of the roller coaster and leaving all riders stranded 20 feet in the air for several hours. Even worse, the coaster is suspended (the riders hang underneath the track), so the passengers were left dangling before Los Angeles County firefighters were able to rescue them all.

    The first four passengers, who were all in the initial car, suffered minor injuries and were later taken to a nearby hospital after complaining of knee and neck pain.

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    Somebody stop me before I utter that phrase all "old people" love to say: what is wrong with kids today?! And the answer is: most young people would NEVER do what three North Carolina teens reportedly did to an innocent man trying to make a living -- but for those guilty, a lack of respect is the number one culprit, if you ask me.

    An ice cream man in Charlotte was going about his day, earning money in an honest way by selling treats from a small portable cart, when three teens reportedly robbed and beat him up -- and someone had the wisdom to capture the entire thing on video. Because I guess they thought this was funny? Or that these young people should be proud of such a momentous achievement in their lives?

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    When an orphan showed up at a Florida church last year and begged for someone to "love me forever," hearts opened up. Thousands of offers poured in to adopt Davion Only. So how is the teenager doing these days? Not so good. The 16-year-old has reportedly been sent back to square one after being removed from the home of a potential adoptive family.

    According to news reports, Only was involved in an altercation with another child in the home as well as the father. He'd lived with the family in Ohio for just a few months, but already had been baptized and signed up to play football -- a lifelong dream for the long-time foster kid.

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    Just as we constantly hear the phrase "like a girl" used in a derogatory way, we're typically conditioned from the time we're tweens to think of our period as an annoyance, "gross," embarrassing, a part of our bodies that must be dealt with only behind closed doors. If you must talk about menstruation, you whisper and employ euphemisms like "that time of the month" or "Aunt Flo." No wonder girls feel compelled to follow these unofficial rules, when women are being shamed for their monthly cycle.

    But author and slam poet Dominique Christina wasn't having it. In response to a now notorious male Twitter user's period shaming, she wrote "The Period Poem" for her 13-year-old daughter, explaining why she should be proud of her body's innate abilities. Check out the amazing video of her performance ...

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    There is no greater grief or horror for parents than the loss of a child. But one musical therapist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is helping parents cope with their loss by commemorating their children in song. Brian Schreck, who has been working with parents and their sick children, records the child's heartbeat and later sets it to their favorite music, leaving their parents with a beautiful tune that they can enjoy forever.

    The lovely beat of the heart, set alongside a calm composition, is a simple melody, but one that parents will appreciate. Margaret and Jeremy Bennett lost their son, Dylan, earlier this year. Schreck recorded Dylan's heartbeat while he was in the intensive care unit and later gifted the parents with the music:

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