CDC Study: Remote Learning Hurt Kids’ Mental Health

When schools pivoted to remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first casualty was kids’ mental health.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed teenagers’ mental health from January 2021 to June 2021. Compared with 2019, the study found that the proportion of mental health–related emergency department visits in 2020 increased by about 31% among kids aged 12–17 years.

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Commentary: The Dystopian Future Where Women—and Men—Just Don’t Want Children

Most of the baby strollers my family observed on vacation in Savannah, Georgia were not transporting babies. Instead, couples perambulated about the city with . . . dogs. By the end of our vacation, we had counted more than 200 different dogs in strollers across the city. Seeing an actual baby in a stroller proved to be the exception, not the rule. 

The U.S. birthrate has fallen by about 20 percent since 2007, and shows no signs of recovering. Among childless adults, 44 percent of those under 50 say it is not too or not at all likely they will ever have children, up from 37 percent who said the same in 2018. 

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Commentary: The Long, Horrifying History of Groomers

In the 1980s and 90s, I worked in child advocacy. One of my jobs was to teach children how to protect themselves from abuse. First and foremost I taught children that adults should not be telling children to keep secrets. I taught children if an adult were to tell a child that something the adult does or says must be kept secret from mom or dad, the adult was doing wrong. The first way for a child to protect themselves was to immediately tell mom and dad about adults wanting to keep secrets.

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Disney Silent on Reports It Helps Employees’ Kids Get Sex Changes

The Walt Disney Company is staying silent following reports it helps the children of its employees with sex change procedures through its benefits program.

A leaked video shared by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo Thursday purportedly showed a Disney internal meeting in which a man explained Disney’s efforts to help employees “express their gender” at the company. Disney has not publicly addressed its efforts to help employees medically transition their children to the opposite sex following the release of the video, and did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Disney Helps Employees ‘Transition’ Their Transgender Children and Themselves: Report

Disney is reportedly assisting employees and their children with sex change and “gender affirmation” procedures through the company’s benefits program.

The company’s “benefits team” is reportedly offering resources and guides to employees transitioning to the opposite gender, as well as information for employees’ children who are transitioning, according to a video shared by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo.

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Texas Judge Blocks State Investigations of Transgender Kids’ Treatments as Child Abuse

Texas District Judge Amy Clark Meachum blocked the state’s Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) on Friday from investigating parents of transgender children for child abuse with regard to providing hormone therapy.

The decision is the most recent in a weeklong civil lawsuit filed by the parents of a transgender child and a psychologist from the Houston area who are challenging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order from last month calling for “prompt and thorough investigation” into reported instances of “gender-transitioning procedures” among minors.

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Texas District Attorneys Fighting Governor’s Order to Treat Sex Change Surgeries for Children as Abuse

District attorneys for five of the largest counties in Texas are defying Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order to treat sex change surgeries for children as child abuse.

Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) Tuesday to investigate instances of children undergoing sex change procedures, including “reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”

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More Wisconsin Schools Move to Ditch Mask Mandates

A growing number of educational institutions throughout Wisconsin are moving to ditch mask mandates that have been placed on students for roughly two years.

West Allis-West Milwaukee School District voted on Monday to remove a mask mandate for students, instead making the face coverings optional.

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Senators Reveal Bipartisan Bill Targeting Big Tech Companies for Harms to Children

Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal unveiled a bipartisan bill Wednesday aimed at curbing online harms to children.

The Kids Online Safety Act is the result of several hearings and a months-long investigation led by Blackburn and Blumenthal into how use of social media platforms affects teens and young children. If enacted, the bill would require social media platforms to provide minors with options to protect their information, disable “addictive” product features and allow them to opt out of recommendation algorithms.

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State Budget Makers Approve $194 Million for Childcare in Wisconsin

three kids holding hands

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers are, perhaps surprisingly, on the same page when it comes to spending more money on childcare in Wisconsin.

The state’s budget-writing panel, the Joint Finance Committee, on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to spend $194 million in federal funds to support childcare across the state.

“$194 million is a lot of money,” Rep Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, told lawmakers. “This is our job as a committee and members of the legislature to have a voice in how these programs are supported or created or expanded. Or in some cases not created and not expanded.”

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Activists Are Trying to Normalize Pedophilia and Corporate Media Is Helping Them

Media outlets have provided a microphone to activists who want to society to accept pedophilia as a sexual identity separate from any criminal activity.

At the same time that activists push for a respectable place in society for pedophiles — who are called minor attracted people — some conservative commentators and concerned parents are voicing fears about the sexualization of children and their exposure to sexual materials, often in relation to gender and sexual identity programs targeting young people.

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Canadian Father Loses Custody of Children Due to Being Unvaccinated

In New Brunswick, Canada, a father of three lost custody of his children after a single judge ruled that his unvaccinated status was a danger to his children.

According to USA Today, the concerned father presented evidence to the judge that pointed out possible harmful effects of the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine, as proof that his concerns about taking the vaccine were valid. But Justice Nathalie Godbout, of the Court of Queen’s Bench, ruled against him by simply deferring to “public health officials” as being superior to his own research.

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Child Psychiatrist: Toll on Children’s Mental Health During Government Response to Pandemic Is ‘Utterly Devastating’

Though children are least likely to experience severe illness from COVID-19, the level of mental health distress many are exhibiting during the government’s response to the pandemic is “utterly devastating,” child psychiatrist Dr. Mark McDonald said in a recent interview.

The Los Angeles-based clinician expressed his concern during a late November podcast for the Unity Project, an organization working to end COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthy children in grades K-12.

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Law Profs: Most States May Recognize ‘Multiparent Families’ in the Near Future

Two law professors this week argued that the U.S. is on the verge of seeing most states recognize “multiparent families,” a novel familial arrangement that the instructors nevertheless claimed was “hardly new.”

Professors Courtney Joslin and Douglas NeJaime of UC Davis School of Law and Yale Law School, respectively, argued in the Washington Post this week that it “soon could be unremarkable for a child to have three or more legal parents,” with that legal concession “fast becoming reality” throughout the country.

“These new laws have been spurred, in part, by the rising numbers and public profile of LGBTQ families and others with children conceived through assisted reproduction,” they write. “In many of these families, one or more parents are not genetically related to their children, and many states now legally recognize these ‘intended parents.'”

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Former Planned Parenthood President Says School Closures Harm Children

Dr. Leana Wen

A former Planned Parenthood president and public health professional argued in a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post that the rise in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant is not a reason to keep schools closed.

Dr. Leana Wen argued “both sides [of the school reopening debate] are wrong,” in her op-ed. “let’s agree that schools are essential and then work to reduce risk to get students back to in-person learning,” Wen wrote.

Wen called it “astounding” that governors in states like Texas, Georgia and Iowa are fighting against school mask mandates and that Florida’s surgeon general is discouraging testing in schools, attributing ” “low vaccine uptake among children” to “rampant right-wing disinformation.”

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Latest Research Chronicles the Impact of COVID Lockdowns on Children

A growing body of academic research is chronicling the toll that pandemic lockdowns imposed on children, warning that the mental and social anguish the policies caused outweigh the health protections.

The “overall impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents is likely to be severe,” an Oxford University professor warned in a recent analysis.

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Commentary: Poll Reveals Education Quality, Curriculum Stoke Parents’ Concern

After a year in which parents across the country began exercising more political power at school board meetings and through activist groups, the COVID-fueled parent movement is unlikely to subside any time soon, a new poll released Monday found.

Even as some school districts in Oregon and other locales this year suspended math and reading proficiency graduation requirements, most Americans believe public school academic standards aren’t high enough.

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Attorney General Garland Grilled by GOP Senators over Department of Justice Memo Targeting Parents at School Meetings

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.

Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom.

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Report Finds Members of the French Catholic Church Abused 330,000 Children

People sitting in church pews at a church

Members of France’s Catholic Church sexually abused 330,000 children over the past 70 years, according to a new report on abuses in the country’s Catholic Church.

The 2,500-page report is France’s first real documentation of the abuse, the Associated Press reported, and is based on research by France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

“The Catholic Church is the place where the prevalence of sexual violence is at its highest, other than in family and friend circles,” the report said, according to CNN.

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Facebook Suspends ‘Instagram Kids’ Following Investigation Into Platform’s Effect on Teens

Facebook has paused development of a version of its image-sharing platform Instagram specifically geared towards children, the company announced Monday.

The tech giant decided to suspend work on the project in order to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators,” and “demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, wrote in a statement Monday.

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Vaccinating Kids as Young as Five Would Be a ‘Game Changer,’ Biden’s Education Secretary Says

President Joe Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children would be a “game changer” for students in the U.S.’s public school system, U.S. News reported.

Pfizer announced Monday that a smaller dose of its vaccine has generated an immune response in 5 to 11-year-old children during the clinical trial. The company said it plans to submit data for approval in the next few weeks.

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Science on Mask Usage Indicates Scant Benefit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that all schools require mask-wearing indoors by teachers and students, vaccinated or unvaccinated against COVID-19. 

And many school districts are adopting that requirement, to the dismay of many parents.

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Migrants Coming to America Illegally Say They’re Coming to the U.S. for a Variety of Reasons

MCALLEN, Texas — Some migrants who spoke to the DCNF said they were motivated to come to the U.S. by the Biden administration, while others cited death threats from “narcos” and disaster in their home countries.

“Suddenly, the situations during the previous years weren’t like this one. This year was much more difficult,” a Honduran migrant named Javier told the DCNF after illegally crossing into the U.S. near the Hidalgo Point of Entry early Tuesday morning.

Javier said increasing “crime and a lot of insecurity” including “extortions and death threats from the cartels” motivated him to leave Honduras. He said it took him a little over a month to reach the U.S.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Claims Masks Have No Negative Effects on Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Thursday argued in a series of tweets that masking in schools seemingly has no negative effects on children.

The medical organization dismissed parental concern over the issue as nonexistent, pledging to provide “real talk” about children wearing masks.

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