Archive for the ‘Cyber Bullying’ Category

The New Cyberbullying Resource That Your Students Will Adore

July 18, 2015


My friend Mike Feurstein has done it again!  Volume 7 of his brilliant How to Unmake a Bully series is a showstopper. Above is the first part of the Cyberbullying trilogy. Enjoy!


Click on the link to read Is This a Case of Teacher Bullying?

Click on the link to read The Epidemic that is Online Bullying

Click on the link to read At Least When an Olympic Athlete gets Cyberbullied They Have a Voice

Click on the link to read If You Ever Wondered How Some Kids Become Bullies …


Is This a Case of Teacher Bullying?

May 14, 2015






Do you regard this as a case of bullying or bad judgement?

Either way, there had to be some consequences:


A township teacher who lost her tenured position and whose teaching license was suspended after she made fun of a curse word in a student’s name has lost her appeal.

Yvette Nichols had appealed an October decision by the state licensing agency for teachers — the Board of Examiners — suspending her teaching certificate for a year for posting a screenshot on Facebook of an assignment a student had completed, which instructed students to “practice writing my name the kindergarten way.” Nichols’ Facebook post, however, focused on the curse word in the student’s name.

The decision does not specify what the student’s name was, or what curse word it contained.

“The student’s name contained a curse word and Nichols allegedly posted ‘I want to ask the parents if I can change it’ and ‘I still can’t get over the student’s name!'” the decision said. “In response to others’ comments about the name, Nichols allegedly wrote ‘How do you think I feel when I have to address him???? I literally can’t stop laughing! I have to go all year with this’—!!!'”

According to the Board of Examiners, the school district investigated the allegations and determined Nichols had violated the district’s harassment, intimidation and bullying policy. Nichols later resigned from her position, but she denied bullying the student.

Nichols, in her previous statements, said her comments were immature and inappropriate, but not a reason to lose her license permanently. Nichols, who said she was remorseful over the incident, also told the board “the curse word in the name was the target of the Facebook post, not the child himself.”

Nichols, who is a single parent, told the board she was under significant stress at the time due to a recent divorce, and because she was “struggling with diabetes.”

The board agreed not to revoke Nichols’ teaching certificates permanently, instead ordering a one-year suspension of them because she had “fully accepted responsibility for her actions.”

In her appeal, Nichols argued that her comments did not “rise to the level of conduct necessary to suspend her certificates because they do not make her unfit to be a school teacher.”

She also proposed that if the suspension of her teaching certificate was upheld “it should be retroactive to one of the following dates: the date when (she) resigned as a teacher with the district; the date when the board issued the order to show cause; or the date when the board voted to suspend her certificates.”

The Board of Examiners rejected Nichols’ argument, saying, “There is nothing in the record to suggest that the Board’s decision was arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable, and as a result the (Department of Education) Commissioner finds no basis upon which to disturb the decision of the state Board of Examiners.”



Click on the link to read The Epidemic that is Online Bullying

Click on the link to read At Least When an Olympic Athlete gets Cyberbullied They Have a Voice

Click on the link to read If You Ever Wondered How Some Kids Become Bullies …

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

The Epidemic that is Online Bullying

February 19, 2015


Online bullying is becoming a bigger problem by the day, and it is high time schools stop handballing the problem to parents and start getting more involved:


One in seven children admit to having bullied someone online – often to try to fit in, a poll reveals.

Others claim they turned to bullying to avoid becoming a target of abuse themselves.

The charity Action For Children, which commissioned the survey, said many children bully others because of problems in their own lives.

The poll, published to mark Safer Internet Day today, found 15 per cent of 2,000 youngsters aged eight to 17 questioned had bullied someone online. 

Of these, 59 per cent did so to fit in with a particular social group and 43 per cent wanted to prevent themselves being bullied.

Some 28 per cent admitted becoming a bully due to peer pressure and 12 per cent said they had done it because they were unhappy. 

The survey also found that nearly half of the youngsters questioned admitted they had kept silent after seeing or reading something online that made them feel uncomfortable, rather than telling someone.

Around one in five said they had kept quiet because they were scared of what a bully might do to them, while nearly half said they were not worried enough to let someone know what they had seen and 17 per cent said they were worried they would get into trouble if they told.


Click on the link to read At Least When an Olympic Athlete gets Cyberbullied They Have a Voice

Click on the link to read If You Ever Wondered How Some Kids Become Bullies …

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

If You Ever Wondered How Some Kids Become Bullies …

November 10, 2013


What kind of rolemodels do you think these parents are?

A facebook group dedicated to criticizing ‘ugly’ babies proves that bullying is not just an act of teenagers.

The private facebook group, which has since been removed, is composed of grown women around the country who grab photos of toddlers from other mothers’ facebook pages without approval and post them online for criticizing.

The group was originally designed to trade and sell children’s clothing but took a nasty turn.

One mother, Melissa Anetucci, of Palm Beach, Fla. has made it her mission to fight against the self-proclaimed ‘mean girls group’ and to expose their wildly inappropriate behavior. She began posting the mother’s comments online in order to exploit their cruel remarks.

Anetucci told, ‘The things that these mothers said were the most horrific things that I have ever seen, being a mom and knowing that they are moms.’

Another mother, Ellen Veach, of Pheonix, Ariz. told Fox News she was terrified to discover that a photo of her 2-year-old daughter was taken from her facebook and pictured next to a cartoon character.

Veach says she didn’t realize that friends of friends could access her photos on facebook. It was a friend who notified her her daughter’s photo was circulating online.

‘So I’m posting pictures of my son’s first day in kindergarten or Ivy’s new outfit or something just naively posting it up there so my friends can see, not realizing there’s a group that takes these pictures and targets these children and makes fun of them. Like that’s just something I wouldn’t even think a mother or grown woman would do,’ Veach told Fox.

One ‘mean girl’ wrote, ‘Before I address this…It…I want to point out that it makes my heart happy that you have a Mean Girls tab in your computer. Good stuff. Now, # 1 is this a he or a she…You absolutely can not fix ugly. This is a God given example of such.’

Another facebook comment read, ‘An ugly baby thread. I have died and gone to heaven…why can’t you guys live near me so we can do this over cocktails?’

Another commented of a child, ‘It’s hideous.’

The parents of the children who were being bullied commented on the group’s page and asked the women to stop their lewd behavior, but they were none too kind.

One overwhelmed mother wrote, ‘This is MY DAUGHTER that is being made fun of because she is delayed…so funny, huh? Sick (expletive).’The photo was of her daughter in the intensive care unit.


10 Essential Facts About Cyberbullying for Parents

October 24, 2013


Courtesy of Caroline Knorr:

Q. What is cyberbullying?

A. Cyberbullying is using digital communications (like the Internet and cell phones) to make another person feel angry, sad or scared, usually again and again.

Many experts agree that intent and context are important, too. If the behavior was intentional, that’s clearly cyberbullying and there should be consequences. But if a kid inadvertently hurts another kid, then he or she may just need to learn better online behavior.

Either way, if your kid feels bad as a result of someone else’s online actions, then they may have been targeted and you should take it seriously. Kids’ conversations can be rowdy and rude. But if they’re not deliberately (and repeatedly) designed to inflict cruelty, and no one feels wronged, then chalk it up to juvenile antics. But keep an eye on it.
Q. How is cyberbullying different from bullying?

A. All bullying is extremely hurtful to the target and can make kids feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, helpless, sad and angry. But cyberbullying is a particular form of bullying that often spreads faster and further to more people and can occur at any time of day or night.

Online messages can be more confusing or scarier than in-person communication because there are no face-to-face cues to help you understand people’s intentions. Helping kids recognize bullying will help them learn to better deal with it.

  • Kids may use more hurtful and extreme language online than offline. It’s not uncommon for cyberbullies to say things like “I wish you would die,” “You’re ugly,” and “Everybody hates you.” If a kid said these things out loud in public, a teacher, a parent or even another kid would probably overhear and intervene.
  • Cyberbullying can happen anytime, whereas regular bullying generally stops when kids go home. Your kid could get a text, an email or see a post — or posts — on Facebook at any moment.
  • Cyberbullying can be very public. Posts can spread rapidly to a large, invisible audience because of the nature of how information travels online.
  • Cyberbullies sometimes act anonymously, whereas, with traditional bullying, it’s often clear who the bully is. Anonymity is a cloak that bullies hide behind. Not only does it encourage the bully to be more brazen, it makes him or her hard to trace.
  • In-person bullying can cause both physical and emotional harm. Cyberbullying causes “only” emotional harm (though it can lead to physical bullying, as well).

Q. What are some examples of cyberbullying?

A. Usually, cyberbullying is characterized by repeated cruelty. Whether this was a thoughtless, one-time prank or a more deliberate act of cruelty, it sounds as if your kid was humiliated over and over as every kid saw the picture. That’s what matters most. Hopefully, the kids’ parents were notified and your kid recovered.

Here are some other examples of behavior that could cross the line into cyberbullying:

  • Sending a mean email or IM to someone
  • Posting mean things about someone on a website
  • Making fun of someone in an online chat
  • Doing mean things to someone’s character in an online world
  • Creating a hostile environment in an online world or game
  • Impersonating someone online — including creating a fake online profile
  • Repeatedly texting someone to the point of harassment
  • Directly threatening or intimidating someone online or in a text
  • Starting rumors or spreading gossip online
  • Stealing someone’s password and logging into someone else’s account
  • Taking a photo or video and sharing it without the subject’s consent, knowing it might be embarrassing

Q. How do you have the conversation with another parent about their kid’s bullying?

A. If your kid is bullied by someone he or she knows, you should probably talk it over — face-to-face — with the kid’s parents. These steps can help you achieve a cooperative conflict resolution that will get everyone working together.

  • Schedule a meeting. While your impulse may be to confront the kid’s parents immediately, it’s better to set a time to meet and discuss the situation in a civilized manner.
  • Explain that you’re there for your kid. Say that your kid reported the incident and you wanted to follow up. That takes the heat off of the parents and allows you both to discuss your kids’ actions.
  • State your goal. Yes, you’re angry and hurt, but your goal should go beyond blaming. You want to end the bullying and have your kids stop engaging in destructive behavior.
  • Let the other parent talk. Hear them out; they may have information that you don’t know.
  • Bring the evidence. Show printouts or the devices on which the bullying occurred.
  • Work together. As much as possible, try to enlist the other parent so you can work as a united front.
  • Talk about next steps.Create a plan for how to proceed as well as a check-in schedule so you can see how things are progressing. Depending on whether things calm down or escalate, you may need to bring in a neutral party — a teacher, counselor, even a community leader — to deal with the problem and help you all move forward.


The Normalisation of Cyber Bullying

October 21, 2013



Cyberbullying has become a normal practice and it’s all our fault. Parents, teachers and school administrators have completely dropped the ball on this one. Cyberbullying is a significant issue and it requires all its stakeholders to assume responsibility and work together. We must focus on this issue before it gets even worse:

More than half of children and young people in England accept cyber-bullying as a part of everyday life, a new survey has found.

But parents and teachers say they do not feel they are equipped to deal with the growing problem of internet abuse.

Campaigners warned that cyber bullying had become ‘an everyday problem for today’s children’ and demanded better education to tackle the phenomenon.

More than half of children polled – 55 per cent – said cyber-bullying had become a part of life for children and young people, while 60.5 per cent of parents also said it had.

Keeping their children safe online is a major worry for parents, with 49 per cent complaining that the amount of access their child has to the internet leaves them struggling to monitor their behaviour online.

And 51 per cent say this makes them scared for the safety of their child.

However, the poll suggests that many families would struggle to respond if their child did fall victim to internet abuse.

Some 40 per cent of parents said they would not know how to respond if their child fell victim to cyber-bullies or how to set up filters on computers, tablets and mobile phones that could protect their children.

There were growing calls for online safety to be taught in more schools, with 69 per cent of teachers and 40 per cent of young people calling for it to be included in the national curriculum.

Nearly half of teachers – 43 per cent – admitted their school did not currently teach anything about cyber-bullying and online safety and 44 per cent admitted they did not know how to respond to cyber-bullying.

Almost a third – 32.1 per cent – of young people said that teaching schools, parents and children about internet safety would be the biggest step that can be taken to tackle cyber-bullying, yet just a fifth of children felt they were taught enough about it at school.

The major new survey, commissioned by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, underlines the struggle many families face trying to protect their children on the internet.

Click on the link to read The Explosion of Online Bullying

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

Click on the link to read A Positive Approach to Tackling Cyberbullying

Who is Going to Do Something About Cyberbullying?

October 3, 2013


Cyberbullying continues to grow, even considering the increased public awareness of the problem. This is simply not good enough.

For too long schools have been avoiding the issue, claiming that what is done outside of their gates is not within their domain – Wrong!

Parents have all too often decided to ignore whether or not their children are of age to use social media and whether they are using these sites responsibly – Wrong!

Bystanders, aware of Facebook hate sites have often decided to stay out of a potential conflict and have either opted to sit on their hands or worse, tacitly encourage the bullying – Wrong!

Facebook claim they are working overtime to ensure that cyberbullies are not rampant on their site – Wrong!

When are the stakeholders and custodians of this problem going to take their collective blindfolds off and start fixing this terrible form of bullying?

More than a million young people are subjected to ‘extreme cyberbullying’ every day, according to the largest ever survey into online abuse.

The report found young people are twice as likely to be bullied on Facebook than any other social network.

Experts say cyberbullying can have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on self-esteem and have called for parents and regulators to recognise the seriousness of the issue.

Liam Hackett, founder of national anti-bullying charity, Ditch The Label, which produced the report, said many people assume cyberbullying is not as hurtful as face-to-face abuse.

But he said it can be even more distressing because it is more public.

The survey of 10,000 13 to 22-year-olds found that levels of cyberbullying were much higher than previously reported.

It found that 70 per cent of youngsters had experienced cyberbullying and one in five said it had been ‘extreme’.

Of those surveyed, almost 40 per cent said they were bullied online frequently.

Mr Hackett said: ‘I think there’s a tendency for older people to think that cyberbullying is a lesser form of bullying because there is this idea you can delete a comment or you can block it and it’s gone.

‘But actually, we have seen that content becomes viral very quickly and when comments are put out on a public platform it can be more distressing for the victim because a lot of people are exposed to this content, so it’s incredibly harmful.’

Facebook, and Twitter were found to be the most likely sources of cyberbullying, and 54 per cent of Facebook users reported cyberbullying on the network, the survey said.

Click on the link to read Engaging in Gossiping Isn’t as Pleasurable as it Seems

Click on the link to read The Explosion of Online Bullying

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

Click on the link to read The Use of Facebook in Cyberbullying Activity

Click on the link to read A Positive Approach to Tackling Cyberbullying

Engaging in Gossiping Isn’t as Pleasurable as it Seems

August 15, 2013



Not enough is done to confront the issue of gossiping at classroom level, even though it is a significant factor in bullying (cyber related bullying in particular). Gossiping does monumental harm in the classroom. It is divisive, negative and presents enormous problems for a teacher trying to improve the mood of the class and confidence levels of each student.

It is important to draw attention to a recent study showing that engaging in gossiping isn’t as pleasurable as it first seems:

It is used by millions of people to stay in touch with friends and family.

But far from brightening their day, Facebook could be making its users more unhappy.

Scientists have found the more time individuals spend on the social networking site, the worse they subsequently feel.

More than one in three Britons use Facebook every day, with 24 million logging on to share their latest goings on.

‘On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection,’ said lead researchers Dr Ethan Kross, a psychologist at the University of Michigan.

‘But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result – it undermines it.’ Research carried out earlier this year at the University of Chester suggested Facebook friends are no substitute for the real thing.

It found people are happier and laugh 50 per cent more when talking face-to-face with friends or via webcam than when they use social networking sites.

And the current study backed these findings, with participants who had direct interactions with other people feeling better over time.

In contrast, the more individuals used Facebook during the period, the greater the reduction in their life satisfaction levels.

‘This is a result of critical importance because it goes to the very heart of the influence that social networks may have on people’s lives,’ said co-author John Jonides, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Michigan.

The research, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, looked at the browsing habits of 82 young adults, all of whom had smartphones and Facebook accounts.

The Explosion of Online Bullying

August 7, 2013


Some very worrying numbers as a result of possibly the most difficult form of bullying to eliminate:

British children are suffering thanks to an epidemic of online bullying – with the number of calls to ChildLine from victims almost doubling in just one year.

In 2012/13, a total of 4,507 children – around 12 a day – rang the helpline to complain they were being abused by peers on social networking sites.

That is up a startling 87 per cent from the 2,410 calls the year before, with the head of the NSPCC revealing many were ringing in ‘utter panic’ after suffering months of ‘torment’.

Girls are three times more likely to call than boys and, worryingly, one in six calls are received from children aged 11 or younger.

The revelation follows the death of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who hanged herself on Friday after months of abuse on the internet.

Her father said he had found bullying posts on his daughter’s page from people telling her to die.

She had been urged to ‘drink bleach’ by her anonymous tormentors and taunted over her weight, the death of an uncle and an apparent propensity to self-harm.The notorious website – described as a ‘stalker’s paradise’ – has been linked to at least four teenage deaths over the past year.

Now an analysis of calls received by ChildLine show that these victims are far from alone – and that cyberbullying is now one of the fastest growing issues young people contract them about.

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