Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

FACEBOOK AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT

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"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures..." - The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 4 The Fourth Amendment is most commonly known as the amendment that gives us our constitutional right to privacy. It's the amendment that makes us feel safe. It makes sure that the government cannot simply march into our homes uninvited without following the right procedures, but what about private companies? Well, the Fourth Amendment may not apply to them in the same way it does to the police or government but private companies can't just come in uninvited either; however, you may be giving them more access to you than you realized once you agree to use a company's services. For example, Facebook announced a new AI program that would monitor the social media site for various patterns to detect if a user was suicidal and if so alert mental health resources and first-responders. This new program has the potential to save lives and if you are a Facebook user in the U.S. it is already monitoring your posts, pictures and videos. This has many people questioning, are we giving up  to much of our right to privacy to private companies? What do you think? Let us know here.    
Friday, 01 December 2017 00:00

LAWYER DOG

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Lawyer dog, a trained canine versed in court proceedings and criminal law. Okay, not really; but "lawyer dog" was a big issue in a recent case decided by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Warren Demseme was being interrogated for a crime when he told police to "just give me a lawyer dog," police did not cease their interrogation, and did not provide him with an attorney but continued questioning Demseme who later made admissions to the crime. This brings up issues of Miranda rights, the ones that you constantly hear on TV (you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney etc.) and whether or not Demseme did enough to invoke his right to an attorney which would have stopped the interrogation before he made any incriminating statements. The Louisiana high court ruled,“if a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or equivocal . . . the cessation of questioning is not required.” Whether or not you agree with the judges' interpretation it reiterates one firm point that isn't seen clearly on TV; you must invoke your Miranda rights. That means that if you are being interrogated by the police you need to clearly tell them that you want to speak to an attorney. More interestingly that also means that if you want to "remain silent" you need to tell police that you are using your right to remain silent. Simply not speaking will not stop an interrogation.
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 00:00

JACK THE FIRST TURKEY

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Thanksgiving is our nations most widely celebrated holiday of the year. It conjures up images of feasting, food comas and of course that silly bird bedecked with a snood, the infamous turkey! This nation loves it some turkey. In fact we consume more than 46 million turkeys each year during Thanksgiving alone. However, one lucky bird will receive a Presidential pardon this year. This tradition has roots as far back as 1863 when President Lincoln listened to the pleas of his son Tad who wanted to keep the gifted turkey as a pet. Lincoln acquiesced and granted the turkey clemency and Tad later named his new pet, Jack. Jack may be the first recorded pardoned turkey but he wasn't the last, even though not all turkeys that have gone to the White House have had his fortunate fate. In 1963, President Kennedy exclaimed "Let's keep him going" and started the media fanfare that White House turkeys have come to expect these days with the newspapers announcing the "pardoning" of the turkey. In the 1980s President Reagan instilled the tradition of sending these turkeys to children's farms. However, it was President H. W. Bush, who is quoted with the first official use of the term presidential pardon for a turkey. In 1989 animal rights activists were protesting near the White House when the first President Bush made the following speech; "But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy -- he's granted a Presidential pardon as of right now -- and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here.” This cemented the tradition as we know it today.
Thursday, 16 November 2017 00:00

PRACTICE SAFE SHOPPING

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Shopping online. Most of us do this on regular basis, especially now with the holidays and the infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner; and if you are a person who likes a good deal chances are you may have also shopped on one of the many personal sale websites like Facebook, OfferUp or Craigslist. These sites allow people to sell object that they have directly to you, just meet up and give the person the agreed amount and you take home your prize; however, with the increase in personal sales there has also been an increase in crime, people taking the money and running or worse. For this reason new online exchange zones have been created. This is place often around or at police stations where you can ensure that you and the person you are buying from will both get exactly what you bargained. Check out "Keeping Internet Deals Safe" for more information and to learn where your closes online exchange zone is located, and tell your parents chances are they haven't heard about this yet. Safe Shopping!
Thursday, 09 November 2017 00:00

KEVLAR FOR KIDS

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On April 20, 1999 Columbine High School experienced the nation’s deadliest school shooting to date when 13 people were killed in a student lead mass shooting. Thirteen years later 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. In 2016, Townville Elementary School was besieged by a 14 year old shooter killing one 6 year old boy and just this September a 15 year old who wanted to “teach everyone a lesson” killed his own friend who tried to stop him. With so many shootings it isn’t a surprise that one school is offering a unique solution to the problem, a bulletproof panel that goes inside a student’s backpack to be used as a shield in case of an active shooter. However, some people think the precaution is unnecessary. After all while the above are all extremely tragic events in our country’s history these aren’t the first schools tragedies to have happened. In fact school attacks have been documented as early as 1764 and can be easily seen throughout the centuries. In fact according to statistics schools are safer than ever before and “are increasingly using resources to prepare for the worst, with nearly 90 percent of schools saying they have official plans in place in the event of a shooting.” So, is it necessary for schools to offer bulletproof protection? What do you think?
Thursday, 02 November 2017 00:00

THE COMPLICATION OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

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Many of us Arizonans, weren't born in Arizona instead we made our way here for one reason or another from another state and unless that state was Hawaii chances are they participated in daylight savings time. If you were like me, when you discovered that in Arizona you didn't need to "spring" forward or "fall" back you were elated! The idea that one magic morning the day just started an hour earlier or later than it did the day before never made much sense to me. Over the years I have asked various people why we have daylight savings time and I have received a myriad of responses but turns out it isn't because of farmers or any of the other reason but actually because of war. In the United States, daylight savings time was established in 1918 to save fuel for World War I, and Arizona just refused to go along with the program; after all we had just become a state in 1912 and were obviously going through our rebellious teenage statehood years. In World War II, daylight savings time was again brought back and was later made permanent in 1966 with the Uniform Time Act. In all of that time, Arizona participated in it once and apparently that was more than enough for this state. In 1967 the legislator unanimously agreed to opt out of daylights savings time. Yay legislators! For the rest of the country daylights savings time officially has the clocks fall back an hour on November 5th.
Thursday, 26 October 2017 00:00

NATIONAL YOUTH JUSTICE AWARENESS MONTH

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National Youth Justice Awareness Month was "dedicated to preventing youth from entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems and encourages communities to participate in activities and programs that help youth fulfill their greatest potential." Much research is still being done about youth in the justice system but here are some current statistics from the Campaign for Youth Justice that you may find interesting: Every year in this country, as many as 200,000 youth are put into the adult criminal justice system, most of them fornonviolent offenses. In 22 states and the District of Columbia, children as young as SEVEN can be prosecuted as adults. Each year 95,000 youth are held in adult jails and prisons. In a 2011 national poll, 69% of Americans opposed placement of youth in adult jails and prisons, while 89% favoredrehabilitation and treatment approaches for youth,such as counseling, education, restitution, and community services. Research tells us that youth who are prosecuted in the adult system are 34% more likely to recidivate (commit another crime) and with moreviolent offenses than those handled by the juvenile system. Youth sentenced as adults carry their criminal record their whole life, diminishing their chances to find jobs, accessdecent housing, obtain student loans and go to college, join the military, or even vote. In the past 10 years, 30 states have enacted 48 individual pieces of legislation to remove youth from adult jails andprisons, limit the prosecution of youth in adult court, or revise sentencing laws.
Thursday, 19 October 2017 00:00

HALLOWEEN SAFETY

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With Halloween just around the corner it is time to start thinking about an action plan on how you are going to handle the spookiest night of the year and what you can do to keep you and your friends safe. LFK has put together some ideas for you to do just that: Practice responding safely to risky situations that could arise while trick or treating such as if a car approaches you and someone you don't know tries to get your attention, practice moving away from the car and telling a trusted adult; Continuum of safe and unsafe actions such as approaching a house with no porch light on; walking down dark alleys; going inside a house; running across streets; Trick or Treating in groups; crossing the streets at corners or crosswalks after looking both ways;  wearing reflective clothing or carrying a light; etc. Compete taking this quiz and then create their own quiz for others:  http://www.ncpc.org/topics/by-audience/law-enforcement/teaching-children/handouts/mcgruffs-halloween-safety-quiz-and-coloring-page.pdf For more information visit our Halloween Safety page.
Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:00

FIRE PREVENTION WEEK

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Fire Prevention Week is October 8th-14th, do you know two ways to get out of your home? Do you know where the exits are in your school? A fire can take only seconds to spread and what you do with that time can mean life or death so have a plan and always know where the exits are wherever you are located. The National Fire Protection Association has an easy activity to help you create your own home fire escape plan just click here or watch their helpful fire prevention videos to learn more about you should do in case of a fire.
Friday, 06 October 2017 16:14

A VISIT FROM LIBERIA

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Liberia, a country in West Africa, is a place that few people in Arizona have been but some lucky students at several schools across the state had the ability to learn about it first hand from Mr. Samuel Williams. Samuel was honored at the schools  he visited by receiving special flag ceremonies and then he spoke about his own country and the difference that he is trying to make. Samuel came to the U.S. to further his education so that he can go back and help shape Liberia's budding democracy. (Liberia's constitution is only 31 years old and modeled after our own.) Here are a few of the facts that Samuel shared about his country: •    Liberia has had 2 civil wars and lost over 600,000 citizens over the course of those wars.•    Samuel was 10 years old when his village was attacked and he had to play dead to survive. •    To live moderately well in Liberia it will cost about $10 a day.•    The minimum wage in Liberia is $7.00 a DAY.•    Computers are not easily accessible however almost everyone has a cell phone.•    There is 1 doctor for every 100,000 patients!•    Polygamy is still legal however, most city citizens do not practice it any longer. Samuel’s grandfather had 27 wives!
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