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Bullying

The statistics are shockingly high and the impact oftentimes devastating: 1 out of 4 children are bullied every month in the U.S.


Ch.5.1 – Thursday, August 29 at 7 p.m. and
Ch.9.1 – Sunday, September 1 at 5 p.m.

Original Airdate: Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
Sunday, April 29 at 5 p.m. on Ch. 9.1

This month, PUBLIC SQUARE engages in a candid discussion about the growing problem of bullying and what is being done to stop it.

Victims of bullying, parents, advocates, education officials, and policy leaders join PUBLIC SQUARE’S new host, Megan Kamerick, in a riveting dialogue.

  • R.J. Mitte, an actor on “Breaking Bad,” a television series filmed in New Mexico, joins the community panel to talk about how he was bullied.
  • Detective Brian Schamber shares an emotional story of how bullying impacted him and still has repercussions on him today.
  • Guests also include State Representative Rick Miera, Kristine Meurer, Director of the Public Education Departments School and Family Support Bureau, and Tonna Burgos, Executive Director of Student Services at Rio Rancho Public Schools.

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Access to Children’s Healthcare

Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

In New Mexico, about 9 percent of children do not have health insurance coverage. We all pay when children aren’t covered. These kids are less likely to receive necessary medication and more likely to experience a hospital stay that could have been avoided by seeing a doctor earlier. And healthier kids lead to more productive, healthy adults.

Ideally this situation would improve under the national Affordable Healthcare Act. There will be an expansion of the Medicaid program and a new health insurance exchange to help families purchase coverage. But will things get better?

On this month’s Public Square, we hear from mothers who have struggled to make sure their kids have coverage. And we talk with community and health advocates about the challenges in getting kids access to care.

Community leaders include State Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Jemez Pueblo, State Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Albuquerque, and Rory Cobb, director of outreach for New Mexico Health Connections.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“I was terrified that something would send us into a debt for a medical emergency we couldn’t handle.”
~Micaela Cadena, Mother and Policy Director, Young Women United

“There are 40,000 kids in NM who should be on Medicaid and who are not on the program.”
~Sireesha Manne, Attorney, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty

“The process is so cumbersome. It’s not for lack of trying on everyone’s part to get those kids covered.”
~Rory Cobb, Director of Community Outreach, New Mexico Health Connections

“There’s no way to handle it. You just have to file the bills away and prepare when there is a chance to pay.”
~Lillian Sanchez, Mother with child on Medicaid

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

Thursday, June 27 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

The impact of domestic violence on children can last a lifetime. Children exposed to violence in the home often experience psychosomatic illnesses, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Later in life, these children are at greater risk for substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and criminal behavior than those raised in homes without violence.

Albuquerque is a leader in providing innovative solutions and resources for victims with resources like the Family Advocacy center. Yet, the statistics are disturbing as the number of domestic violence cases remains high.

This month’s Public Square focuses on what is being done to reduce domestic violence and provide support for victims.

In this program, victims of domestic violence share the impact on their families and how they have overcome the violence in their lives. We also are joined by diverse community groups working to provide support and resources. Community leaders include Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Shultz, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg , and Rosemary Cosgrove -Aguliar Special Commissioner for Domestic Violence Second Judicial District Court.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“It’s hard to worry about what the capital of North Dakota is if you’re not sure your mom’s safe at home.”
~Rosemary Cosgrove-Aguilar, domestic violence hearing officer

“As a kid growing up in this environment I lied to the cops when they came to my house. I made them coffee, I never wanted them to leave, but I lied through my teeth.”
~Joanne Fine, survivor of childhood domestic violence

“As a mother and as an immigrant I was afraid thinking I’m never going to see my children again.”
~Flor Maria Caro, domestic violence survivor

“That part of our brain of flight or fight is so much stronger for survival, it’s shutting down other parts of the brain that would produce algebra, poetry, music.”
~Patricia McKeen, treatment provider for batterers

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Early Brain Development

Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

Before children learn to talk, it may seem like not much is happening. In fact, from age 0 to 3 is the most important time for brain development. In those first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second. Young children naturally reach out for interaction. In the absence of responses, their brains don’t form as expected. That can impact their learning and social development.

What do we need to do to ensure all of New Mexico’s children get effective early brain development?

On this month’s Public Square, we talk with experts, educators and advocates, including Ellen Galinsky, founder of Mind in the Making and author of “The Seven Essential Skills Every Child Needs.”

Community leaders include Dan Haggard, deputy director of the Children Youth & Family Department’s Early Childhood Services, Brenda Kofahl, Pre-K program specialist with the Public Education Department and Heather Vaughn, early childhood manager with Albuquerque Public Schools.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“That’s our tagline. School success begins at birth.”
Dorothy Kerwin, early child training and development consultant

“I think this is one of disconnects we have in our society. We’re not paying attention to those infants up to three years old.”
~Pam Segel, early childhood development specialist

“When they’re coming in there is that achievement gap, and it may narrow, but it doesn’t ever close.”
~Peggy Candelaria, principal of Manzano Mesa Elementary School

“Psychosocial factors like domestic violence, poverty, just general stresses even in utero actually affect the way the brain develops.”
~Alexandra Cvijanovich, president of New Mexico Pediatric Society

“All of us can be brain builders and we’re not doing that so we have along way to go.”
~Ellen Galinsky, founder of Mind in the Making

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Transitioning Out of Foster Care

Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

Each year in New Mexico, about 100 youth in foster care will hit age 18. That means they are then defined as adults and lose most of the services they rely upon daily.

The outcomes for these youth are not good. In 2011 in New Mexico, only 25 percent graduate from high school and 46 percent experienced episodes of homelessness by the age of 17. Nationally, one quarter have attempted suicide. Girls are more than twice as likely to be pregnant by age 19. The annual cost per cohort among these young adults is estimated to be $7 billion, according to the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.

How can we ensure these young people have the support they need to succeed as adults?

On this month’s Public Square, former foster children talk about their struggles in the system and how it impacted their ability to be independent adults. Advocates talk about their work helping young people navigate the many paths out of the system to self-sufficiency.

Community leaders include State Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, Patrice Perrault, youth services bureau chief with Children Youth and Families Department – Protective Services, and Judge John Romero of the Children’s Court Division.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“I completely lost contact with friends, family, everything was taken away from me.”
~Lauren Huichan, Former foster child and youth advocate

“Biggest danger to adolescents in foster care is they have to be adults faster than they need to be adults. The biggest help for kids is to be a kid.”
~Jomo Z.M. Thomas, II, Clinical Director, Youth Development Inc.

“We need to see every relationship that child has as an opportunity, and work so hard to preserve it.”
~Liz McGrath, Co-Director, Pegasus Legal Services for Children

“We don’t think outside the box often enough. And I don’t believe the system encourages young people to be more vocal. We kind of put them in silos as though they were separate and different kids. They’re all our kids.”
~John Romero, Presiding Judge, Children’s Court Division

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Youth Mental Health

Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

Mass shootings committed by young people have filled the headlines over the last year, These tragedies have brought renewed attention to the issue of youth mental health.

The national statistics are disturbing. Half of all lifetime cases of mental and substance abuse disorders begin by age 14. About 13 percent of young people live with a serious mental illness. However, only about 20 percent of those kids get the treatment they need. Many end up in the juvenile justice system.

So should we change how we intervene in children’s lives before problems become crises?

On this month’s Public Square, young people in New Mexico talk about their struggles with mental health issues. Advocates and public health experts discuss where we need to focus our resources. Community leaders include Yolanda Cordova, director of the Office of School and Adolescent Health in the New Mexico Department of Health and Diana McWilliams, acting CEO of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“I wanted to kill myself. I tried in 2nd grade, I tried in 4th grade, 5th grade, and again in 6th grade. Things just got worse. Everybody was calling me the crazy girl.”
~Latishia Sanchez, Youth Advocate

“We need preventative care instead of ‘proventative’ care and I think we get proventative care with mass shootings because now we’re trying to figure it out after the horribleness has already taken place.”
~James Roach, Youth Coordinator

“What’s very clear is we all have mental illness in our families. We don’t talk about it.”
~Dr. Steve Adelsheim, Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist

“Let’s teach our kids that it’s ok to feel bad, but then talk about feeling bad and then what do you do to feel better?”
~Diana McWilliams, Acting CEO, New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Women’s Economic Empowerment in New Mexico

Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

New Mexico is a poor state and the burdens of economic inequality fall especially hard on women and girls. We have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation and women make, on average, 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In New Mexico they are more likely to be victims of domestic violence and sexual assault than women elsewhere. And the lack of affordable quality childcare impacts their ability to work.

On the next Public Square, we’ll hear from women who have overcome challenges to start businesses, become homeowners and find economic self-sufficiency. We’ll also hear from advocates in micro lending and asset development about programs that help women take control of their lives.

Community leaders include Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, Jenny Parks, president and CEO of the New Mexico Community Foundation, and former Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“I have been broken into many pieces and it’s about figuring out to pull those pieces back together and finding beauty in your own cracks.”
–Dawn Maestas, business owner and domestic violence survivor

“If you give a woman the chance to earn income, she’s going to invest it in her family.”
–Susan Matteucci, executive director of Southwest Creations Collaborative

“The ability to believe in yourself starts early but it’s a very important ingredient in being able to be in charge of your own life–being the architect of your own future.”
–Diane Denish, former lieutenant governor

“If we’re talking about women’s economic empowerment, financial literacy education has got to be a huge, huge part of that.”
–Agnes Noonan, president WESST

“It becomes much easier to maybe go into a job that isn’t worthy of your skills or talent because that job will allow you to leave when your child is sick.”
–Amy Whitfield, President of YWCA New Mexico

“I kind of realized things needed to change when I found myself pinned to the floor in a restaurant with the fellow I was dating at the time with his hands around my throat.”
–Gail Jenkins, business owner and survivor

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

LGBTQ Youth in New Mexico

What are the challenges facing youth and young adults in New Mexico who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer?

Thursday, January 31 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

What are the challenges facing youth and young adults in New Mexico who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer?

Nationally, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) youth are more likely to face verbal and physical harassment at school. They are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, suicide attempts, and suicide. Many face discrimination in their own families and may even end up on the streets.

On the next Public Square, young people in New Mexico’s LGBTQ community share their experiences. And we talk with advocates and community leaders about what we need to do to improve the lives of LGBTQ New Mexicans. In the second half of the program State Senator Cisco McSorley and Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, join the discussion.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

[My parents] said “Pack your bags and go. If you want to live like this you can’t be here at all.”
–Jessica Muellers, transgendered youth activist

“Coming out process was a big period of self-hatred and I even contemplated taking my own life at one point because I felt there must have been a demon in me, there must have been something wrong with me.”
–Quela, UNM, LGBTQ Resource Center

“Because I was in a leadership role in other parts of the school they saw I was straight and I was standing up for my friends, so we started hearing a lot less of “That’s so gay.” It has a big, big effect.”
–Ashley Allers

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Preventing Child Abuse

The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger.

Thursday, December 27 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

How can New Mexico combat child abuse? The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger. The child injury death rate in the state is 1.5 times higher than the national average. In most cases, biological parents caused those deaths.

Yet, experts say child abuse is totally preventable. In this month’s Public Square, we talk with doctors, advocates, home visitors and law enforcement about what it would take to make that a reality.

Community leaders include State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, Yolanda A. Berumen-Deines, secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, and Jared Rounsville, protective services director for Children, Youth and Families Department.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“If there was anything else in our health system so glaring we would have a cure, but we don’t for child abuse.”
–Angie Vachio, Child and family advocate

“In this state we spend $135 million after the event and $3 million on prevention. That should be turned around.”
–Dr. Susan Miller, Director, New Mexico Child Abuse Prevention Program

“This is about giving children who don’t have a voice opportunity, and then we all benefit. We all live in a better place if our children are better off.”
–Kim Straus, Brindle Foundation

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Special Needs Education

Some 45,000 students in New Mexico schools have disabilities or special needs. One in ten students at Albuquerque Public Schools receives special education services.

Thursday, October 25 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

Some 45,000 students in New Mexico schools have disabilities or special needs. One in ten students at Albuquerque Public Schools receives special education services.

They lag behind their peers in graduation rates and in reading and math proficiencies. Many families struggle to make sure their children receive the education they need to be successful and lead independent lives.

In this episode, parents and teachers meet with NM Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Representative Jim Smith, and Suzanne Starr, principal of Shining Stars School in Rio Rancho. In a candid and thoughtful conversation, they explore solutions to improving the outcomes for special needs students.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“We focus so much on the disability we forget that these children also have an identity.”
– Ronalda Tome

“It was a tremendous shock to us that the school didn’t plan to educate our son.”
– Stephanie Varoz

“It was quite a surprise, as a parent, that not everybody shared my views. This child had incredible potential to be an incredible adult, and yet was sort of marginalized down to her disability.” — Katie Stone

“I recognize she has all these problems, but you know what? When we raise the bar, she meets it every time.” — Caroline Enos

Guests Include:
Community Panel:

• Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, Secretary of Education, Emeritus
• Pete Ciurczak, Dean of Students, Robert F. Kennedy Charter School
• Caroline Starita Enos, Mother of Two
• Paula Garcia, Special Education Teacher, M.A.
• Kevin Kirby, Social Studies Teacher, Bernalillo Middle School
• Sandra Moore, Mother of Twice Exceptional Student
• Katie Stone, Parent & Advocate
• Stephanie Varoz, Parent Advocate
• Ronalda Warito-Tome, Training Specialist & Advocate, EPICS (Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs)

Leadership Panel:
• Suzanne Harper, Principal, Shining Stars Preschool
• Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Title: State Senator
• Rep. Jim Smith, Teacher & State Representative

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.