Posts Tagged ‘Cyber Bullying’

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 …

Suicide is a Problem Schools Shouldn’t Walk Away From

November 30, 2014

jayden arnold

Since a child spends a majority of his or her waking hours at school, it bothers me that many schools are so reactive when it comes to helping a child at risk. To wait for obvious signs of distress is a policy that flirts with disaster. I have long called for schools to help students who have difficulties making friends or who are undergoing challenges such as radical change, seperation of their parents or those going through a breakup of a friendship or relationship. Instead of waiting for the students to ask for help, is there anything wrong with offering it?

Suicide often occurs when the victim feels that nobody cares or understands. What  better way to show you “get it” than to initiate contact with a student that might need it?

Suicide is not a problem that schools can afford to blame on home issues. It is very much an issue that needs to be tackled through a partnership between school and home:

 

A SUICIDE prevention policy should be developed in every school in Australia to counter the scourge that affects so many young people, the Black Dog Institute says.

The policy should include plans to execute prevention programs, goals for positive mental health and guidelines for managing suicidal behaviour in schools.

Institute director Professor Helen Christensen said the action plan should be distributed to all school staff.

Teachers and parents also could be trained as “gatekeepers” to improve the identification of suicidal youth by better recognising warning signs and referring students on to further care.

“Gatekeeper training can be delivered universally such as to all school staff or selectively to parents of at risk students,” Prof Christensen said.

Under peer helper programs young people, too, could be equipped with knowledge and skills to help fellow students they believe to be at risk.

Experts believe young people are more likely to confide in one of their peers than in an adult when they are having serious problems.

Prof Christensen has made a series of recommendations on suicide prevention in the specialist publication of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Teacher.

“There is increasing recognition that a coordinated approach to suicide prevention must involve the participation of key community organisations,” she said.

“Among them schools are particularly well placed to deliver interventions that will enhance resilience, improve mental health and reduce risk of suicide.”

Schools at the centre of a mental health crisis among young people report that students are self-harming or threatening to injure themselves at a rate of more than two per week.

Child psychologists also say increasing numbers of children are presenting with mental disorders such as severe anxiety and, in the most extreme cases, have suicided.

Principals campaigning for more counsellors to handle disturbed children in schools report more problems are emerging in younger students — some exhibiting violent and challenging behaviours and a lack of remorse.

Cyber bullying, increasingly linked to incidents of self harm and suicide, now affects an estimated 463,000 a year with around 365,000 of them in the 10-15 age group.

Research by the UNSW’s social policy research centre has found increasing evidence of the lasting effects of cyber-bullying with links to low self-esteem, mental health issues, depression and anxiety.

A number of schools have responded to the Sunday Telegraph’s coverage of the suicide issue affecting young Australians.

Figures show suicide is the leading non-medical cause of death in children aged 10 to 14.

Writing in the newsletter of Rosebank College in Sydney’s inner west, acting assistant principal Paul Hardwick told the school community: “It was with great sadness reading the Sunday papers that the fragility of life hit me.

“Over the last couple of months families, friends and school communities have been left to ponder ‘why?’ and ‘what should I have done differently?’

“The College’s deepest sympathies go out to the families and schools trying to work through the heartache and sadness as they come together to grieve the loss of those so young.

“While adolescent mental health issues are on the rise, we as a community need to be able to arm our children with the tools to seek assistance when they need it and certainly when they are vulnerable.

“Just asking if someone is OK is not always enough.”

Rosebank College republished in its newsletter points of advice given by the headmaster of The King’s School, Parramatta Dr Tim Hawkes, which ran in The Sunday Telegraph.

Southern Cross School at Ballina on the state’s north coast said it, too, was touched by the tragic stories published in The Sunday Telegraph.

The school this week held a Wellbeing Expo “to bring the subject of youth mental health into the public arena and open channels for young people to know where and how to contact the right people” for help.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Runs Suicide Note Writing Workshop

Click on the link to read Don’t Wait For Signs a Child is Contemplating Suicide

Click on the link to read Teachers Can’t Afford to Make Light of Suicide

Click on the link to read Schools Have an Even Bigger Responsibility than Educating

Girl Gets taped and tied to tree and ‘sexually assaulted’: Where Were the Teachers?

July 27, 2014

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I am not privy to the reasons why no teacher spotted an incident which one would think is fairly easy to pick up, but even if there was a valid reason for not identifying it, one has to wonder about general standards in yard duty. I find it ironic that by law teachers have to wear a fluro vest to stand out among the students at recess. Perhaps the problem isn’t of students finding the teacher but vice versa.

I hope this awful story doesn’t just highlight the bullying problems our schools confront but also the importance of proper supervision during recess:

 

A STUDENT at a metropolitan high school was taped to a tree, bound with a garden hose and allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted in an incident recorded and posted on social media.

The Year 9 girl was filmed, allegedly distressed and screaming, while a gang of eight boys humiliated her during a recess break, just metres from the western suburb school’s staffroom.

The incident, in which the boys allegedly rubbed their buttocks and genitalia against the girl, is now the subject of SA Police and Education Department investigations.

The gang, meanwhile, has continued to harass its victim as recently as this week.

Her mother, who declined to be named, said her daughter was a “confident, happy child” when she began her studies at the school in 2010.

In mid-2011, she “became withdrawn”, performed poorly in class and received “particularly nasty” messages on social media.

For three years, the mother sought help from teachers and counsellors with no change in her daughter’s “extreme stress, anxiety and depression”.

In April, the girl told a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service worker and her mother she was being bullied by a girl and a gang of eight boys, culminating in the recorded incident.

“(The girl) taped my daughter to a tree out the front of the school and staffroom where most students gathered at recess and lunch,” the mother said.

“My daughter noticed a gang of boys approaching … she began to ask (the girl) to let her free … as the boys drew closer they grabbed the hose and sprinkler.

“By this stage my daughter was screaming and begging (the girl) to untie her; however, the girl chose to laugh at her and do nothing.”

The woman said the gang of boys wrapped her daughter in the hose and, while filming her with mobile phones, “dropped their pants and rubbed” their buttocks and genitalia on her.

“She said she felt so humiliated and so frightened … everyone around her stood there and did nothing or were laughing in the distance,” she said.

The woman has spoken out about the incident for the first time after she was prompted to come forward by the historic first-ever prosecution of a teen under the state’s new “humiliating and degrading” filming laws.

The laws, introduced last year, carry a maximum one-year jail term for anyone who subjects another person to a degrading act, or one that would violate their privacy.

 

Click on the link to read Start Being Proactive When it Comes to Bullying
Click on the link to read The Real “Mean Girls”

Click on the link to read Anti-Bullying Song Goes Viral

Click on the link to read Some Schools Just Don’t Get it When it Comes to Bullying

Click on the link to read The Bystander Experiment (Video)

Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

May 6, 2014

 

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A new survey tells us the same gloomy details about how unhappy our children are. It’s not that I discount their findings or wish to in any way dismiss the issues raised, but where is the companion article with ideas and initiatives for making our children happy.

The internet and other technology are not to blame for the state of our children. Blaming these things both undermines the problem and makes it harder to raise solutions.

So my message is to read this with a desire to make a difference rather than to wallow in the current state of affairs:

 

Children’s happiness drops after the age of 11 as they get caught up in modern issues such as cyber-bullying, online porn and sexting, a study has found.

Charity and youth workers surveyed almost 7,000 children over three years and found girls were far worse affected than boys.

Their self-esteem, ’emotional well-being’ and satisfaction with their community sank sharply after the age of 11, continuing to get worse up to the age of 16.

Boys’ happiness, meanwhile, remained far more stable.

The researchers blamed the march of technology as one of several factors making teenagers unhappy.

Dr Simon Davey, Programme Leader of the Emerging Scholars’ Intervention Programme, said: ‘Technology and the pace of change have accelerated pressures, made them more extreme and increased competition.

‘Girls in particular are more vulnerable to social pressures affecting their confidence and capability.

‘Measuring well-being – one of the ultimate expressions of confidence and capability – has been difficult for us but [these] well-being tool helps us take a quantitative view for the students we work with.’

The study, carried out over three years by around 50 youth charities, is due to be released on Tuesday.

In total the charities surveyed 6,890 children aged 11 to 16 – 3,176 girls and 3,714 boys – and ranked them on eight measures of happiness.

They were overall satisfaction, self-esteem, emotional well-being, resilience and satisfaction with friends, family, community and school.

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

If You Ever Wondered How Some Kids Become Bullies …

November 10, 2013

ellen

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 Wesh.com, ‘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.

One of the ‘Mean Girls’ responded, ‘THIS IS FACEBOOK, NOT THE SALEM WITCH HUNT….THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY AND I WAS LAUGHING BECAUSE IT WAS FUNNY….THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS, NEXT.’

10 Essential Facts About Cyberbullying for Parents

October 24, 2013

bully

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.

(more…)

The Normalisation of Cyber Bullying

October 21, 2013

 

scalp

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

fb

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, Ask.fm 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

 

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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.


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