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April 10, 2013     Hays Free Press
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April 10, 2013

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Hays Free Press April 10, 2013 NO MORE Breaking away from domestic abuse. - Page 1C Page 3B BY KIM HILSENBECK increased blood pressure," he said. "Dehy- dration can also happen because caffeine exacerbates the problem, so the ef- fect is probably worse in sum- The sports and energy drink market is a mertime." multi-billion dollar industry. Energy drinks While showing a spe- and "shots" branded under names such as cific number of ER Monster, Red Bull, Rock Star and 5-hour en- visits related to en- ergy have mass appeal among adolescents ergy drinks would and young adults, be difficult, since Likewise, sports drinks such as Gatorade they are not have captured large swaths of the young tracked with athlete market with claims of rehydration, an ICD9 code But the number of emergency room (ER) used by medi- visits related to harmful side effects of en- cal profes- ergy drinks, which contain high levels of sionals across caffeine compared to an average cup of col- the country, fee or can of soda, is on the rise across the Crocker said country, he has person- According to a 2009 report by the Sub- ally seen teens stance Abuse and Mental Health Services and youngsters Administration, the data shows that 13,114 come to the ER ER visits were linked to energy drinks, with these symp- That is a ten-fold increase from 2005. toms after consum- Fortunately, few cases are here in Hays ing one or more of County. Steve Taylor, spokesperson for these products. Seton Medical Center Hays, said there has In November, the New not been a surge in ER visits related to en- York Times reported that en- ergy drinks. But Dr. Patrick Crocker, D.O., ergy drinks were linked to 13 deaths FACEE Chief of Emergency Medicine at Dell nation-wide. Crocker was not aware of any Children's in Austin, said the time to talk deaths in the Central Texas area related to about possible dangers is before children the drinks. over-consume those products. Ruth Roberts, director of student health At Dell Children's, Crocker said they have services at Hays CISD, said students will of- seen cases of adolescents coming to the ER ten complain of headaches and jitteriness for energy drink related health problems, after consuming energy drinks. The district '~s these drinks become more popular, does not capture specific data on the health more kids come in with symptoms. Some of effects of energy drinks. the most common issues are anxiety, heart According to several reports Crocker said palpitations, irritability, sleeplessness and energy drinks may contain caffeine, ephed- rine or other stimulants in amounts that are quite bit higher than the average coffee or soda. "They may have anywhere from 200 mg to 300 mg of caffeine, depending on the brand," he said. According to Crocker, many of the most popular energydrinks contain high levelsof caf- feine,others use guarana or ephedrine - stimulants similar to caf- feine. Some drinks have both caffeine and another stimulant. Depending on can or bottle, con- sumers may be getting double the serving size in some energy drinks. Crocker said another concern is when youngsters and teens drink more than one can at a time or even in a day. "Besides getting a load of 30 grams of sugar per serving (or 60 with two servings), they are also getting a very high dose of caf- feine or other stimulants," Crocker said. The doctor said he tried an energy drink to see what effect it would have on him. "I drank Rock Star one time and that was the last time," Crocker said. "I was not im- pressed." The energy drink market was estimated at $9 billion in sales in 2011 according to Dr. Robin Toblin, a researcher at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research How much caffeine is in there? Comparison chart Item Size MG Dunkin' Donuts Coffee with Turbo Shot 20 ft. oz. 436 Panera Coffee 16.8 fl. oz.189 Starbucks Coffee 20 fl. oz. 415 Starbucks Coffee 16 fl. oz. 330 Full Throttle 16 fl. oz. 200 Monster Energy 16 fl. oz. 160 Rockstar 16 fl. oz. 160 AMP Energy Boost Original 16 fl. oz. 142 Red Bull 8.4 fl. oz. 80 5-hour Energy 1.9 fl. oz. 208 Slogan on Monster's website: "Monster is way more than an energy drink. Led by our athletes, musicians, employees, distributors and fans, Monster is...A lifestyle in a can." Federal officials received reports of 13 deaths over the last four years citing possible involvement of 5-Hour En- ergy according to Food and Drug Administration records Since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been mentioned in 90 filings with the F.D.A., including more than 30 that involved serious or life-threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion The FDA received five fatality filings mentioning Mon- ster Energy STAFF REPORT Several bills at the state legislature are of particular interest to local school districts and teacher's groups across Texas, including one that would label failing schools with an "F" as opposed to the current "unacceptable," and another that would provide a mechanism for gun training for teachers. FINALIZING THE BUDGET HB1, the House of Representatives budget bill, got approval from lawmakers last week following almost 12 hours of debate. Much of the debate stemmed from the approximately 250 amendments that were attached to the bill. The Senate version of the budget was approved previously. A final version will be hammered out by a conference committee comprised of senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle. SAYING NO TO VOUCHERS What seems to be the most important amendment to the budget bill, according to educators? Probably the one that would prevent using public school funds for so- called voucher programs. Under a voucher proposal, public school monies would be diverted from school districts to private schools, including to parents who home school their children. But the amendment, added by Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown), said that public funding flowing through the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must not go to private institutions. Herrero told his colleagues during the budget debate that the type of tax credits proposed by Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) would also be covered under this amendment. With a 107-39 vote to approve Herrero's amendment, it seems lawmakers will not have enough support to create a voucher system this legislative session. The final vote on the House's version of the state budget was 135-12. The Senate already passed SB1. The budget will next head to a conference committee made up of House and Senate members where differences in the two chambers' budgets will be worked out. SCHOOL RATING SYSTEM The Senate Committee on Education voted last week to send SB 1408, sponsored by Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), to the full Senate for a vote. Under this bill, public school districts would be graded on performance using an A-F accountability system. A similar provision in the House, which was part of a broader set of public education reforms in HB5, was approved earlier in the legislative session. The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) and other teacher trade groups oppose the new rating system for several reasons. For example, they claim the new letter-based accountability ratings would be meaningless unless there were specific reasons for those ratings given to a particular school campus. Teachers also opposed the letter grades because they would be condescending to parents; they feel using grades would treat parents as though they are not smart enough to understand the school performance PHOTO BY GEORGE FREY/GETIX IMAGES Instructor Clint Simon (right) shows a Utah teacher how to handle a handgun, data. Lawmakers on the committee who opposed the bill also cautioned that labeling struggling schools as "failures" is harmful to students. The Senate Committee on Education passed the bill 7-2. The bill is expected to go to the full Senate soon where educators predict the debate will continue about the merits of the proposed changes. However, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced last week that he does not need the Legislature's authority to implement an A-F rating system for public schools. Williams went on to say that he plans to make that change in the near future that will go into effect in 2014. TESTING AND ACCOUNTABILITY As passed by the House, HB 5 would reduce the number of end-of-course exams needed for graduation from 15 to five. The five required tests would be algebra, biology, U.S. history and tenth-grade reading and writing. The bill also would replace the current "4x4" graduation plan of four required years of English, math, science and social studies with several different paths to a diploma; the aim is to increase flexibility for students. HAND GUN TRAINING FOR TEACHERS SB 17, also by Patrick, is one of several gun bills in the legislature that would start a gun training program for teachers. Educators who are authorized by their districts to hold a concealed handgun would participate in a Department of Public Safety training program in "school safety and the protection of students." Those employees would then be allowed to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds. A modified version of SB 17 passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee on April 4, which scales back state funding for the training to a maximum of $1 million. That leaves the program largely dependent on donations and gifts. CSCOPE OVERSIGHT Two other bills that made the cut last week were SB 1406 and SB 1474, both of which call for reviews of CSCOPE instructional lessons. SB 1406 by Chairman Patrick creates a State Board of Education review process similar to the current process for review of textbooks. SB 1474 by Sen. Robert Duncan (R-District 28) requires districts to solicit input from local teachers and parents before adopting curriculum management systems such as CSCOPE. A BRIGHT ~ilii April 13 at 7:45 a.m. Santa Cruz Catholic School 110 Main St., Buda Face Painting ,, Bounce Houses * Free Health Screens Proceeds support Santa Cruz school athletics program & addition of gymnasium and classrooms Hays For more information, please visit