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Dad challenges school dress code after 13-year-old daughter punished for 'distracting boys'

The father of a California middle school girl is standing up for his daughter after she was cited for violating her school’s controversial dress code.

>> Watch the news report here

According to KTVU, officials at Fisher Middle School in Los Gatos, near San Jose, informed 13-year-old Demetra Alarcon that the romper she wore to school recently was distracting to boys. Her father, Tony, brought her a change of clothes — jean shorts and a tank top — but school officials determined that outfit was inappropriate as well. Luckily, the father found a pair of leggings in the car as backup, but says the dress code unfairly targets girls.

>> On Rare.us: High school boys ticked about girls getting dress coded are raising eyebrows with their protest

“I mean, today it’s 90 degrees outside, and she’s wearing leggings because she doesn’t want to be dress-coded for wearing shorts. And it’s not OK. It needs to change,” Tony Alarcon told CBS News.

>> Read more trending news

He told the Mercury News: “Demetra isn’t alone. Just sit in Fisher’s parking lot, and you’ll see that. I’ve heard from multiple girls that they just want to be comfortable, but they feel like they’re being pushed into wearing leggings in 100-degree heat. I was told by an administrator that the girls’ clothes are a distraction to the boys. That shouldn’t be a concern.”

While Alarcon agrees students should be dressed appropriately for school, he doesn’t agree tank tops in extreme heat are inappropriate. He also added that it’s difficult to find girls’ shorts that meet the school’s 4-inch length requirement in most stores. He finds the regulations on girls’ clothing to be discriminatory, so he’s fighting back, saying, “You have to stand up for what’s right and that’s what I’m doing.”

>> On Rare.us: A Catholic high school is under fire for its prom dress code, which appears to body shame female students

The school district met last week to discuss the dress code but has not announced any changes. Fisher Principal Lisa Fraser defended the code in a statement that read, “There has always been a dress code. These are standards for reasonable decorum. I do reserve the right to set guidelines for the school, but I want to lead with the pulse of the community and reflect the community’s core values.”

Heartbroken dad shares viral message after 'horrific' bullying of special-needs son

A heartbroken dad is speaking out against bullying after his 7-year-old son with special needs told him what was going on at school.

Dan Bezzant of Idaho posted a now-viral plea on Facebook asking parents to educate their children. His son, Jackson, 7, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. The condition affects the development of his bones and facial tissue. It has also left him deaf and has affected his eyesight, Inside Edition reports.

>> See the Facebook post here

He said kids at his son’s school bully him relentlessly because he’s different.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Teen notices classmates bullying student, goes out of his way to cheer him up 

“My heart is in pieces right now … my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest,” Bezzant wrote on Facebook. “This beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed.”

Bezzant told Inside Edition he sat in his car and cried after his son told him about what other kids did to him at school.

“He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide…he’s not quite 8! He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words,” Bezzant wrote.

>> Read more trending news

He asked parents to teach their kids about children with special needs.

Bezzant wrote, “Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man. … [Jackson has] endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years.”

Bezzant’s post went viral and has been shared more than 51,000 times. He hopes attitudes change toward people who look different.

“This shouldn’t be happening … to anyone,” wrote Bezzant.

Pediatrician to parents: Treat conversations about tattoos, piercings like ‘the sex talk’

An Atlanta pediatrician says conversations about tattoos and piercings should be taken seriously and urges parents to consider treating the discussions like “the sex talk.”

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Cora Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital, and Dr. David Levine, a general pediatrician and professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, published a study Monday about health risks of tattooing and piercing in adolescents and young adults, a group that is showing an increasing interest in the body modifications, Breuner said. 

Some of the consequences include potential for keloids and infections such as hepatitis and tetanus and long-term regret or discomfort revealing tattoos in professional settings.

“Adolescents may overestimate the effectiveness of tattoo removal when having one placed and should be instructed that tattoo placement is permanent, and it is expensive and sometimes difficult to remove them,” the report reads.

Breuner told CNN she went with her daughter to get her navel pierced on her 18th birthday and she held the teenager’s hand while the piercer did his work. 

“I did my usual Dr. Mom thing and found out the person doing it had been a surgical tech before he decided to do piercings, and I watched him,” Breuner said. “I’m not saying everybody should do that, but at least for me, my sense of this whole world is that it’s changing right in front of us, and we can either have our eyes open and be supportive and help our children make informed decisions when they’re young adults, or ignore it and hope it goes away.”

Levine said conversations about tattoos and piercings are serious and important. 

“The big thing is that parents really should bring this up, to talk with their children intentionally, because the teenagers are likely thinking, ‘My parents will kill me, so I either have to hide (the tattoo or piercing), or I’ll just actually abide by my parents’ rules and get it when I’m 18.’

“Even then, 18-year-olds are still fairly impulsive. It still would be good for them to have had a discussion with their parents ...

“It’s very similar when we talk to parents about the time to do the sex talk is at age 11, before they actually need it ... Even if it's not right at that moment, it will open up the conversation and keep the communication open on these issues as kids negotiate adolescence,” he told CNN.

“It’s really our mission and our job to promote safety and healthy living for our children as our children go into adulthood,” Breuner told CNN.

Levine’s advice on when to get your child’s earlobes pierced? Wait until the child says he or she wants it.

“My biggest advice to the parents, unless this is a cultural issue where everybody in the culture gets their kids’ ears pierced in early childhood, I’d like the kid to actually want it,” he said.

Read more at American Academy of Pediatrics and CNN.

WATCH: Nurses won't let Hurricane Irma ruin birthday for 3-year-old with leukemia

A 3-year-old Florida girl nearly had her birthday celebration ruined.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Read more trending news

She was diagnosed with leukemia on Sept. 8, just two days before her birthday — and the day Hurricane Irma was poised to strike her home.

>> See the photos here

>> Key West suffers as rays of hope emerge after Hurricane Irma

Willow Stine, who lives in Wesley Chapel, rode out the storm with her mother at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, but because of Irma it meant no birthday celebration for Willow — or so her mother thought, according to CNN

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Deputy calms elderly woman’s nerves during Hurricane Irma with a dance

“I was like, I don't know how much more I can take,” Willow's mother, Jennifer Stine, told CNN. “My baby's turning 3 and has cancer and on top of that, my 4-year-old daughter and husband are an hour and a half away in a hurricane. I'm just trying to process all this.” 

>> Watch the video clip here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

But then nurses from the hospital surprised Willow with a birthday party. They wrapped up newly donated toys and got Willow a cake, CNN reported. 

>> More Irma coverage from WFTVAction News Jax and the Palm Beach Post

“The nurses were amazing. They're so wonderful,” Stine told CNN. “[Willow] got to be a toddler again.”

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Tim Tebow visits those impacted by Hurricane Irma

Read more at CNN

Is light drinking while pregnant really dangerous?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. say they refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

» RELATED: Do you drink too much? 

But new findings published this week in the journal BMJ Open sought to answer whether or not research fully supports the notion that even one light drink is truly dangerous for pregnant women.

>> Read more trending news

After assessing all of the research published between 1950 and July 2016, the researchers looked closely at the studies involving drinking up to 32 grams of alcohol -- equivalent to approximately two glasses of wine or two pints of beer-- but only 24 studies met the criteria for review. 

» RELATED: WATCH: Here’s the scary reason some people turn red when they drink alcohol

“The distinction between light drinking and abstinence is indeed the point of most tension and confusion for health professionals and pregnant women,” Luisa Zuccolo, a health epidemiologist at the University of Bristol and the study’s lead author, told CNN.

“We were surprised that this very important topic was not researched as widely as expected.”

» RELATED: Is alcohol really good for your heart?

But just because the evidence for the possible dangers of light drinking during pregnancy is lacking doesn’t mean there are no risks at all, according to Janet Williams, professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health San Antonio.

“Why not give the child the chance not to have this potential limitation or health risk in their life? There are so many other factors one can worry about, so how about one less concern? There are all sorts of non-risk-based beverages or ways to relax or express one's emotions that do not confer fetal or lifelong effects,” she said.

Read more from CNN.

Still, Zuccolo and her co-authors concluded that further studies are needed to better understand alcohol’s effects on pregnant women and their unborn child.

Read the full analysis from Zuccolo and her team at bmjopen.bmj.com.

But for now, the resounding answer from experts around the globe for pregnant women asking if that one light drink is safe: No.

Research shows that alcohol in the mother’s blood can pass through the umbilical cord and reach the baby, causing a variety of problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, abnormal facial features, learning disabilities and more.

More about alcohol’s effects on pregnant women and the unborn baby at CDC.gov.

Hurricane Irma: Florida woman delivers own baby at home as storm rages

A South Florida woman delivered a baby at home after being coached through the delivery by emergency personnel and doctors during Hurricane Irma

>> Hurricane Irma: Live updates

The Miami woman went into labor Sunday, but because the storm’s winds were too strong, fire rescue teams couldn’t get to her right away, according to the Miami Herald

>> Hurricane Irma: Follow the latest headlines from the Palm Beach Post

“We weren’t able to respond. So she delivered the placenta, also. Dispatch told her how to tie it off. She’s stable at home,” Assistant Fire Chief Eloy Garcia told the Herald. “We made contact with the assistant medical director here. Talked things through.”

>> Read more trending news

The mother and newborn girl were later taken to the hospital by emergency workers

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Photos of Hurricane Irma

Read more at the Miami Herald

WATCH: Toddler without arms or legs helps baby brother in heartwarming viral video

A 3-year-old boy born without arms or legs is going viral for his nurturing act of kindness toward his new baby brother.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Camden, 3, was born with Amelia-phocomelia syndrome, meaning he was born without parts of his skeletal system. Despite not having arms and legs, he’s a devoted big brother. A video posted to Instagram shows Camden comforting his brother, Jaxton, by helping to put his pacifier back in his mouth.

>> Watch the video here

The video shows Camden rolling over on his back to put the pacifier back in Jaxton’s mouth, which made him stop crying.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Little sister speaks beautifully about brother with Down syndrome: ‘He’s perfect’ 

Mom Katie Whiddon of Denton, Texas, posted the video to Instagram. According to the “Today” show, Whiddon openly discusses family life on her blog, Admirably Diverse.

>> Read more trending news

Learn more here.

Kristin Cavallari criticized for 'single parent' comment

Television personality and fashion designer Kristin Cavallari is under criticism after making a comment during an interview, saying that she was in a position similar to a single parent while her husband works in Miami.

>> Read more trending news 

Cavallari, who starred in MTV’s “The Hills,” is married to NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler was signed to the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 3. It’ll be his 12th season in the league.

But Cavallari has no plans to move to Miami for football season.

She told Entertainment Tonight she plans to “stay put” at the couple’s home in Nashville with their children: 5-year-old Camden, 3-year-old Jaxon and 1-year-old Saylor.

“We just moved there, actually, a few months ago, full time,” Cavallari said. “And both my boys are in school. It doesn't make sense to pack up the family just for five months.”

“So, I’m a single parent for the next five months,” she joked. “It’s a little chaotic, but in the best way.”

The 30-year-old said she’s thankful to have help raising her children.

“My kids are great. They’re good kids for the most part,” she told ET. “Of course, we have our stuff, but it actually hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be, being a single parent. I have an amazing nanny, my mother-in-law is there with my kids right now, so I couldn’t do it without them.”

But many people weren’t happy with Cavallari’s choice of words, particularly her comparison of her experience and a single parent’s.

“I hate when people say they’re a single parent when their spouse is temporarily away,” one Facebook user wrote. “It’s not a joke to laugh about. I’m glad it’s not so hard for you, Kristin Cavallari, with your nanny ... Shame on you for trying to put yourself in the same category as a real single parent.”

Another social media user said Cavallari’s comments were “a joke and a slap in a face to real single parents.”

 

Watch the full interview below and read more at Entertainment Tonight.

Children's books with humans, not animals more effective, study says

“Charlotte’s Web,” “Stellaluna” and “The Ugly Duckling” are among the innumerable children’s books written to teach kids lessons through situations and images involving animals. 

But a new study says books that feature humans learning lessons, instead of animal characters, stick with children more and allow for more insight into application of values and morals.

>> Read more trending news

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and published in the journal Developmental Science, found that children who read a book with human characters were more affected than those who read a book with animal characters.

In an experiment, nearly 100 children between the ages of 4 and 6 were read one of three books: Little Raccoon Learns to Share by Mary Packard, which illustrates a fictional raccoon who learns that sharing makes one feel good and proves beneficial to all involved in the action; a version of the story in which the animal illustrations were replaced with human characters; and a control book about seeds.

The experiment found that children who were read the book with the human characters were more willing to share later in the day than those who were read the book with animal characters. And “there was no difference in generosity between children who read the book with anthropomorphized animal characters and the control book; both groups showed a decrease in sharing behavior,” the researchers found.

Reading a book about sharing “had an immediate effect on children’s pro-social behavior”, according to the study. “However, the type of story characters significantly affected whether children became more or less inclined to behave pro-socially. After hearing the story containing real human characters, young children became more generous. In contrast, after hearing the same story but with anthropomorphized animals or a control story, children became more selfish.”

“A growing body of research has shown that young children more readily apply what they’ve learned from stories that are realistic ... (but) this is the first time we found something similar for social behaviors,” said Patricia Ganea, who led the study, according to The Guardian. “The finding is surprising given that many stories for young children have human-like animals.”

Read more at The Guardian and read the study here

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole expecting second child

Olympian Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole (née Johnson) Phelps, are expecting a second child together and shared the news Tuesday with several happy posts to fans on Instagram.

>> WATCH: Michael Phelps races great white shark ... sort of

“Lil mans going to be a Big Brother!!!” Nicole wrote. She was all smiles wearing shorts and a black tee and holding her son, Boomer, who had the positive pregnancy test in his hand.

>> See the post here

The proud papa shared the same image of his little family on his own Instagram account, writing, “Number 2 on the way!!!! So excited!! Wonder if it’s a boy or a girl??”

>> Read more trending news

Boomer Phelps posted a tribute to his little brother or sister on Instagram to his 795,000 fans with a image of the pregnancy test and a big smile on his face.

“So excited to see what mama is having!! Do I get to have a brother or a sister?!?” his parents wrote in the caption.

>> See the post here

Boomer Phelps stole the hearts of Americans as he cheered his father on from the stands during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Nicole and Michael Phelps wed in a top-secret ceremony in June 2016, had a public wedding the following October and threw a bash with family and friends to celebrate their union on New Year’s Eve 2016.

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