20th Century Fox
Still from the movie "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
A new study has found little difference between PG-13 and R rated movies in the level of violence paired with other "risky" behaviors, like smoking or sexual activity. Researchers hope to alert pediatricians, so they can influence parents' choices about their children's media consumption.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania took 390 top-grossing movies from over the last 25 years that were rated PG-13 and examined random 5-minute segments.
“Violent Film Characters’ Portrayal of Alcohol, Sex, and Tobacco-Related Behaviors,” published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, shows that in more than half of these teen-friendly movies, main characters act violently while simultaneously engaging in what the team calls "risky behaviors": sex, drinking or smoking.
Tenth graders Ben Purnell, 16, and Mai-Lin Graves, 15, learn about South African history the day after Nelson Mandela's death at Blair high school in Pasadena.
As the world mourned the death of human rights champion Nelson Mandela this week, more than a few history teachers found themselves skipping chapters of schoolbooks to teach a special lesson.
At Blair High School in Pasadena, many students didn't know who Mandela was - and had no understanding of apartheid. They weren't even born when Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994.
"I've heard about him before, but I didn't know a lot about him until today," said Skylar Fearon, a tenth grader at the school.
Fearon was among 35 students in an AP World History course who learned about Mandela's life and legacy on Friday.
"Actually, at first I thought he was an actor that had died," said her classmate, 15-year-old Elena Jacobson. "It's such a big deal that I hadn't realized."
Board of Education president Marlene Canter, left, reacts Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006, to a judge's ruling striking down a law that granted Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa partial control of the nation's second-largest school district. Board member Marguerite P. Lamotte, right, gets a hug.
Los Angeles Unified School District board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte explains her vote to transform Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles starting in the next academic year, after the board approved a drastic overhaul during a board meeting in Los Angeles Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013.
Los Angeles Unified Board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, perhaps the strongest ally for teachers on the school board, has died.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office said paramedics pronounced LaMotte dead of natural causes at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Marriott Hotel, where she was attending the California School Boards Association conference. No autopsy has been ordered.
LaMotte, a former junior high and high school principal, was first elected to the school board in 2003. She easily won re-election in 2007 and then again in 2011.
LaMotte was 80. She did not appear sick, but had taken a medical leave of absence in 2001, before retiring as a principal.
“The loss is very profound. It’s profound on a district level, a family level, and a personal level,” said school board member Steve Zimmer.
In this file photo, therapist Laurie Waguespack holds Grant Fulton's hands and looks him square in the eyes to gain his full attention in Lacey, Wash., Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. Her goal was to help Grant, who has autism, improve his social and communication skills. A new study looks at causes of autism in children.
The risk for autism is heightened when children who have a certain gene mutation connected with the disorder are exposed to high pollution, according to a new study by scientists at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
Previous studies by USC researchers Heather Volk and Daniel Campbell found links between autism and air pollution exposure for pregnant women and infants. This one looked specifically at the MET gene - which researchers have already linked to autism - and how it's affected when exposed to high amounts of air pollution, finding an augmented risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children.
“Although gene-environment interactions are widely believed to contribute to autism risk, this is the first demonstration of a specific interaction between a well-established genetic risk factor and an environmental factor that independently contribute to autism risk,” said Daniel B. Campbell, Ph.D., the study’s senior author.
At a town hall in Hollywood, parents and school staff gave L.A. Unified a laundry list of spending priorities.
A survey out today shows parents 80 percent of parents would be more likely to engage with school districts about policy and spending if they just felt listened to.
The report, released by EdSource and funded by the California Endowment, comes in the midst of big changes in California school budgets: the state is giving districts extra money for disadvantaged kids, but it's requiring them involve parents in the early stages of deciding how to spend it.
“Parents don’t want to feel that they are just doing this as window dressing," said Louis Freedberg, executive director of EdSource, an education news and policy organization. "School districts can say ‘oh we did this. We met the requirements of law,’ but that parents input didn’t really have impact."
Freedberg said the survey also showed most parents haven’t even heard of Local Control Funding, as Gov. Jerry Brown dubbed the plan.