The Power of Connection with Dr. Glenn Lipson Cybertraps Episode 005

Dr. Glenn Lipson, a diplomate in forensic psychology, has spent three decades preventing different forms of violence. He works with the district attorneys, schools, and civil cases where there were claims of abuse by such individuals as the clergy and teachers. As an expert witness, speaker, and advisor, he has testified in court martials, regulatory hearings and submitted briefs through counsel to the United States Supreme Court. 

Dr. Lipson founded MRC (Making Right Choices) and the NASDTEC Academy, offering online courses that address interpersonal violence and prevention. As a public speaker, he has presented for the US State Department and US Army. He has received the Doug Bates Award from NASDTEC for his international contribution to making schools safer.

Leading psychological issues we are seeing in educational environment right now? 

Enlist the disposition of caring by giving them information about the issues. 

Creating upstanders instead of bystanders.

Credibility in education is based on being in education. 

Godwin Higa – trauma-informed schools

Z Generation – Compared to elders, Z generation is 78% of Z generation don’t have a friend to talk to. 

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Loneliness is a faster killer than many other ailments. 

Bowling Alone

Making sure youth stay connected. 

How Schools Should Respond in the Pandemic

Connection, early intervention, social emotional learning


Jethro Jones: [00:00:00] Hi folks. Welcome to the cyber traps podcast. I’m Jethro Jones, host of the podcast, transformative principal and author of the book, school X. How to redesign your school for the people right

[00:00:13] in front of you.

[00:00:14] Frederick Lane: [00:00:14] greetings. I’m Frederick lane, an author, attorney, and educational consultant based in New York. I’m the author of 10 books, including most recently cyber traps for educators. 2.0, raising cyber ethical kids and cyber traps for expecting moms and dads, Jethro. And I are teaming up to bring timely, entertaining, and useful information to teachers, parents, and others about the risks arising out of the use and misuse of digital devices.

[00:00:43]Jethro Jones: [00:00:43] Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be talking to some of the nation’s leading experts from the fields of education, parenting sociology, and cyber safety. Join us as we look at what it takes to better navigate our increasingly high-tech

[00:00:57] world. 

[00:00:57] Frederick Lane: [00:00:57] Greetings gesture.

[00:00:59] Jethro Jones: [00:00:59] Good to see you. Well, hear you, Fred. I’m excited for our conversation today.

[00:01:04] Frederick Lane: [00:01:04] Well, we have a real treat today because, uh, I get the pleasure of introducing to everybody. One of my good friends from the work I’ve been doing over the last decade, I’d like to welcome Dr. Glenn Lipson to the program. Glen. Good to have you.

[00:01:18] Yeah.

[00:01:19] Glenn Lipson: [00:01:19] I’m glad to be here.

[00:01:21] Frederick Lane: [00:01:21] Well, let me do a brief intro so that people have a little bit of an idea of what you’ve been doing.

[00:01:26] Uh, Dr. Glenn Lipson is a diplomate in forensic psychology. He has spent three decades preventing different forms of violence. He works with district attorney’s schools and in civil cases where there are claims of abuse by such individuals as the clergy and teachers, as an expert witness, speaker and advisor, he has testified in court, um, court martials, regulatory hearings, civil cases, and submitted briefs through counsel to the United States Supreme court.

[00:01:55] Dr. Lipson founded MRC making right choices and the NASDAQ Academy offering online courses that address interpersonal violence and prevention as a public speaker. He has presented for the United States department and the U S army. And he is the recipient of the debates award from MasTec for his international contributions.

[00:02:17] To making schools safer. And certainly I will add as a footnote to all of this, that it is been one of my real pleasures to collaborate with you on a bunch of different projects. So we’ll have a chance to talk about a number of them as we go through this today.

[00:02:33] Glenn Lipson: [00:02:33] Thank you for that introduction.

[00:02:35] Frederick Lane: [00:02:35] No, my pleasure. There’s a much longer one on your website. And I was very tempted to read through that, but it is more important, I think for us to have an actual conversation. So Glenn, why don’t I throw this open to you to, um, start us off by talking about some of the issues that you’ve concentrated on over the last few years, and then we’ll expand out from there.

[00:02:58] What do you think are the leading, uh, psychological issues that we’re seeing in the educational environment right now?

[00:03:06] Glenn Lipson: [00:03:06] Well, I perceive the mental health issues that exist in schools. Um, we’ve had research now for decades regarding how adverse events in childhood affect children. And there’s been a movement that is based on what we call trauma informed schools. So Wisconsin was one of the first States to try to introduce that the presence of mental health issues as being a major factor influence North Dakota and requiring eight hours of training for teachers in mental health issues.

[00:03:46] And, and the basic concept that emerged was that. Hurt children tend to hurt other children. And as we began to, and you have a intersection of a lot of research and things going on, that sort of influences this movement. One of the areas that we’ve gained a lot of knowledge in. Is how trauma impacts behavior.

[00:04:19] So in law enforcement and, and this has been a slow process, how do you interview a person who’s experienced trauma? Um, how will they present? So there were many assumptions pertaining to how someone should act and often the behaviors presented were counterintuitive. So non-profit organizations like in violence against women international, Joanne Archon bought their founder, uh, pulled together resources to help district attorneys and others, uh, present how

[00:04:55] victims present differently based on how they’re interviewed based on their history of trauma, based on other factors that are concerning. So that’s been incorporated in a sense of, if we’re going to have trauma informed schools, we have to recognize that if a child is traumatized, it impacts their ability to pay attention, their defensiveness, their irritability, many of the issues we’re now seeing with COVID because COVID has been traumatic to students in particular

[00:05:32] Frederick Lane: [00:05:32] do you find that the, um, The the appropriate response point for this is the classroom teacher or are there other structures in place, for instance, in school, social workers, uh, counselors, what have you

[00:05:48] Glenn Lipson: [00:05:48] Yes. And no. So yes, because the majority of mandated reporting is done by teachers, as well as the awareness of someone, when someone is having a mental health issue. And the issue then becomes one of when you’re aware, what resources in a preventative fashion are made available to those who are likely to pick up what they’re observing in the classroom.

[00:06:20] So for example, um, and I, I, I don’t know if you participated in, in this advisory for the interior college of teachers, but we had a mental health advisory that any teacher can download or anyone working in education from Ontario college of teachers webpage came out about three years ago that dealt with, how do you pick up mental health issues in the classroom?

[00:06:43] How do you respond to them? So. Yes, that teachers are instrumental with mandated reporting and responding to these incidents. And in addition, you need the community, you need the different disciplines to respond because one of the issues we have is

[00:07:04] teachers already have too many roles. They’re the parents.

[00:07:08] Patrizia parents portray they’re acting like parents, local Prentice. They have law enforcement issues in terms of what’s going on in the classroom. If we now make the mental health counselors, in addition, we end up with a more boundary crossings. So one of the ways that teachers get inappropriately involved with students is they.

[00:07:29] Assume too much of a role out of this disposition of caring that brought them into education, where they get over involved in a student’s mental health issue. So we do need that element of the community to assist. Uh, one of the schools, uh, districts I work with has set up a wellness program that’s available for students where they’re aware of the different needs that come up for students.

[00:07:57] And, you know, to provide those needs. And a lot of this is driven by the fact that suicide has now become the second leading cause of death  in our young people: we

[00:08:10] are having a suicide increase in this country.

[00:08:15] Frederick Lane: [00:08:15] Yeah, and I, and, and certainly I’ve seen stuff that links that to the isolation that’s resulting from the pandemic and so forth. But when you say young people, what’s the specific age range that you’re referring to.

[00:08:26] Glenn Lipson: [00:08:26] Um, we’re referring to, you know, basically it’s throughout, throughout the, uh, throughout the elementary, through high school to basically age 34.

[00:08:40] Frederick Lane: [00:08:40] Wow.

[00:08:41] Glenn Lipson: [00:08:41] we’re having dramatic increases. That’s what was the basis for North Dakota? Doing mental health training for teachers because of suicides.

[00:08:52] Jethro Jones: [00:08:52] and that’s a very real issue. As a school principal. I, I transitioned three schools to be trauma informed and saw great benefits from that. And the, the struggle that we faced was this, um, pressure from those who were training, who were mental health professionals. To make everybody feel like they needed to be a mental health professional themselves.

[00:09:15] And so my, my training now is I help other schools with this as I, I really reinforce the idea that we’re not asking teachers to be mental health professionals, but to just gain a few additional skills, to be able to get kids to that support. And I strongly advocate for districts and. Communities to work together to make sure that there’s more mental health support in schools, because without it it’s really, it’s really challenging to do that all on your own.

[00:09:43] And two of the schools that I, that I was in, we had social workers in the building and one school we didn’t, and that school, without a social worker in the, in the building, it was so difficult to get the kind of support that we needed, um, for those students. So how do we. How do we help schools have the tools and capacity without asking them to take on this additional job that you had started talking about before Glenn.

[00:10:10] Glenn Lipson: [00:10:10] Well, I think, uh, a few things one as you enlist the disposition of caring by giving people information of what the problem is, and they automatically,  Accept that that’s a problem. Second, whenever we do with any of these issues, and I’m sure we’re going to talk about sexual misconduct later, but whenever we do with any of these issues, we don’t get any, or when fingers are pointed where you make a particular group responsible for everything that then creates problems.

[00:10:39] So second, we have to avoid finger problem pointing and then bring people in as part of the solution. So, what we’re doing is we’re trying to create upstanders rather than bystanders create people who are willing to stand up. Number three, credibility in education is based on being an education and you choose schools that have set up really good trauma informed programs, where people who’ve created them. I’m in San Diego. We have Godwin Higgins who created a trauma-informed school. That’s been copied in Leeds, England, and elsewhere in the world in part, because in its comprehensiveness, it had support groups for parents, very poor area, and they dealt with issues of food insecurity by making sure that there was food in the house and dealt with some of the elements that contribute to socioeconomic level.

[00:11:34] Uh, Contributors to, uh, the unrest and difficulties in the home by, by addressing them also. So it’s, uh, important to do things in a more, all tied, layered way. And it’s helpful if they hear it from people who have asked, I’ve actually been in the schools and implemented these programs and seeing the differences in terms of violence, suicide, and truancy, because most schools are driven on ADA’s average daily attendances.

[00:12:02] And in terms of how they’re funded. So when you begin to make changes in that area and you end up freeing up resources and freeing up times vice-principals and having things work better in the community, you sort of create a synergistic effect that helps propel these changes, but we need people who’ve had the experience like you’ve had Jethro in terms of you’ve done this, let me help other schools.

[00:12:27] Frederick Lane: [00:12:27] it seems to me, Glenn. And in listening to this, that one of the fundamental challenges is figuring out how to de-stigmatize mental illness. You know, in terms of it’s diagnosis, it’s treatment, um, and, and finding ways to make it okay for people to seek help or to be referred for help. Is that something that you’ve seen some progress on in the schools?

[00:12:51] Glenn Lipson: [00:12:51] I’ve seen some progress in discussing it. However, we have illusionary correlations between violence and mental illness. If you’re mentally ill, you’re more likely to be a victim of violence. You usually don’t succeed well in a job and you end up in areas where people take advantage of you because you, uh, your perception and your reality testing isn’t very good. and they could use that to take away your money or to assault you. So we were working on it. And this is going to be a long act because as we’ve had problems with systemic racism, uh, one of the things we haven’t necessarily looked at our other problems. Um, so it’s where it’s politically correct not to, uh, be a racist or to be prejudice in some circles,

[00:13:46] unfortunately not in all these days, as we’ve seen in the press, uh, It still remains okay to feel frightened of and scared of people who are mentally ill and that’s stigma that makes it hard to go forward. For example, when post-traumatic stress disorder was proposed in its new revision in the manual used by the American psychiatric association, members of the military did not want to have it called a disorder.

[00:14:17] Because of the stigma that you have a disorder has in the military. So we’re trying to work with some of the language and that didn’t win the day, but it does speak to the fact that in the middle of cherry and schools and law enforcement, you end up with a tremendous amount of problems. When it comes to, uh, discussing mental illness.

[00:14:39] And this is, this is long-term I think advisories like we have in, uh, Ontario, Canada that we came up with. I think the laws in. In, uh, North Dakota and you know, what we’re accomplishing is helping. I think that one of the ways that we’re dealing with this is rather than calling it post-traumatic stress disorder, we’re calling it adverse childhood experiences. So when we call it and refer to it as the types of experiences that lend to risk. Then you end up with a different model. Like for example, when I talk about sexual misconduct prevention, I point out that you’re more likely to be a victim of either interpersonal violence or sexual misconduct, if you’ve experienced bad relationships. So if you’ve been abused, you’re more likely to be abused again.

[00:15:37] Frederick Lane: [00:15:37] and, and in some cases to become an abuser yourself,

[00:15:41] Glenn Lipson: [00:15:41] Yeah. We find that less. In the literature sometimes we’ll, don’t want to say as someone was sexually abused, they’re abusing someone later. Um, especially in females, since they’re more likely to be sexually abused, they’re more likely to become, um, promiscuous. Have a lot of partners early pregnancy, that type of thing, because it’s almost like you’re trying to master something.

[00:16:02] You had no control over. Now. You’re going to say when you want it and you’re going to take it over. So in a way, it’s, it’s a trauma reenactment with a, an attempt at mastery. So we, we have to be, you know, research center and that is if you’re abused, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be an abuse or, and that’s one of the stigmas that we have to deal with in terms of providing what’s the research in that area in terms

[00:16:25] Frederick Lane: [00:16:25] Right. I think I’ve seen that probably more in the context of bullying. Um, that there, there seems to be more of a connection there, but again, um, I think a lot of research is still to be done on this, and I think that’s particularly true. And I think this is a decent segue in terms of the impact of technology.

[00:16:46] On these behaviors and the impact of technology on society on, on psychological wellbeing, on, uh, suicidal ideation and so forth. So, uh, you know, that I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

[00:17:00] Glenn Lipson: [00:17:00] All right. Well, these are, these are, it’s a very important issue because what we’ve ended up with and the way I’ve conceptualized this. As I look at the Z generation in the study of S uh, by Cigna that was done in 2020 of hospital employees, what’s been done in San Antonio and elsewhere, we’re finding.

[00:17:20] Compared to elders and elders tend to be the most isolated because they lose a lot of their friends. Sometimes they are distant from family members that have moved often across the country in different places. So they’ve been rated to have the highest level of loneliness. And the instrument that they’re measured on usually is the UCLA loneliness scale

[00:17:42] that’s the instrument they’ve used in all these studies. And what we have found is looking at sample sizes, which are really significant, like 20,000, that we have 78% of the Z generation as rating that they don’t have a single friend or person to talk to in a week. And at the same time, we have people which are that we have a generation that is the most digitally connected. And so we have this digital connection, but it doesn’t take the place of the types of connections that are sustaining and reinforce resiliency.

[00:18:29] Jethro Jones: [00:18:29] And I think this is a good place to, um, call us back to what Tessa Stuckey said in, in the previous interview, which was the idea that, um, they may have fans or adulation or likes on social media, but that doesn’t mean that they have a friend to talk to. And I think that’s a really important thing as connected as they are.

[00:18:52] They’re still lonely and 78% is just mind-boggling Glenn.

[00:18:57] Glenn Lipson: [00:18:57] Yeah, it, it, it is very, very frightening. So it’s part of the revolution that I’m believing in now and our last surgeon general and maybe the next one, Vtech Merde, who just wrote a book on connection. You know, talks about the work of John Casio APOE, which goes back to the late nineties, that loneliness, uh, results in life expectancy that is equivalent, um, which is at least 12 years shorter up to 20 years, you die faster loneliness than diabetes or alcohol abuse. It has significant impacts on the deterioration with Lewy body dementia or Alzheimer’s. And so that’s part of the reason Merde wrote that book is he was seeing the impact in medicine. Now, when we look at it socially, I firmly believe that a lot of the deviance we see. Is created by people who are socially isolated.

[00:20:00] So we have something called the involuntary celibate movement and they connect on the internet to bring it back to that

[00:20:07] Frederick Lane: [00:20:07] the S the so-called in cells. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:20:10] Glenn Lipson: [00:20:10] the in cells and they, uh, the Aila Vista murders, which were committed by I’ll just say as initial. So I don’t repeat his, I’ll just say his first name, Elliot R uh, he, uh, He’s a central figure in this.

[00:20:26] And the idea was, people are not connecting with me or dating with me, but then a lot of time is spent on the internet, building up hatred, and there’s a type of a grooming. And that, that we see in hate groups. And we see in these types of things that then lead to violence because there is a loss of a sense of other people’s wholeness.

[00:20:48] And we’ve had the same thing happening politically in this country. And that is you end up with people who are afraid of what’s going to happen in the future. And these fears are only going to be made worse by the COVID outbreak and the changes in employment and, and social structure we’re saying. And then that leads to an ability to feel somehow connected to two, uh, ideologies, which, um, blame others, and then try to recruit you and then getting, even with those, you need to blame.

[00:21:22] Or who you, who should be blamed. So we’re, we’re sort of at this, this juncture and, uh, Fred’s writing a book on this right now.

[00:21:30] Frederick Lane: [00:21:30] well, Glenn, it’s very nice of you to give me the lead in because as a matter of fact, I was going to talk about some of the research that I’ve been doing with respect to all of that before I do. So though, I think it’s useful to throw out. A reference to, uh, Robert Putnam’s book, bowling alone, the collapse and revival of American community.

[00:21:51] Um, you know, 20 years ago, he was talking about the increasing isolation of Americans and our move away from the kinds of community-based activities that ease some of these issues. In the past. And I don’t think it’s gotten a lot better in the 20 years since that book came out. And you’re absolutely right.

[00:22:14] The, the book I’m working on right now. And the rise of the digital mob is specifically intended to help us better understand how these various forces are coalescing online and who’s gathering and why they’re gathering it. The, you know, it’s, it’s obvious of course, as an initial matter, that the ability to.

[00:22:37] Encase yourself in a bespoke bubble of information is phenomenal. But I think the grooming aspect that you’re talking about, and we see that in a bunch of different contexts, the grooming aspect is, is the most pervasive and the most dangerous because kids in particular. Are being caught at very impressionable ages and they’re being fed a diet of information.

[00:23:04] That’s extremely difficult to, uh, rebut or to balance

[00:23:10] Glenn Lipson: [00:23:10] Yeah. W we did a presentation, uh, with one of my students. Who’s now working in New Zealand, Jessica Mueller. And, uh, we, we also, we also did this with, with the professor I worked with, um, a lot of years who, who, since his died, James Turner, and we were looking at how I Al-Qaeda had created apps to get students and kids involved, which looked like games.

[00:23:33] And what they were finding is, and we found the steps. That mirror, the grooming that could take place by anyone who engages in a predatory sexual. Actions. You find someone who is hurting, you create a special relationship with them. You give them something special that they have to keep secret. You have them speak less and less.

[00:23:55] You provide the mirroring and everything they need, and you gradually move them step by step until they’re ready to leave Denver and head to a Turkey. To make it an into an Al-Qaeda camp. And so we were presenting on this, I think about four years ago to law enforcement, because this became a real issue what’s happening with our teams.

[00:24:15] So let’s look at it from the way Jethro was talking about it a moment ago. And that is if you have that kid who’s hurting and you had people who could pick up on that in the school, you create communities and trauma informed schools. You have someone who’s less likely to be manipulated by someone who is going to change

[00:24:37] the medium of a friend in need is not a friend in need, but a friend in need is someone who you could then manipulate towards your own political and other purposes.

[00:24:48] Frederick Lane: [00:24:48] I think that’s a good point. And I think one of the things that certainly Jethro and I have been trying to do is to give some, uh, give some insight to parents. On how they can deal with or address some of these issues. So if you’re a parent who’s concerned about that kind of potential external influence, what should you be looking for?

[00:25:12] What, what are the, what are the measures a parent can take to try to head this off before it becomes a real issue? Yeah.

[00:25:19] Glenn Lipson: [00:25:19] Yeah, well, I have a lay model that, um, It has acronyms because acronyms help people grab onto that. Before, before I get to those acronyms, I do want to point out just a couple of days ago, there was an article in the Washington post, which talked about the increase in suicide in student athletes. And, and this has been recognized as is, is a growing problem.

[00:25:48] And, and part of what you have is that lack of connection and that loss of identity in how that fuels hopelessness, which is really tied to a acting out on suicide. And what has been the cause of that COVID people have not been doing sports. So part of their sense of themselves, their balance, um, Their sense of connection suddenly has, has, has been ripped away from them leaving a lot of students during COVID more or less.

[00:26:20] So what a parents need to do, you have to work on making sure your students stays connected and the bowling reference, uh, conservatives have it, right. That family is important. And we’ve had a breakdown of a lot of families and communities being close together. Some of that has been created by the fact that people are on devices all the time and not connecting the same way, but it really means that it’s a good time to engage in whatever communities you wish to be affiliated with.

[00:26:59] And if it’s zoom meetings or that, where, if it’s the team and you’re a parent who boosts that team, make sure those kids keep getting together. And maybe even use some electronic sports, which now is a CIF recognized sport in California. You not only have football, but we have high schools gaming against each other, do some gamification where you’re able to get kids to connect in those groups, whether it is, uh, there are a lot of different games that people could play online together.

[00:27:35] So that’s something else they can do.

[00:27:37] Frederick Lane: [00:27:37] well, it’s been interesting Glenn because my, the older of my two sisters, uh, Elizabeth who’s who’s 10 years younger than I am, has two twin girls who are juniors in high school. And, and they both play sports. And w w we’ve talked it’s, it’s been really hard for them. And of course they’re missing out on things like, uh, you know, dances and just casual get togethers with their friends and things like that.

[00:28:05] And they’re at, I think in some ways, a particularly vulnerable age in terms of the impact of the pandemic. Um, yeah, I can imagine how it must be really, really difficult for kids who have, you know, even greater stressors

[00:28:19] on them.

[00:28:21] Jethro Jones: [00:28:21] Yeah. And this is an area where we have traditionally relied on schools to provide so much of the, the sporting events and things like that. That, you know, especially high school level athletics are all through the high school and they’re not, you know, there’s community leagues for, you know, soccer for younger kids or different sports for younger kids.

[00:28:40] But a lot of that as they get older, it becomes an affiliation with the school itself. And so, yeah. You know, we’re, we’re not even mentioning the fact that there are so many kids who aren’t showing up to any kind of virtual, uh, get togethers or anything for their school, you know, not showing up to class or participating in class and really being, um, even more isolated than they, than they were before.

[00:29:05] And schools can’t continue doing this because they have a, um, Because they’re not allowed to continue doing things. So for example, my brother is a, um, is a mountain bike coach for his high school team. And, um, and so he he’s been committed to doing that all through the pandemic. Um, but they have to follow really strict procedures of all the sports.

[00:29:27] That one is one where. You’re already socially distanced. You’re already away from each other. And they’ve, they’ve been trying really hard to continue meeting and doing, um, you know, practice rides and things like that. But it’s been so difficult to, because people are afraid and people don’t know what’s true.

[00:29:44] And, um, and he’s seen it as a really positive thing that, um, has helped people come together. But there’s so little of that now.

[00:29:54] Glenn Lipson: [00:29:54] Well, your brother’s right. I mean, that’s a very positive thing that he’s doing. And one of the things that. COVID-19 is exposed is the, uh, the economic impact. This is going to have, what’s your wifi signal? How many devices do you have? How large is the area where you live? Um, what if parents are working from home?

[00:30:18] What if they’re not working in their home? How do you study? Uh, All these things become really, uh, challenging during this period of time. So we don’t know why a child’s not showing up. We do know, um, that substance abuse, uh, overdoses are up 50%. We know, uh, what a 32% of there’s been a 32% increase, according to the, uh, uh, mortality morbidity report.

[00:30:50] Weekly of the CDC of children, uh, high school students showing up at emergency rooms with mental health crises. We have a lot going on right now and we, and it’s hard to know which of the combination, which of the combining factors have to be addressed to get people to show up. But a lot of people are hurting alone right now.

[00:31:09] So your brother getting people out to ride and paddle and be physically active in a sport that separated. Um, I applaud that, but look at what happens if someone falls, how close do you get to them? How do people respond? Because you know what happens when someone falls, usually your coaches over and helps you get up and straightens the bike.

[00:31:31] That’s less than six feet. How do you do these

[00:31:33] Frederick Lane: [00:31:33] true. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:36] Jethro Jones: [00:31:36] Yeah, and you have to use. Or your own, your own brain. And decision-making ability to say it’s better that I help this person then that I stay strictly six feet away. Because if you, if somebody falls and you just leave them there and say, get up, I can’t come close to you. That, I mean that ostracizes them even more than you’ve got to, we have to keep that human connection that we’ve been talking about this whole time, because that is literally what will save people’s lives.

[00:32:03] Frederick Lane: [00:32:03] and that’s what makes the vaccine so vital, right? I mean that getting us to a point where that comfort level will exist again. And we can ease up on, on some of the restrictions. I, you know, I, I think a lot about what a painful lesson, this has been for a generation of children, you know, in terms of yeah.

[00:32:25] How fragile some of our institutions and some of our ways of behaving are.

[00:32:32] Glenn Lipson: [00:32:32] Yes, it is, uh, been. Very challenging. And, and I think, uh, Jeff has said it a moment ago, or you said it Fred and that is all these kids. They’re missing their proms. They’re missing their dances. I saw graduations in June where people drove to the students’ houses to bring them their diplomas. There was no graduation in a stadium. There, there was, there was no gap gathering and I’m talking to students that are graduating law school and other types of things. There’s no jobs for them because no one knows what’s going to happen. Economically the public sector jobs, uh, in the prosecutor’s office, uh, the public defender’s offices.

[00:33:16] They’re not hiring. Um, organizations aren’t during internships because a lot of them aren’t meeting in buildings. Everything’s done remotely. Now is this the profundity of this change has yet to strike us. And when you’re talking about vaccines, we have to be really, uh, worried that if we start getting 20 million doses, 20 a month from modern effort gets approved and we get the 10 million or so the a hundred million that we were promised through June by Pfizer, that immunizes, um, a hundred million is roughly 50 million people because it’s two doses.

[00:34:01] We have to immunize over 200 million people. Correctly before we hit the type of immunity that we could feel good about the vaccines and we’re most predictions are that’s not going to happen until 20, 22. Now, based on how slow these are going to be rolled out. And there’s world demand you only the wealthy countries.

[00:34:26] Get these. Can you swoop up all the vaccines and that’s happening in the market right now?

[00:34:32] Frederick Lane: [00:34:32] well, and that’s an issue that, that is just beginning to percolate up, unfortunately, is that, you know, once again, we will see massive disparity in how these things roll out. Um, but you know, I guess then the question becomes in terms of our overall topic today and, you know, mental health and self care and so forth.

[00:34:53] What should parents be doing? Looking forward to, for instance, the fall, you know, where I, hopefully more and more schools will be able to meet in person. Um, I think there’ll be a lot of pressure for schools to reopen, even if we haven’t reached the magical level of, um, vaccination. 

[00:35:12] Glenn Lipson: [00:35:12] Right. Well, we have to watch this either or perspective either we’re safe, where we, where we have the, so we have where we open schools. So, uh, and we’re at a point where none of the vaccines have been tested on children. So, uh, this is a population that we’re not going to know about whether they’re immunized or not.

[00:35:35] Um, you had a report today about, um, I think 12,000 deaths of children out of this total. In school that the early assumptions that it will not be life-threatening to students. That’ll be like the flu for them are not turning out to be true that you could still spread. So what what’s going to happen is a changing, and we’ve seen this elsewhere in the world and changing of how we, how we run schools.

[00:36:06] With a mix of some things being virtual, being present, having students distant mask, wearing making sure the air circulates properly, because this is a airborne. It’s a, it’s like a mist. It’s not droplets anymore. It’s vapor like, and we, we have to go through adjusting these environments where they’re safer because we know the impact of not having students in the environment in terms of their mental health.

[00:36:34] And we want parents to feel assured now in New Jersey, they required that. All the desks had to be sterilized between classes. Well, if you have a class of 30 and it takes, uh, you know, a minute or so to wipe down a desk, That’s not gonna work. So we, we have to do things pragmatically in a manner in which we’re able to get things accomplished and we have to be creative in terms of how we do things.

[00:37:04] Some parents are creating their own smaller bubbles. That will be possible when different groups get a little more vaccinated, right? You could create a bubble of a number of students that could get together. Um, and you’re limiting exposure to that, that group. They’re doing that more in education in terms of creating a classroom that stays more together that may not match the quarter, uh, or the semester or the different schedule with all the different courses. Uh, that you go all over the place. If you, if you begin to create groups that are together. So there there’s a lot of ways we have to think about revision. Revisioning how we get together. Um, how we’re running schools, how we’re sanitizing them, they become important. And, you know, and, and teaching both educators, people work in schools and parents to watch out for the signs that a child may be becoming suicidal.

[00:38:00] And that becomes,

[00:38:01] that becomes important.

[00:38:04] Jethro Jones: [00:38:04] Yeah. And I think going back to what you said before, Glenn, this is a really important point that you need to keep your kids engaged and keep them with the community and, and find a way to make that happen. And I think that should be parents and teachers. Number one priority is ensuring that kids are engaged because all those things that we talked about, you know, I.

[00:38:27] Not to get too far off track here, but I wrote a blog post about how school should respond to this pandemic, which was basically instead of teaching how we’ve always taught, let’s make the, have the schools make those pods of parents and families so that if one teacher can be in person with three or four families, we can manage that and make that work.

[00:38:47] That’s even within the guidelines of the state of California right now. So there’s, there’s an opportunity to do that, but we didn’t, we didn’t make that change. When, when it would have been much easier to do. And, um, there are a lot of things that we could do and ways we could change things, but really we need to make sure that our kids are connecting with others and feel like they’re part of some sort of community.

[00:39:09] I think that’s really what the impetus is on parents and on schools to ensure that happens.

[00:39:15]Glenn Lipson: [00:39:15] Jeff Irvin created a, uh, and program called Bridget schools, which works on positivity. Um, there are exercise classes that all students participate in there, uh, projects that are gamified, where they compete against each other.

[00:39:34] And it’s, uh, the whole basis is creating connections. Uh, as something that’s really important and that really deals with when we’re dealing with connection, a major feature of school is the social, emotional learning. We have the wonderful work of Dorothy, a splosh who just came out with three papers. Uh, this, this last month, one of them, a meta analysis, looking at how social, emotional learning and connecting people is a solution to a lot of the problems that we’ve been talking about today.

[00:40:07] And, and how that, that is really important, but creating those connection opportunities are important. Go ahead, Fred.

[00:40:16] Frederick Lane: [00:40:16] well, I was just thinking that, you know, as I’m listening to you and Jethro tuck and, you know, thinking back on some of the issues we’ve covered, it seems to me that so much of this. Is coming back to the economic divides in the country, because, you know, for instance, when you start thinking about parents putting together pods, it’s much easier if parents have the resources to do that.

[00:40:41] And, you know, maybe they’re able to get extra help for their students, you know, for their kids and so forth. And the same of course, with technology, which is always at the forefront of my brain in terms of. What kind of internet access do people have till they even have it at all. Um, and I’m not really sure what the solution is to all of this, but at the end of the day, that seems to me to be one of the things that has been most starkly revealed, uh, by the pandemic.

[00:41:12] And I would assume that you’re seeing that play out in terms of mental health issues as well.

[00:41:20] Glenn Lipson: [00:41:20] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. If you’re, um, will you see it played out in terms of the increase in the increase in domestic violence in the home and how that impacts kids? I mean, it, those things are fueled when you’re totally on top of each other. If you have eight people living in a one-bedroom apartment, Uh, you’re going to have people bumping into each other much more than in a larger state.

[00:41:45] I mean, one of the interesting things about economic disparity was sometimes you had greater communities in more economically challenged neighborhoods in terms of churches and other types of things, where there was a lot of support and people taking care of each other’s kids, but now that’s become a risk factor. And that is people, people getting together. And it used to be sometimes in the biggest estates you had some of the loneliest people because they were separated by, uh, by Gates security cameras. And along distance, you, you couldn’t walk over to a neighbor’s house and borrow a cup of flour relatively easily.

[00:42:24] Frederick Lane: [00:42:24] I think Dickens wrote something about that in great expectations. Um, yeah. You know, that’s, that’s absolutely true Glenn and, and it’s interesting to see, you know, again, even with my own family where. Uh, you know, just by way of example, my, my younger sister lives in Somerville with her husband and three daughters in, you know, uh, basically five room apartment in, you know, kind of a triple Decker.

[00:42:50] And then, you know, they make it work, but it’s, it’s a thing, you know, it’s a challenge. 

[00:42:56] Glenn Lipson: [00:42:56] It is you have bandwidth issues and wifi. I have one poor school district in Washington state. Um, they began having students go to schools, be socially distanced in a bus. Uh, with the windows down, so students would have access to wifi so they can get on and do their, do their homework. I mean, how do you deal with the type of, uh, issue too, of, of devices you’re having and, and access to things?

[00:43:27] Um, W which, which are so different in terms of learning and opportunities. I mean, you really, uh, for someone who has, uh, the means, this has been a wonderful time. If you have an Amazon prime, uh, Netflix, uh, HBO, max, and Disney plus membership, you could see a tremendous amount of programming, but that’s not, there’s, there’s a big differential aspect.

[00:43:54] To access to that. If you can’t afford a happy meal at a restaurant.

[00:44:00] Frederick Lane: [00:44:00] Yeah, it’s absolutely true. And look, I mean, I’m on top of everything else. I, you know, we’ve, we’ve got health issues that are arising because of the way the pandemic is playing out. There are whole bunch of people, you know, grappling with, you know, basics of food preparation, because they had a lifestyle that allowed them to do something else I will say before.

[00:44:21] Um, I Jethro, I’m sorry if I cut you off, but I will say that it. It may be a little bit controversial, but I’m, I’m increasingly of the opinion that we need to treat broadband internet access as a utility in the same way that we treat, you know, uh, water or electricity, et cetera. Um, because it is becoming that fundamental to the operation of our society.

[00:44:46] But anyway, Jeff are all yours.

[00:44:54] Jethro Jones: [00:44:54] Yeah. Well, I think that’s a really good point also, Fred, and the reason why I like you saying that is because if we see schooling as programming, like Glenn beautifully illustrated, right? With having Netflix and HBO, max and Disney. Plus, if we treat school like it’s programming, which I believe many schools are operating in that arena where we create something and deliver it to kids, regardless of who they are.

[00:45:20] And hopefully they enjoy my kit and come back for more, to do education to begin with. And so this is my soap box that I could get up. I wanted to talk about for hours. I won’t do that, but yeah. If that’s all that school is, then we don’t need anything more than Netflix education, PBS, things like that, that are delivering that content to our kids.

[00:45:43] But what, what we really need education to be as what Glenn’s been saying the whole time, which is that connection piece and what you’ve been saying the whole time, Fred, that it’s what, what do we need to do, um, during this pandemic, during, as. With our kids generation Z, who, regardless of the pandemic, there are, they’re already feeling lonely.

[00:46:04] We need to make sure that they’re connected. We need to be doubling down on that and finding ways for them to be engaged and schools have, I think, an important role in providing some of that by making sure that they’re not just delivering programming, but actually delivering an

[00:46:21] educational model that honors and values each individual student and recognizes them for who they are.

[00:46:28] Frederick Lane: [00:46:28] I think that’s really well said, Jethro and I, my soap box, which over the course of our recordings in the future, you’ll hear more of is that I am a profound believer in the role of public education in American life. And I believe that it has been a tremendous engine of economic opportunity. It is, I think.

[00:46:52] Essential to the development of good citizenship in this country. And we should embrace it as such, particularly at a time when we seem to be divided in so many ways, I believe public education can play an important role in bridging, uh, those, those gaps. But, uh, we’ll have to see how it plays out. Glen, would you like

[00:47:14] to add any to any of the soap boxes here? 

[00:47:22] Glenn Lipson: [00:47:22] I appreciate Fred that you put

[00:47:24] your political choice in line with those values when both you and your wife served on the Burlington Vermont school board.

[00:47:32] So in terms of emphasizing the priority of education by becoming directly involved in that as a couple, um, I really think that this issue of connection. Early intervention, social, emotional learning requires relationships and requires public schooling. And if we want a better world and a better society, that’s what we have to provide the citizens of this country.

[00:48:00] So I’m very much in line with both the, with both of, uh, what you just, uh, stood on the soap box and stated.


[00:48:12] Frederick Lane: [00:48:12] Fantastic. Well, Glen, let me, uh, offer my sincere thanks for your time today. It’s been great to talk with 

[00:48:19] you and more broadly, I think, um, my deep appreciation for the work you’re doing, which is really, really needed.

[00:48:29] Glenn Lipson: [00:48:29] Well, thank you for the invitation. And I just, I can’t escape the sense that this is collective work and it takes all of us and the blessing of B coming involved in trying to make schools safer and the world healthier. Uh, are the wonderful people who you find, who are trying to do the same thing and are 

[00:48:55] willing to help lift this load.

[00:48:58] So I, I appreciate what both of you are doing. 

[00:49:08] Frederick Lane: [00:49:08] Well, that wraps up this episode of the cyber traps podcast. In the coming weeks, we will continue our coverage of emerging trends in digital misconduct, cyber safety, cybersecurity, privacy, and the challenges of high-tech parenting along the way. We’ll talk to our growing collection of interesting experts from the Y from a wide range of fields, including cyber safety, 

[00:49:30] education 

[00:49:31] and privacy.

[00:49:33]Jethro Jones: [00:49:33] 

[00:49:33] you can find the cyber traps podcasts on all your favorite podcast apps. And we hope that you’ll share the show with your friends and colleagues and reach out to us. If you have questions or topic suggestions, we’ll take those too. If you’d like to follow us on Twitter, I’m at Jethro Jones and Fred is at cyber traps.

[00:49:49] You can also find us on Facebook at transformative principle and cyber traps and on a variety of websites as well.

[00:49:56]Jethro Jones: [00:49:56] If you enjoyed this episode of Cybertraps , please leave us a rating a review so we can help others find this podcast. 


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