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Children with ADHD Face Psychological Challenges Later On; Dennis Rodman Tells Obama to Call North Korea; Child Suspended for Mimicking Gun Violence in School; Baby Dies After Car Accident; Silverman Paid $275 to Complete in NFL Regional Combine

Aired March 4, 2013 - 08:30   ET



SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching STARTING POINT. It is estimated that 7 percent of school- aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and this morning we're learning that these kids might grow up to have some serious psychological problems. Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has more for us. She's in Atlanta this morning. Good morning.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. Soledad, this study is so important because millions of children in this country have ADHD. And so these researchers, they looked at what happens when they become adults. Looked at more than 200 adults who had ADHD as kids, and this is what they found.

Fifty-seven percent had another psychiatric disorder on top of the ADHD; depression and anxiety were particularly common. And they were five times more likely to commit suicide if they had ADHD as children.

And so, of course, this is of a huge concern to parents of children with ADHD, to people who have ADHD. To read more, go to and read the blog by colleague Leslie Wade.

O'BRIEN: Sohat is the connection between ADHD and then suicide later in the adult years?

COHEN: Doctors think what's going on is that when you have ADHD as a kid, it's frustrating. You may be smart, but you're not getting good grades because you can't focus. It's hard to form friendships when you can't focus, and so these kids sometimes become depressed. And when you have ADHD, you're also impulsive. Depression and impulsivity are a bad combination. And they think that's why we're seeing these increased suicide rates.

O'BRIEN: Elizabeth Cohen for us. Thanks, Elizabeth.

Other stories making news, John's got that.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Thanks, Soledad. And we have some new pictures to show you right now. A live look at the demolition underway right now at the house in Florida that was on top of that sinkhole. You remember, a man was killed Thursday night when the sinkhole opened up under his bedroom in Florida. He was just sucked in. Yesterday, crews began to carefuly tear down the condemned house above that sinkhole. The hole is about 30 feet wide, 60 fight deep, and it is filled with clay and debris.

Tragedy at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in Califnoria. A 46 yard man from Austin, Texas, died yesterday during the swimming portion of the 3-tiered event. Race officials believe he suffered a heart attack. This is the first time in the event's 33-year history, they say, that a participant has died.

Vice President Joe Biden joining hundreds of marchers in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate Bloody Sunday. That was the day in 1965 when civil rights activists marched for voting rights. They were attacked by state police. Joe Biden apologized and says he should have been there 48 years ago.

Author, entertainer, and philanthropist Bill Cosby was one of the organizers of this year's event in Selma. Here's what he had to say about keeping the memory of that day alive earlier on STARTING POINT.


BILL COSBY, ENTERTAINER: On our part as professors and presidents of colleges all over, and in public school schools, we need to get the education of the correct history that happened so that people can say, yes, this really did happen.


BERMAN: Cosby says we are still fighting the same hate today as we were back then.

"The New York Times" reporting this morning that the nation's biggest banks wrongfully foreclosed on more than 700 military families during the housing crisis and seized homes from roughly two dozen others who were current on their mortgage payments. Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo uncovered the data. In January, government regulators ordered the banks to identify military members and other borrowers who were evicted in violation of federal law.

So Dennis Rodman has a message for President Obama from Kim Jong-Un. Fresh off his North Korean tour, the ex-NBA star sat down with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. Listen to what the North Korean leader allegedly told Rodman.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: He want Obama to do one thing, call him.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: He wants a call from President Obama?

RODMAN: That's right. He told me that. He said, "If you can, Dennis, I don't want to do war. I don't want to do war." He said that to me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you say why don't you pick up the phone and call President Obama?

RODMAN: No, you know, it's a different story. It's a different story because, guess what, the kid is only 28 years old. Twenty-eight.


BERMAN: OK. So Rodman also says he doesn't condone many of Kim Jong- Un's actions.

O'BRIEN: It's not who calls who. Just that Dennis Rodman has become the shuttle diplomacy spokesperson between North Korea and the United States -- am I the only one?

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, SR. EDITORIAL DIR., DIGITAL FEATUERS, WSJ: Can he help with sequester too? Maybe he can get involved in that somehow.

O'BRIEN: This is unusual, right?

BERMAN: Highly unusual. He was there on behalf of "Vice" magazine for the documentary that's going to air on HBO. The U.S. State Department has distanced itself as far as they possibly can from Rodman, saying he is not there on a sports diplomatic mission. We have nothing to do with this. And the White House also says, by the way, President Obama is not going to call Kim Jong-Un right now.

O'BRIEN: I wonder why Dennis Rodman?

BERMAN: "Vice" magazine wanted to get the PR, that's the why.


BERMAN: No, the why is they wanted, obviously, he is -

O'BRIEN: Does he have an interest in international relations?

BERMAN: Nope. "Vice" magazine asked him, and he went.


O'BRIEN: Wants to be a diplomat?

CONNIE MACK (R), FORMER FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN: No. He has no clue about what's happening. And so he goes over there, meets -- has a meeting, and they become best friends and tells the world that they're best friends.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Do you think North Korea is making fun of us? I mean, this is almost like North Koreans making fun of us.

O'BRIEN: They don't need to make fun of us.

MACK: I think everybody is kind of making fun of Dennis Rodman.

ROMANS: I think you're right. O'BRIEN: Carry on, John. Sorry, my apologies.

BERMAN: We have one more story here. Half a minute of fun just cost 50 miners in Western Australia their jobs. Seems they got caught doing the Harlem Shake on the job. That's according to the West Australian newspaper. The owners of the Agnew Gold Mine told the paper it's a safety issue. But the terminated miners insist they did not compromise safety regulations. The miners were also banned from the facility for life.

So there you go, on that cheery note.

O'BRIEN: Thanks, John.

Well, here's another question for you. Can a breakfast pastry be used as a weapon? Officials at an elementary school in Maryland have now suspended a 7-year-old boy for taking his breakfast pastry and then eating parts of it so that it looked like the shape of a gun. I'm not making this up.

The school says he allegedly said , "Bang bang," while holding breakfast pastry/alleged gun. The boy denies that, says he was trying to actually make the shape of a mountain, but it wouldn't really hold the shape, so it just looked like a gun.

Anyway, let's get to 7-year-old Josh Welch. He joins us. His dad is B.J. Welch. They're both with us this morning. Nice to see you, guys.

B.J., I'm going to start with you if I can. So walk me through exactly what happened with your son, Josh. He was in the cafeteria, obviously eating. Was he making a gun? Was he making a mountain? What happened?

B.J. WELCH, SON SUSPENDED FROM SCHOOL FOR ALLEGED "PASTRY GUN": Well, actually, the children, they eat breakfast in their classroom so this actually took place in his classroom. And I get a call from the vice principal that they had to suspend him for two days because he was eating this breakfast pastry, it was like a Danish type thing, and he was chewing on it and fashioned it into what resembled a gun. And, as you said, used the words , "Bang bang". I'm assuming that she was inferring that he was trying to use it as a gun. That's about as many details as I got as far as the actual incident with him and this pastry.

O'BRIEN: All right, so let me ask a question of Josh, if I may. So Josh, you're 7 years old, which I guess puts you in -- are you in first grade?


O'BRIEN: Oh, you're in second grade. My apologies. OK, second grade. The big question, of course, is were you making a gun out of your pastry? And did, in fact, you say , "Bang bang," while holding your pastry up, right? JOSH WELCH: No. I was trying to shape it into a mountain, and it turned out to be a gun. And I did not say , "Bang bang". And pretty much I got suspended now for two days.

O'BRIEN: After you made this mountain shape gun-like thing, what happened? Did the teacher remove you from the classroom? Was there some other thing that happened that would make her take you out of the classroom?

JOSH WELCH: Actually, she had to send me up to the office, and I was up there for a little bit. And my teacher had to bring the stuff up. And then my dad came up into the school, and he had to call and talk to the assistant principal. She was scared of guns, and he was in there for a little bit too.

Then when they were done, we had to go home. And I showed him what the pastry looked like. It was blue, and it was a rectangle. It was a cherry one. And this one was, I don't know, five quarters long.

O'BRIEN: Kind of looked like a gun?

JOSH WELCH: Yes. When I was done, it turned out to be a gun, yes.

O'BRIEN: So let me ask your dad another question. There was a letter sent home from the school to families. And part of the letter reads this. "One of our students," -- they're talking about your son here -- "used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class. While no physical threats were made and no one was harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom."

And they go on to say, listen, there's this code of student conduct. A handbook was sent home. Can be found on the Web site. And you have to sign a form indicating that you understand it all. And that, frankly, as much as you may disagree with what they claim, at the end of the day, it's in the handbook and you signed it. Don't they have a point?

B.J. WELCH: I would say they have a point. I mean, I also believe that there needs to be some common sense injected into such handbooks and rules and et cetera. I mean, obviously, we need rules for a reason. They're there with good intentions. But I would like to think that rules are put in place to protect people from harm and danger and things of that nature.

Do I believe that Josh should have been talked to and told, hey, we shouldn't do that in school. I should have been called about it. Basic things like that, those steps should have been taken. I just believe that when you compare the caliber of the, quote, unquote, "offense" to the caliber of the punishment, they don't match up. And I just feel that's just a lack of common sense in conjunction with the use of the rules. And honestly, I believe there's some personal bias involved in the decision as well.

O'BRIEN: Interesting. OK, let me open up to my panel for one second, so stand by. You know, I think schools tend to go down this road, right, where they have this zero tolerance policy, and then they find themselves in a position where there's a kid pointing a pastry.

MACK: This is outrageous. I mean, this is the school going way overboard. I mean, it's a pastry. He's a 7-year-old kid. Even if he did make it into a gun on purpose and say , "Bang bang" -- the fact that we're talking about this, that they're on TV, because they suspended --

O'BRIEN: For two days.

MACK: For two days. It's just outrageous. Our schools have got to get their act together, and they can't overreact to stuff like this. It's outrageous.

FARLEY: We have so many problems with the educational system in America. For us to spend time grilling a 7-year-old over what he did with a pastry, it just makes me really sad.

O'BRIEN: OK, but let me play devil's advocate.

FARLEY: About the world.

O'BRIEN: Let's say the next kid is not a pastry, but now they fashion something out of --

MACK: It's a steak.

O'BRIEN: But now they fashion something out of, let's say, wood. And then the next kid actually goes ahead and does something a little further. Isn't -- I agree with you. It's a little ridiculous. But I think the school is trying to figure out where the line is.

FARLEY: That's really ridiculous. I really don't think it's going to escalate. None of the four food groups include metal. So no one's going to get hurt.


ROMANS: The problem is the zero tolerance. Zero tolerance doesn't give you any room for good judgment or for a teacher and a principal deciding that this kid didn't mean to do that. This is not -- use a very stern voice as a teacher, it will never happen again. Zero tolerance gets rid of all of your wiggle room for good sense.

O'BRIEN: I've got to say, my boys are 8. They turn everything into guns.


O'BRIEN: Oh my gosh, everything. Like, things that you couldn't think would ever be a gun would be a gun.

Let me ask a question, back to Josh. So Josh, I want to ask you our final question this morning. You've been out of school for a day I think, right? Now you've got another day of suspension. Are you upset about it? Have you learned your lesson? What do you take away from all this?

JOSH WELCH: Well, I do draw tanks in school, and I do draw a lot of stuff. And I do like guns. But I don't make guns out of food and stuff. When I'm trying to create stuff, like drawing, I do not try to draw inappropriate stuff or stuff that isn't inappropriate, but like trucks, helicopters, and planes, I do draw. I draw a lot of stuff.

O'BRIEN: We were showing a little bit of your artwork earlier. You're a good artist. Listen, my boys are in second grade too. So I've got to tell you, dad, I feel your pain on this one.

Thank you for talking with us this morning. It will be interesting -- we asked, I should mention, the school if they would comment, and they said that they wouldn't give us a comment. But they gave us this letter that they sent home. B.J. Welch and Josh Welch.

Josh is 7-years-old. Pretty good interview for a 7-year-old kid.

ROMANS: My kid is 6 -- he could not say inappropriate. I think he's learned "appropriate" and "inappropriate". He's had a talking to.

O'BRIEN: He clearly has learned that.

ROMANS: He's had a talking to.

O'BRIEN: So ahead this morning, talking on the phone unacceptable at a lot of gyms. But is it worth losing your membership over? Oh my god, I do this all the time. One woman said it happened to her, next.

FARLEY: Yes, you're one of those people?

O'BRIEN: Yes, I am.

FARLEY: It's in the rulebook, it's in the rulebook.

OB'RIEN: I'm sure it is. Yes.


BERMAN: Breaking news just in to CNN. And it's really sad news. The baby who had survived the car crash that claimed the life of his parents has died. Police confirmed he died earlier this morning.

The couple had been inside a taxicab that was broadsided by another car in Brooklyn, New York, yesterday that's happened. The mother was pregnant at the time. Doctors were able to deliver the baby by cesarean section, but again we just learned that the baby has died.

Other "Top Stories" now Casey Anthony coming out of hiding today she is set to appear on court this morning in Tampa to meet with creditors, this is part of her Chapter 7 bankruptcy hearings. Anthony was acquitted of killing her daughter Caylee two years ago.

The famous Facebook news feed we've all finally gotten used to is changing again. The new version is expected to bring more features to mobile platforms, including smart phones, expected to revamped look this Thursday.

So three stars of the hit sitcom "Modern Family" left hanging inside an elevator in Kansas City, Missouri.








BERMAN: So Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Bowen got stuck on their way to a charity event, and they continued the laughs on Twitter. Stonestreet tweeted, "I honestly handled being stuck in an elevator for 50 minutes better than I thought. All Jesse Tyler did was pass wind."

Well you probably all agree that people talking loudly on their cell phone, Soledad no matter where you are, is annoying.

O'BRIEN: I don't say loudly, I just do it. I whisper. Loudly is annoying.

BERMAN: But did a Massachusetts gym go too far when it revoked a woman's membership for yakking on the cell phone while working out? The woman says she got the boots from a Planet Fitness after answering an unexpected call from her doctor while training on the elliptical.

O'BRIEN: It was my doctor. I had to answer it.

BERMAN: That violated a rule which restricts cell phone use to the lobby.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESSPONDENT: This is zero tolerance policy. Isn't there one warning and then you get booted out?

O'BRIEN: Listen, apparently --

ROMANS: Soledad is looking over the fine print. She wants to make sure.

O'BRIEN: This -- wait -- this is actually the key line. "This is a member that had repeated issues and incidents with cell phone usage."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they use their cell phone.

O'BRIEN: Listen I've got to tell you I use my cell phone at the gym. I just don't yell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perhaps this is an intervention right now for you. Maybe your gym called and said, hey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about texting? Do you have to talk? Just text.

O'BRIEN: It's her doctor. Important information was coming in.

ROMANS: Don't get on the elliptical.

O'BRIEN: She's got to go someplace else now. And no more Planet Fitness.

Still ahead this morning, a nail biting ending to a high school basketball game. Player makes an unbelievable shot, beats the clock. We'll show you that and a little more after this.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

NFL history has been made. The first female to ever try out for NFL teams at a regional combine. Jared Greenberg has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Jared.


Just two and done. However, at this level, Lauren Silverman has kicked two more footballs than any woman has ever before. Silverman had $275 and a dream to become the first woman to play in the NFL. Battling a leg injury, the 28-year-old was only able to last two kicks. The regional combine in New Jersey was open to anyone willing to pay the registration fee, offering all 37 participants, including the first woman ever, the chance of a lifetime.


LAUREN SILVERMAN, TRIED OUT FOR NFL: I've always been an athlete. I've always been a gamer. And you know when I had the opportunity to be in the NFL, one of the world's most competitive leagues, I absolutely had to take the chance.


GREENBERG: Danica Patrick's day was also cut short. A blown tire forced Patrick to crash into the wall in Phoenix. A 37th place finish a week after crossing the finish line 8th at Daytona.

Carl Edwards turned last week's misfortune into a victory in the desert and made a bid for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team after he won the checkered. Edwards hadn't won in his last 70 races.

Man code was violated in L.A. Serge Ibaka, the Oklahoma City Thunder with a low blow on Blake Griffin of the Clippers. Ibaka was then hit himself with a flagrant foul but not ejected. Ibaka should keep refreshing his e-mail inbox; a note from the league office regarding a suspension is likely.

A wild moment over the weekend New York high school hoops. Final seconds New Rochelle in the black uniforms, down two. Mt. Vernon appears to secure the win. An errant pass comes to Kalil Edney from 55 feet, you bet you.

Take another look. Edney, who inbounds the pass, eventually gets the ball back. The red light on the wood doesn't come until Edney releases the ball. Move over Lebron and Kobe.

For the time being, Edney finds himself thrust into the national spotlight. His Twitter following has more than tripled since he buried this incredible buzzer beater to upend the seven-time defending section 1 champs in New York.

Want more sports? Well check out Lebron James on Bleacher Report right now. The staff tells us how he would stack up against every era in NBA history. That's all right there right now on

And Soledad one footnote from that ridiculous high school shot. It's been a big year for Edney in New Rochelle. He was the quarterback on the state championship winning football team.

O'BRIEN: Does it all and well apparently.

GREENBERG: Does it all. Got it all going for him.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Thanks. Appreciate it. Our "End Point's" up next.

We're back in a moment.


Welcome back, everybody. Our "End Point" this morning I'm going to take. Earlier this morning, we spoke to Bill Cosby a little bit about the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Here's what he told us.


BILL COSBY, ENTERTAINER: On our part as professors and presidents of colleges all over and in public schools, we need to get the education of the correct history that happened so that people can say, yes, this really did happen.


O'BRIEN: So that kicks off, this weekend kicked off the Changing Lives, Education and Entrepreneurial Summit, which Bill Cosby is going to be hosting in the fall. He says they want to drive the dialogue so that we can't move 50 years forward until we come up with a solution to solving educational issues and also a formula for business as well -- black business.

That is it this morning for STARTING POINT.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Christi Paul begins right now. I'll see everybody back here tomorrow morning.