Tag Archives: Should

Dr. Edward F. Dragan, Author of the Soon to be Released Book, ‘Keeping Kids Safe in School: What Every Parent and Teacher Should Know,’ Comments on Keeping Students Safe

Lambertville, NJ (PRWEB) August 22, 2007

Dr. Edward F. Dragan, author of the soon to be released book, Keeping Kids Safe in School: What Every Parent and Teacher Should Know, comments on keeping our students safe. School safety and liability expert, Dr. Edward F. Dragan states, “Unnecessary risks in schools must be corrected, most importantly to protect the safety of students, faculty and support staff, but also to eliminate costly litigation and settlements. Implementing regular assessments of school safety policies and procedures can greatly reduce risks.”

Dr. Dragan remarks, “All too often we hear after the fact, ‘How did this accident happen?’ or ‘Could the school have prevented it?” “Unfortunately once the accident occurs; it is too late to ask these questions, a school’s risk management plan must be proactive to be effective.”

Our nation’s schools pay millions of dollars annually in damages to school children injured in class, sexually assaulted by teachers, and harassed by fellow students. New Jersey alone faced 381 suits-more than one case a day-representing a potential liability of over 500 million dollars. This total does not include cases filed in administrative court, which typically hear special education issues. Since most cases settle privately, the general public and even some education insiders are not aware of the scope of such liability.

The following three recent instances chronicle occurrences that could have been avoided had the schools developed a risk analysis plan identifying potential safety hazards, emphasizing accountability and establishing procedures for creating and maintaining a hazard free school.

A 1.7 million dollar verdict was awarded to a third-grade student told by her teacher to return a television cart with a television on its top shelf to the library. The cart fell, causing the television to strike the student, whose injury resulted in permanent brain damage. A federal court jury decided the school was partially liable for the accident due to the student’s lack of supervision. This unfortunate incident could have been prevented if teachers and administrators had assessed the risks of allowing young children to move such equipment.

A private settlement was reached in a similar case. A board of education paid $ 850,000 to a five year old student with autism who was seriously injured when a fifty pound television fell and struck him on the head. When evidence of inadequate supervision pointed to the school’s liability the case was settled.

The coach of a girl’s track team and a student who threw his javelin one more time after the coach announced practice was over both shared payment of a $ 300,000 settlement to a student who received permanent nerve damage and facial paralysis when the javelin struck her in the face. The coach was responsible for the students while they were using potentially dangerous equipment.

Most cases of school safety violations could be prevented through practice of proactive risk management. Teachers and administrators must scrutinize their procedures, equipment use and personal practices for ways to ensure the safety of everyone concerned. Schools must follow risk management guidelines to improve overall school safety and to eliminate the high costs of accident related litigation. Although insurance companies usually pay these settlements, schools and taxpayers will ultimately have the burden of higher taxes and insurance premiums.

Dr. Dragan comments, “School administrators must develop a systematic procedure for inspecting school premises and reviewing safety procedures for evidence of potential risks. An inspection log should be established to record potential risks along with the remedial action taken to eliminate the unsafe hazard or procedure.”

In addition, Dr. Dragan suggests the following risk management guidelines to maximize school safety and security. “School administrators should assess potential risk related to all equipment in proximity or accessible to students. A safety handbook that details procedures for supervising students in all school areas should be established.”

“Administrators need to conduct in-service training and review of first-aid practices, crisis response strategies, school evacuation drills, and alternative communication methods to use, if warranted, during potential crises.”

Dr. Dragan also remarks, “Each faculty member must be aware of their specific responsibilities related to safety and should have prioritized action system available to them to effect needed safety corrections in a timely matter. Administrators need to model and emphasize personal accountability and commitment to create and maintain school safety and security procedures.”

“School administrators who demonstrate a proactive commitment to safeguarding the welfare of students, faculty members and support staff will produce safe and secure school campuses and climates which will reduce potential school liability.”


Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D. is the founder of Education Management Consulting, LLC, providing consultation to school administrators and education expert witness services to attorneys on education-related issues including school management, safety, bullying, sexual harassment, child custody, and special education . His book, Keeping Kids Safe in School: What Every Parent and Teacher Should Know, is scheduled for publication in 2008.

Contact Information

Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D.

Education Management Consulting, LLC




FSA Parents Guide Should Support and Not Dismiss PPI

Braintree, Essex (PRWEB) November 5, 2008

News that the Financial Services Authority has launched a Parents Guide to Money is to be applauded, but it could push people further away from the financial safety net of Payment Protection Insurance, says PPI lobbyist Sara-Ann Burgess from Burgesses.

Research shows that the average cost of bringing up a child to age 18 is over

Growing up Is Never Easy: The Pains of Recession Should Lead to More Mature Financial Practices

St. Cloud, MN (PRWEB) March 31, 2009

Urging the country to put away childish things, President Obama could have been talking about poor spending habits. Like children, this nation demanded instant gratification. The retail concept of lay-away, so popular just 30 years ago went the way of the drive-in movie. No longer satisfied with buying only what is affordable, Americans embraced run away equity lines and defined themselves by what could be bought on credit. But those days are no more – and maybe it’s for the better.

According to Patricia Hinds, founder of Granite Financial in St. Cloud, “Faced with plummeting investment accounts, declining home values, and the real prospect of job loss, Americans suddenly are doing what they’ve needed to do all along – spend less and save more.”

In fact, in the last three months of 2008, the government reported Americans’ savings rate, as a percentage of after-tax incomes, rose to 2.9 percent. That’s up sharply from 1.2 percent in the third quarter and less than 1 percent just a year ago. Today, a shopping spree no longer appears to be the initial response to a wave of bad news. In February, the Commerce Department reported consumer spending fell for a record sixth straight month in December, dropping 1 percent amid worries about surging layoffs. The hunkering down trend likely will continue. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index plummeted further in February reaching yet another all-time low. The Index now stands at 25.0 (1985=100), down from 37.4 in January. According to The Federal Reserve, although consumer borrowing rose slightly in January, economists still expect borrowing will remain weak this year with news of the unemployment rate surging to a 25-year high.

“With pessimism about the state of the economy increasing daily, suddenly it’s chic to be cheap,” says Hinds. “Frugality is back in style and splurges on widescreen TVs, top-of-the-line kitchens, and designer clothes are out.” Across America, people have not only stopped borrowing, but they are actually paying back debt by paying down those car loans, mortgages and credit card bills. Consumers are actually talking about how to save money – with their neighbors and, more importantly, with their bankers, credit card companies, and household service providers.

The fallout from collective belt-tightening has been referred to as the “paradox of thrift.” That is, what’s good for the people — spending less, and saving more — does nothing to lift the economy out of recession. While many economists suggest that it’s bad news for our recession-battered economy when consumers pay off credit cards, increase their cash reserves, and skip a few pizza deliveries, Hinds begs to differ.

“I believe child-like spending played a role in this economic mess but our increasingly mature attitudes toward money management could make us healthier in the long run,” says Hinds. “Just as growing up can be painful, enduring the difficult repercussions of this recession may pay off by putting an end to bad financial habits.” This recession may be what it takes to help American consumers break free from a lifestyle of greed supported by excessive borrowing, leveraging and spending.

About Patricia Hinds and Granite Financial Inc.

Patricia Hinds, a branch manager for Securities America, Inc. and founder of Granite Financial Inc., has been a part of the financial services industry for over 19 years. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner and holds the Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) designation from the Institute of Business & Finance.

Hinds specializes in providing personal wealth management services to financially established women entering or near retirement. She uses a consultative approach to help develop and effectively implement a financial plan. Her process includes investment consulting, relationship management and advanced planning in four areas; wealth enhancement, wealth transfer, wealth protection and charitable gifting.

Hinds is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of Professional Women and the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. She conducts regular financial planning seminars and has contributed to articles in several leading trade publications including Wealth Manager, Financial Advisor, Investment News, Research and On Wall Street as well as consumer outlets such as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Minnesota Business Magazine. Visit http://www.granitefinancial.net for more information about Ms. Hinds and Granite Financial Inc.

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More Women Turning to Social Security Disability Benefits; Mothers Should Know Their Options

Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) May 5, 2009

More working mothers are becoming disabled and losing their ability to support their families. That means it’s even more important for women to understand the role of Social Security disability insurance, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year.

In the past decade, from 1999 to 2009, the rate of disability for women has grown by about 72 percent compared with nearly 42 percent for men, according to the Social Security Administration. Since 1990, the number of working women who are fully insured for Social Security benefits has grown by 28 percent to 99.7 million women. As of April 2009, 3.6 million women were receiving SSDI benefits as disabled workers.

Disabilities may result from an accident, a chronic disease or worsening condition. Some of the diagnoses affecting women include multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, depression and fibromyalgia.

“Women may not realize they are insured for disability benefits, especially during the period before they experience a severe disability,” said Cindy Ratermann, manager of disability claims specialists at Allsup. “Women who are widows or widows with young children also may qualify for Social Security benefits based on their husband’s work record, so this is another option to consider.”

SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that operates separately from the retirement and SSI programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) expected to last for at least 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. More details are provided in the SSDI Overview on Allsup.com.

Concerns When Women Can No Longer Work

Women who have been working and supporting their families face enormous difficulties when they can no longer work because of an injury, illness or chronic disease. Allsup offers stories from women in this situation, including a former math teacher and former retail employee, on Allsup.com.

“If you’ve become disabled and must stop working on a long-term basis, you need to look at filing for SSDI benefits as soon as possible,” said Ms. Ratermann, who has more than 20 years experience in the SSDI process, working with a staff of nearly 580 professionals at Allsup.

Women must have a work history and meet certain qualifications to be eligible for SSDI on their own record, including having paid payroll taxes for five of the last 10 years. Having a record of your employment history for the past 15 years is ideal, said Ms. Ratermann. “Your earnings determine what your SSDI benefit would be if the SSA finds you disabled,” she explained.

Keep in mind that the SSDI process can be lengthy, with some claimants’ cases taking two to four years because of the backlog in the disability claims process. More than 2.9 million people are expected to apply for disability benefits in 2009, according to the SSA.

“Women can make this experience easier on themselves by choosing a representative to handle their SSDI claim,” Ms. Ratermann said. Allsup provides representation at all levels of the SSDI application process, including the initial application and, if needed, the hearing before an administrative law judge.

At the hearing level, or level 3, about 90 percent of claimants have a representative. Individuals Allsup represents at the hearing level generally receive an award four months faster than the national average. “It can be to your benefit to get representation from the beginning,” Ms. Ratermann said.

Considering Social Security Disability

There are a number of reasons why a woman should apply for SSDI, including regular monthly income. Additional considerations include:

Medical benefits: Regardless of your age, 24 months after your date of entitlement to SSDI cash benefits, you are eligible for Medicare, including Part A (hospital benefits) and Part B (medical benefits).
Prescription drug coverage: Once you are entitled to Medicare, you are also eligible for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan
COBRA extension: If you receive SSDI benefits, the length of your COBRA benefits could be extended an additional 11 months.
Protected retirement benefits: When you reach retirement age, SSDI ends and you transition to Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security disability entitlement “freezes” Social Security earnings records during your period of disability. Because the years in which you collect SSDI benefits are not counted when computing future benefits, your Social Security retirement benefits may be higher than if your earnings were averaged over a greater number of years.
Dependent benefits: If you receive SSDI benefits and you have a dependent under age 18, he or she may also be eligible for benefits. Benefits also may be paid to your husband on your earnings record if he is age 62 or older; or at any age if he is caring for your child (under age 16).

Insights On Social Security Benefits

Allsup provides representation services for Social Security Disability Insurance, but there are additional considerations for women.

Keep in mind that Social Security offers marginal amount of financial protection to women as a result of their earnings and through their spouse’s earnings, depending on the circumstances. Most people need 10 years of work, or 40 credits earned through payroll taxes, to qualify for benefits.

Today, nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits, including SSDI benefits, are women.

Women and earnings. Women are likely to earn less than men during their careers, so their benefits may be lower. For example, in April 2009 the average SSDI benefit for women was about 22 percent lower at $ 920.47 compared to $ 1,188.52 for men. One factor is that many women work as caregivers for family members and children during their earning years. Often, women step out of the work force for years at a time and, over time, pay less toward Social Security.

Women and business ownership. If you and your husband operate a business together, you are entitled to receive Social Security credits as a partner. Even though you may file your income taxes jointly, you should file a separate self-employment report with Social Security. This ensures that you get Social Security benefits from your own work. Otherwise, all the earnings will be reported on your husband’s work record.

Women and additional benefits. Your payroll taxes go toward several programs besides SSDI.

These include:

South Florida Family Law Attorney Offers 5 Tips Every Spouse Should Know About Marital Misconduct

Boynton Beach, FL (PRWEB) March 5, 2010

Brian M. Moskowitz, a well-respected family law attorney in south Florida, says the recent Tiger Woods scandal is an unfortunate reminder that happy marriages can change in an instant.

When news broke last Thanksgiving weekend that the worlds greatest golfer had injured himself in a car accident, questions arose about its cause and Americans watched the public unraveling of Woods’ private life. What was seen as a model marriage became a tawdry story about a secret life of misconduct.

The old saying that no one knows what goes on inside a marriage is true, Moskowitz said. Sadly, sometimes its one of the spouses who is in the dark about these hidden aspects of a relationship.”

Marital misconduct is a leading cause of divorce and the innocent spouse in such a case deserves to be properly protected, Moskowitz said.

Moskowitz offered five facts every married Florida couple should know about marital misconduct:

Florida grants a No Fault Divorce if there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Marital misconduct is often a key element leading to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Several types of misconduct often fall under the broader concept of marital misconduct. They include adultery, domestic violence, cruel and abusive behavior, habitual drunkenness or addiction, or economic fault.
While no fault or not assigning blame is the courts aim in a divorce, spousal conduct does have a bearing on other decisions in a divorce. Adultery, for example, can impact child custody, division of marital assets, and distribution of alimony.
The Florida court can order an attempt at reconciliation. If one spouse denies the marriage is irretrievably broken or if the couple has minor children, the court may delay proceedings for up to three months and can order counseling or mediation.
The best way to be sure you are dealing with marital misconduct in a manner that will result in a proper outcome for you is to seek the advice of a qualified family law attorney.
About The Law offices of Brian M. Moskowitz:

With offices located in Boynton Beach (primary), Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, the Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz handles a variety of family law cases for clients throughout southern Florida, including Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Palm Beach, and Palm Beach County. The firm charges flat rates for many family law services, and handles cases that include divorce, child custody, child support, relocation, paternity and adoption.

For more information, visit the firms Web site at http://www.mosklaw.com/ or reach the firm by phone at (561) 369-4481.


InsureMonkeys Top 5 Points Consumers Should Know About The New Health Care Reform Changes

Las Vegas, NV (Vocus) September 22, 2010

InsureMonkey today highlighted five important points that consumers need to know about the Health Care Reform changes taking effect on Thursday, September 23 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Key September 23 changes:

1. Children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage when applying for an individual health insurance policy or as part of a family heath insurance plan.

2. Your health plan can no longer be rescinded if you get sick (except in cases of fraud or willful misrepresentation).

3. Health plans will no longer have lifetime or annual benefit caps.

4. Preventive screenings, such as annual physicals, mammograms, pap smears, and other services, will be provided to you without charge. Your health plan will pay for these services, but cannot apply a co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible payment.

5. Dependents can remain on their parents health insurance plan until age 26.

InsureMonkeys five points consumers need to know about the new law:

1. If you dont replace your current insurance plan, you wont get the benefits of the Health Care Reform changes. This applies to individual health insurance, family health insurance, as well as small group health plans. However, when replacing your plan, be sure your new health insurance is in place before cancelling your existing plan.

2. If you dont think you can afford health insurance, look again. Even the most barebones, inexpensive plans will now come with free, preventive, and often life-saving services. In Nevada, most people can get an individual health insurance plan for less than the cost of cable television service.

3. Many carriers are no longer providing health insurance quotes for child-only plans. Currently in Nevada, you can only get health insurance coverage for your child as part of a larger family health insurance plan. Today, these plans are only offered through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Assurant Health, Coventry One, or United Health One. A health carriers plan offerings for children can change at any time so check back often.

4. We expect quotes for individual health insurance, family health insurance and self-employed health insurance to continue to increase. New health insurance plans are now required to provide more services and therefore will have to raise rates to pay for it.

5. Your dependents can stay on your health insurance plan until the age of 26. This change is a major benefit for families because it means that a child with a chronic medical condition like diabetes can maintain health insurance coverage without having to re-apply as an adult, risking coverage denial for having a pre-existing condition. In 2014, all individual and family health insurance plans will be prohibited from denying coverage to anyone based on a pre-existing condition.

About InsureMonkey

InsureMonkey is the quickest and easiest way for individuals and families to buy health insurance. It provides a simple online tool that allows consumers to get free health insurance quotes from leading companies without providing invasive personal information. Customers are provided quotes, information and options that allow for educated and informed decisions when purchasing health insurance. Once a customer has selected the plan thats right for them, InsureMonkey enables the customer to apply for the plan online.

InsureMonkey fully automates the quoting, application and enrollment process of becoming insured. It is offered as a free public resource, charges no application fees, no broker fees, and its tools, support and services are free for life. To learn more about how to get the best rates, compare plans and buy personal health insurance online please visit http://www.insuremonkey.com or call 1-800-771-3739.

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A Few Reasons Why San Antonio Divorce Attorney Matt Sossi Should Represent You

San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) January 31, 2012

Hardly anybody looks forward to divorce proceedings. As a San Antonio divorce attorney, Matt Sossi knows all to well that a divorce is a difficult situation for anyone to go through. With so much going on, it can be difficult to focus and think straight, which is why it is important to enlist the services of a trusted professional who knows the ins and outs of matrimonial and family law.

When it comes to divorce lawyers San Antonio Texas has plenty to choose from. But what you really want in a lawyer is someone with experience to back up his skills. With 19 years of family law under his belt, Matt Sossi is quite literally an expert in his field. Having handled countless divorce cases in Bexar and its surrounding counties in Texas, Matt Sossi will be looking after your best interests as well as those of your children. His personal attention to each of his clients as well as his empathy and understanding of the emotional stress that they are going through sets him apart from other divorce lawyers.

Besides handling divorce cases, Matt Sossi is also equipped to handle child custody San Antonio cases. Specializing in family law, he can help you with visitation rights and child support. If you are going through separation, Matt Sossi can prepare amicable separation agreements to make this period in your life a bit more stress free. The law office of Matt Sossi can also draft pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, assist in enforcement of court orders and orders of protection, and handle post judgment proceedings and modifications.

Whether your case is just about to begin, is in negotiation, or already resolved, Matt Sossi can help. To find out how he can be of assistance with your divorce and family matters, visit http://www.sossilaw.com.


Sophie Radice of the Independent Discusses Should We Let Children Run Wild?, House of Play Feel They Have the Answer to this Question

(PRWEB UK) 1 February 2012

Sophie Radice asked the question should we let children run wild?. Indoor Soft Play Equipment Manufacturer, House of Play debate child safety and emotional and physical wellbeing in 2012.

Ensuring the safety of a child should be every parents uncompromising goal; however it is difficult to balance protection with allowing freedom, social growth and independence of a child. Combined with long working hours, increased food and utility costs achieving a health balance is proving difficult for many uk families.

Recently its been featured in news all over the world that people need to be active in order to stay healthy. The main reason for this is the rise in the rate of obesity, most worryingly in children, and the fact that they arent getting the exercise they need. Parents are now making more of an effort to keep their children active through family walks, bike rides and many other activities that are fun for everyone.

However, its not always possible to fit in as many activities as youd like, and with some families having both parents working, there can be little time to get around to a game of frisbee after work. In cases such as these, which are becoming more and more common, its usually better to get together a whole group of parents and their children to go and do something active together. Then if some parents cant spare the time their children can still go and play under supervision.

Theres no end to the things that kids can do to stay fit, from frantically running around a park to throwing balls to each other, but all of these activities carry a risk of injury. A child could trip on concrete and hurt themselves or fall from a wall and cause a very serious injury. For these reasons companies such as House Of Play have set up facilities with commercial indoor play equipment for children to come and play in a huge area where there is also a place for parents to rest.

The facilities that House Of Play have help set up are the result of their business services, which they offer alongside their products. David Booth, joint managing director informed us of this positive feedback, Having looked at a number of sites, House of Play was the only Company to actually advise against us pursuing premises that we thought were ok. The other Companies never ever tried to talk us out of taking any of the premises that we looked at. The result of this was that House Of Plays customer did not waste money and time looking into properties that werent exactly what the customer were looking for.

These indoor play facilities are equipped with soft indoor play equipment, which means that even if a child falls they wont hurt themselves in a serious way, and theyll find it very hard to hurt themselves at all. House Of Play have their own indoor play facility, but they are also the UKs leading manufacturer and supplier of soft play equipment. An indoor play facility gives children the benefit of exercise and takes away the risks that could confront them outside. Their products are designed to allow children to be as active as possible whilst in a safe controlled environment.

Many injuries are caused by falls and bumps, which are to be expected of children however, dangers like broken glass and unhygienic play areas can cause serious problems. The recent attack of a six year old girl by a dog in Chingford was during a family day at the local park. Indoor soft play facilities dont have the risks associated with outdoor activities and are a great way to keep children active and safe.


Review of the New Child Custody Bill: Rapists Should Not Get Custody

Miami, FL (PRWEB) June 06, 2013

Theodore Enfield, a Miami Dade county attorney, announces – the bill which would prohibit a convicted rapist from having any custody rights if the rape resulted in a child has been unanimously approved by the states Senate Criminal Justice committee. The Florida House unanimously passed the bill, SB 964, which will be going to Governor Rick Scott and will take effect upon his expected signature.

In attribution to CBS Miami news April 2nd 2013, the bill (SB 964) would allow for a fathers parental rights to be cut off if his child was conceived during an act of sexual battery. Previously, rapists could seek custody of the child born from their attack. In some cases, this can even be used as a backdoor bargaining chip to discourage the victim from reporting the incident, testifying, or participating in sentencing hearings.

According to Theodore Enfield, besides making what some have called modernizing changes to the law, the bill will also bring victims of rape to the forefront so they can protect themselves and their children from any interactions sought by the alleged perpetrators. In this case, the victims may consider a legal consultation. Choosing a good child custody lawyer may be difficult, particularly because of the many highly emotional issues that emerge during these cases.

About T. Enfield: With more than 30 years of experience helping Florida families deal with family law issues such as divorce, equitable property settlement, child custody, child support and domestic violence, Theodore Enfield, a family law attorney, has guided his clients through all issues that are likely to arise during those difficult times. He has a wide industry experience and knowledge that enables him to cater to all specific requirements of all his clients by protecting their rights. For further convenience of his clients, Ted Enfield provides a free consultation service to understand his practices prior to taking action on the process. Moreover, throughout the case trials and hearings the clients are updated with their case status.

Ted Enfield, a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer, is broadly acknowledged for providing quality and affordable legal services across South Florida, while all his efforts are directed towards handling all cases with great determination and complete diligence. So far he has successfully handled cases of all family, divorce and Florida Paternity laws which have made him the first choice of his clients.

Theodore Enfield practices include Divorce Alimony, Annulment, Dissolution of Marriage, Equal Distribution of Marital Assets and Liabilities, Child Support, Parental Responsibility and Time-Sharing.

Visit Theodore Enfield online at Theodoreenfield.com or his Family law office today 305-933-9592, 800-733-5299