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Gov. Pat Quinn last week signed legislation that should mean hundreds more prep athletes will be tested for steroids each year across Illinois.

The new anti-doping measure calls for more than 1,000 student-athletes to be tested, an increase of about 300. Fewer than a dozen reportedly tested positive during the first year of the IHSA program, and all were granted medical exemptions.

Naperville Central football coach Mike Stine said, "I don't think (it's) a big deterrent. The chances of kids getting caught aren't great right now. You know 256 teams make the playoffs and it's not like, 'OK, we're now gonna go drug test half of them.' The percentage (is) pretty small."

With that in mind, what do you think of the steroid testing program in state high schools? Does the state need to test more student athletes to make a difference, or is this a deterrent? Should the state even be testing for steroids?


Emma Royko of Naperville is still one of the guys. She's just not part of their team.
Since kindergarten, she has played soccer, basketball and baseball with a group of neighborhood boys she has grown up with.
But, at age of 8, the tow-headed tomboy's being told "no girls allowed." It's not the boys who are banning her, though, it's the adults.
Wheatland Athletic Association no longer will allow her to play alongside her male teammates in recreational basketball and baseball leagues. Also, Heritage Family YMCA wouldn't allow her to play basketball with the team this winter after allowing her to do so the previous season. And the Naperville Park District already has accepted her team into its "premiere" soccer league this fall, but indicated it can play only if Emma doesn't.
Why is this happening?
"Probably because I'm a girl, and they have girls' leagues," Emma said. "But most of my friends are on that (boys) team."
"They say, 'Eventually, she's going to have to play with the girls. She can't always play with the boys,'" said her mother, Cindy Royko.
Do you agree with these organizations' decisions? Is age 8 too early to start seperating boys from girls when it comes to sports teams? Why should it matter anyway - if Emma is at the same skill level as her male buddies, shouldn't she be allowed to play sports with and against them?

Sure, of course you do. That stuff you read/hear about would never happen to you, because you monitor what your children do online. That's why there's no need for you to go to tonight's Internet safety meeting in Naperville for parents, right?

Let's do a quick poll: How many of your kids have MySpace or Facebook accounts? Ever had to order your kid to remove a photo from one of those sites? Ever consider they might be creating additional accounts and hiding them from you?

Do you let your child have a computer in his/her bedroom, with a web cam? That's just asking for trouble.

How about cameras on cell phones? It's becoming quite common for kids to take nude pictures of themselves or their friends and send them electronically to each other, as pranks, or sometimes to spite someone. Have you ever asked to look at the pictures stored in your kid's cell phone?

Just a few thoughts. Creepy predators using the Internet to lure kids is so 2004. Nowadays, it's more about how kids are using technology to embarrass themselves and their families.

An attorney for Neuqua Valley High School sophomore Alexander Nuxoll says the Alliance Defense Fund will appeal a judge's ruling that Indian Prairie School District 204 officials were correct in banning a student from wearing a T-shirt that says, "Be Happy, Not Gay."

What do you think of the controversy?

Tough love

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Friday's Sun features a story about Sandy Fink, who will talk at the 95th Street Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday about how she enrolled her son in a lockdown residential treatment program in a last-ditch bid to get help for his drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Recently, a "moment of silence" became mandatory in all public classrooms in the state of Illinois. The governor was against the new law but legislators overrode his veto. Meanwhile, school officials in both Naperville districts along with Plainfield have no problem with the quiet time where, as one lawmaker put it, kids can do anything, including "listen to the rustling of the leaves...or the chirping of the birds." Well, what about praying? Because that's where the critics come in with one advocacy group arguing that the law is nothing more than "meddling" with the separation of church and state as guaranteed by the Constitution. And, up in Waukegan, some educators are up in arms over what they see as a thinly-veiled attempt to bring prayer into the public schools. The questions are: Do the kids really need a moment of silence? Does the "bird-chirping" theory make any sense in this context? Or, are we really talking about prayer and not silence at all?

A trusted coach of young soccer players in Naperville is in jail on charges that he sexually abused two girls, and authorities say there may be additional victims.

Gustavo Nicosia, 36, of Oswego, was charged Tuesday with 14 felony counts, including five counts of criminal sexual assault, seven counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and two counts of obstruction of justice.

The big story in Wednesday's paper is a report that says children in affluent communities like Naperville are particularly stressed. While kids everywhere can be stressed, the report identifies three factors specific to Naperville: “too much academic, sports and materialistic competition; over involvement in community/school activities and trying to live up to an image of ‘the perfect Naperville.’”

Naperville Potluck

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