Tag Archive | cyberbullying

10 Ways To Be An Upstander

Bullying and cyberbullying is an issue that everyone is concerned about.  From verbal abuse to online harassment, words can be used as lethal weapons.

On the same measure, words can be used to build people up too!

Your words matter, keystrokes count — how will you use them?

10 Ways you can become an upstander by School Climate:

  1. Learn more about mean, cruel, and bullying behavior. Educate yourself and your community with the resources on BullyBust.org. For example: Why do kids bully? Where does bullying take place most often in your school? What are the effects of bullying? How can we prevent it? Understanding this information will help you if you are bullied, and will help you to stand up to bullies if a friend or classmate is being bullied.
  2. Help others who are being bullied. Be a friend, even if this person is not yet your friend. Go over to them. Let them know how you think they are feeling. Walk with them. Help them to talk to an adult about what just happened. (Just think for a moment about how great this would be if someone did this for you when you were being picked on or hurt!)
  3. Stop untrue or harmful messages from spreading online or in person. If someone sends a message or tells you a rumor that you know is untrue, stand up and let the person know it is wrong. Think about how you would feel if someone spread an untrue rumor about you. Don’t laugh, send the message on to friends, or add to the story. Make it clear that you do not think that kind of behavior is cool or funny.
  4. Get friends involved. Share this site (and other related sites) with friends. Let people know that you are an upstander and encourage them to be one too. Sign the Stand Up Pledge, and make it an everyday commitment for you and your friends.
  5. Make friends outside of your circle. Eat lunch with someone who is alone. Show support for a person who is upset at school, by asking them what is wrong or bringing them to an adult who can help.
  6. Be aware of the bullying and upstander policies at your school and keep it in mind when you witness bullying. What are the school’s bully prevention policies? Are there also policies that “catch” kids “being good”? How can you support school rules and codes of conduct support students and adults doing the right thing? If there isn’t a policy, get involved or ask teachers or front office staff to speak about how you can reduce bullying.
  7. Welcome new students. If someone is new at your school, make an effort to introduce them around and make them comfortable. Imagine how you would feel leaving your friends and coming to a new school.
  8. Refuse to be a “bystander” and be a role model to others instead! If you see friends or classmates laughing along with the bully, tell them that they are contributing to the problem. Let them know that kind of behavior is not okay in your school.
  9. Respect others’ differences and help others to respect differences. It’s cool for people to be different—that’s what makes all of us unique. Join a diversity club at school to help promote tolerance in your school.
  10. Develop an Upstander/ Prevention program or project with a teacher or principal’s support that will help reduce bullying and promote socially responsible behavior in school. Bring together a team of students, parents and teachers who are committed to preventing bullying, and create a community-wide project to raise awareness, share stories and develop helpful supports. Learn more about how to start an Upstander Alliance at www.bullybust.org/upstander and access free support to sustain your team.
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10 Ways Technology has Made Bullying and Cyber Bullying Worse

cyber-bullyingWhen we were growing up there were bullies.  Nobody liked to be bullied, but it was a fact of life that you had to deal with kids that weren’t very nice.  Now, schools are so anti-bullying that anything that even slightly seems like bullying is taken very seriously.  At least when we were growing up they didn’t have Facebook to upload embarrassing videos to that would ruin a person’s life.

Check out 10 ways technology makes bullying worse.

  1. Facebook: Embarrassing pictures and videos can be uploaded to Facebook in a matter of a few seconds and ruin someone’s life forever.  Kids do not understand the damage that something like that can do to a person.  People have actually committed suicide because of events like these.
  2. Cell phones: Growing up we did not have cell phones.  Kids these days have the ability to take pictures at a moment’s notice and sometimes not in the most appropriate places.  Nude pictures of students in the shower or in the locker room have also caused suicides.
  3. Texting: Kids can bully by texting now.  They can text everyone else at the same time something bad or embarrassing about someone else.  They can also send pictures over their phone to everyone on their contact list.  Bullying like this can make someone’s life miserable.
  4. Flip cameras: These cameras are used to shoot quick videos at close range and can be uploaded to the Internet.  Kids that want to bully just have to take embarrassing videos of a student and share them with everyone.  Or a video can be sent to a parent as well that would get them grounded or in trouble.
  5. You Tube: A lot of good things have happened to people by posting a video on You Tube, but a lot of bad stuff has happened too.  People love to be the first one to dish the dirt on someone else.  They witness a fight they grab their cell phone and upload it to You Tube.  Or they set someone up and post what they think is a funny video to You Tube, but it’s actually very embarrassing.  People don’t think they are bullying when they do this stuff, but they really are.
  6. Gaming systems: Many online gaming systems allow conversations between the players.  Teens have reported that someone pretending to be them said mean things or embarrassing things to another person.  This kind of bullying is hard to stop and hard to track.  It does however cause a lot of problems for today’s teens.
  7. Blogs: There are teens that create blogs that post the latest gossip about people and will say nasty things about people.  Teens feel that they are anonymous and that no one can tell who is doing the bullying, but there are ways to track down who’s doing it and there are some big consequences.  If the bullying leads to a suicide the teen who is behind the bullying can be brought up on charges and sent to jail.  Lesser sentences are losing privileges to use a computer for 2 years.  Try doing your homework without a computer these days.
  8. Chat sites: Other sites online have chat rooms where teens can go and chat with their friends online.  People can go into these chat rooms and make up a user name and start saying bad things about kids in that chat room.  Many times there is a chat room that the students frequent because all their friends go there so when someone bullies in a chat room a lot of that kid’s peer group could be reading it.
  9. E-mail: Bullies steal identities and will sign into an e-mail account and send damaging e-mails pretending to be that teen.  Inappropriate messages to a female teacher or a nasty message to the principal are all things that can really get that child in trouble and they didn’t do anything.  Remind your child to keep passwords absolutely private.
  10. Instant messaging: Bullies will try to send nasty instant messages threatening to do something to a teen when they see them next.  Or tell them that they are going to make sure that they don’t get something they want at school like a part in the play or a solo in choir.  Bullying can take many forms even if it’s just telling someone that they did a terrible job on their audition or they overheard someone important say that they did a terrible job.  Anything like that is going to put undue stress on that child.  Make sure that your child is aware and being safe.

Source:  Full Time Nanny

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Gay Teens and Bullying: A Deadly Combination

One in six students will be assaulted so badly at school that medical care will be required. If this were true of the overall student population, Americans would be up in arms and would not rest until the problem is solved. However, since the students being assaulted are homosexual, less attention is paid and fewer solutions are offered. It doesn’t take an online PhDto recognize that schools need to address this serious problem much more directly.

One in six lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered students faces these horrendous assaults based upon his or her perceived lifestyle. Sixty-one percent of LGBT students report not feeling safe at school and 44 percent report being physically harassed based solely upon their perceived sexual orientation. Comparatively, about 25 percent of heterosexual teens report being bullied at school.

Bullying in any form affects students’ ability to concentrate on schoolwork, but all too often LGBT students go to school fearing for their physical safety. This takes such a large emotional toll that sometimes students believe the only way to resolve the turmoil of their lives is to commit suicide.

Between July and September, 2010, four young men — Justin Aaber, age 15; Billy Lucas, age 15; Seth Walsh, age 13; and Asher Brown, age 13 — all committed suicide. These boys’ families said they had been harassed and bullied for being homosexual. Every year many young people like these kill themselves as a result of anti-homosexual bullying. The true number of victims may never be known because they often don’t feel comfortable confiding in adults about the harassment or the reason behind it.

Another tragedy occurred in September, 2011. Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14-year-old boy who’d been harassed at school and online for more than a year. Jamey had received some notoriety for posting a video on the It Gets Better website about how eventually, the harassment and intolerance for being a homosexual would stop, and that young people who are being bullied, particularly for their perceived sexuality, should not give up. Sadly, Jamey’s own stress proved too much for him to bear.
Since the school shootings of the mid-’90s at Columbine, Pearl, Mississippi, Jonesboro, and other places, schools around the nation have put additional emphasis on preventing bullying and stressing tolerance among students. However, the harm done by bullying related to sexual orientation often isn’t addressed in these lessons.

In a 2009 study by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight alliance, only 18 percent of teens who responded to a survey reported the anti-bullying programs in their schools addressed the issue of being bullied for perceived sexual orientation. Experts on bullying believe that if the specific behavior that needs to be addressed isn’t mentioned by name, then it probably won’t be changed. Schools want to remain neutral about sexuality issues for fear of public backlash, but so long as students aren’t explicitly told bullying on the basis of sexuality specifically is unacceptable, such harassment is likely to continue.

California’s anti-bullying program does address anti-homosexual behavior specifically. This law drew considerable fire and controversy because religious and other conservatives believed promoting tolerance of homosexuality is wrong and actually pushing a supposed gay agenda. Nevertheless, in July of 2011 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a new bill that requires California schools to teach about the contributions of sexual minorities. Although not the direct objective of the bill, many anti-bullying advocates hope students will grow more tolerant of the LGBT community through awareness of their historical accomplishments.

Every day, students in America are being bullied because of their perceived sexual orientations. The result is all too often physical harm, whether from assaults by others or at suicidal students’ own hands. America still has a long way to go to ensure liberty and justice for all, even among schoolchildren.

Special contributor:  Elaine Hirsh – She is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education and history to medicine and videogames. This makes it difficult to choose  just one life path, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.

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Words Kill! Bullying – The Toll it Can Take on Kids

Words kill – literally!

Bullying and cyberbullying is rapidly spreading and harming our kids today.

Some being driven to suicide – why? Because words do kill!

The stats are disturbing:

·  42% of kids have been bullied while online.

·  35% of kids have been threatened online.

·  21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.

·  58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online.

·  53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online.

·  58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

  • 51% of teen girls say pressure from a guy is a reason girls send sexy messages or images
  • 44% of both teen girls and teen boys say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to get shared with people other than the intended recipient.
  • Middle school cyberbullying victims are more apt to commit suicide
  • Suicide rates among 10-14 yr. olds have risen over 50% the last 3 decades

Abuse Bites was created by Lisa Freeman who is an abuse survivor.

Many don’t realize that bullying isn’t just limited to kids and teens.  Adult bullying is more prevalent that many know.

Abuse Bites Workshops Aim to Educate & Train employers and workers alike how to defeat bullying and make the workforce a more enjoyable, safer, and productive place.

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.  Find out how you can help your community combat bullying and learn more about bullying prevention.

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Bullying, Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking: Don’t be a victim – Rise above it (Easier said than done)

Whether you are a teen or an adult, the effects of a cyber stalker or cyberbully can be emotionally devastating. For adults, especially professionals and business owners, it can be financially destructive.

As a victim and survivor of a cyber stalker, as well as the target of cyberbullies, I know firsthand how difficult and stressful it can be.

Initially you are shocked – wondering who these people are? Why are they doing this? In many situations, you don’t even know the perpetrator, but they certainly believe they know you!

In 2006 in Broward County Florida, a landmark case for Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy. It was a jury verdict of over $11M for damages done to my organization, Parents’ Universal Resource Experts and myself. (www.helpyourteens.com)

I was literally bombarded with what are called “Google bombs” – and worse than that, they would attack my friends. My friends would try to fight back and the more you debate these people (stalkers/bullies) the more they engage and it can go from bad to worse within a matter of a few minutes of keystrokes.

With stalkers/bullies, you will never win – Yes, I was vindicated in a court of law, but did that remove all the slime that was online? It didn’t – and I continually have to spend time explaining these unfortunate people that have nothing better to do with their lives but to hurt others. They no longer hurt me – I only feel terrible for others that have to listen to their ranting.

When you can’t beat someone legally, the next best step today is taking it to the wild west of the Internet! Yes, the next thing I realized I was being slammed online. Called a child abuser, kidnapper, Ed-con, exploited families, a crook, and worse. Some comments even got sexual and disgusting. As my family and friends were reading this – I was mortified. I had to take legal action. The rest is history – as I won again in a jury trial for damages of over $11M.

Here we are in 2010 and cyber stalkers are still working hard at hurting people – but what I have learned from my experience is what others need to know when they are stalked.

• Never fuel it or engage in it – you will only fire it up. The stalker/bully wants to get a reaction, as hard as it is, don’t do it.
• If you can, block him/her and report them to the moderator of the forum (ie: Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, Google etc.)
• If you attempt to tell your side of the story, even when it is the truth, you will never win. These people are determined to destroy you – no matter how blue the sky is, they will always be more determined it is green.
• Remember, when reading their crap, it is 99.9% twisted truths or outright lies. They may tell you to go and read X, Y, and Z – but neglect to tell you to read A, B and C – which completes the story. (For example, my stalker likes to tell people to read my trial transcripts – almost 1000 pages – and they direct you to certain page numbers, but unless you read the whole trial – you won’t understand those few pages, and I may look very bad – afterall, isn’t that the job of opposing counsel?) What would happen if you only heard one side of a case in trial? No one would hear the entire story.
• What motivates these stalkers and bullies? That is a million dollar question. Depending on who they are, in many cases they simply enjoy hurting others. In my case I believe these are seriously deranged people that want all residential programs closed. They don’t understand that many parents are only doing what is best for their teen. Yes, I chose a bad program -but I have taken my mistakes and turned them around to help others.
• Ignoring them is the best form of defense you have. Again, it can be extremely difficult, but remember, the more you try to tell your story, the more they will distort it. You will never win. It is just a matter of time and unfortunately for someone else, they will move on to another target.

There are lots of great online resources with more information on bullying:

http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adults/cyber-bullying.aspx
http://www.ncpc.org/cyberbullying
http://www.cyberbullying.us/
http://connectsafely.org
http://www.stompoutbullying.org

Learn more about my story and how to protect your teens and yourself in www.googlebombbook.com and watch my appearance on Rachael Ray Show and ABC News 20/20 at www.suescheffpodcasts.com and http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/preventing-cyber-slander/

Read more.

Bullying: Take a Bite Out of Bullying – BLUE SHIRT DAY

School is opening in many areas.  Florida is one of the unfortunate states that made headlines last year with the horrific acts of violence against two teens.  Michael Brewer, 15 year-old, who was nearly burned to death after being doused in alcohol and set on fire by other teens and Josie Ratley, 15 year-old, that was savagely beaten and nearly died from her head injuries by another teenager.

It is time to be a State that takes a bite out of bullying.  Whether you are in Clay, Duval or St. Johns County get involved in creating an anti-bullying policy and anti-bullying clubs.

Where to begin:  Contact STOMP Out Bullying and learn more about getting your community involved in bullying awareness and prevention.

Join Love Our Children USA on Monday, October 4th! Make a statement against bullying and cyberbullying and STOMP Out Bullying!

Make October 4th the day that bullying and cyberbullying prevention is heard around the world by wearing a BLUE SHIRT in solidarity to STOMP Out Bullying!

To signify the importance of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week from October 3rd – 9th, Love Our Children USA created NATIONAL BLUE SHIRT DAY. Specifically the first Monday of every October — this year on Monday, October 4th, they are asking kids, teens and adults to participate in NATIONAL BLUE SHIRT DAY by wearing a blue shirt to STOMP Out Bullying.

Whether you order a Blue Shirt from Love Our Children USA or wear your own blue shirt, you’ll be sending a message to everyone to end bullying and cyberbullying.

Do you have your BLUE SHIRT ready?

Read more.

Teens and Social Mingling Online

Teens love to hang out, whether it is in malls or at their friends, however it is when they are mingling online where serious danger can happen.  Yes, when they are alone with their keyboard and mouse.

Here is a great reminder of social web safety tips for teens.  They can never be reminded enough!

  • Think about what you post. Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause you problems later on. Even people you consider friends can use this info against you, especially if they become ex-friends.
  • Read between the “lines.” It may be fun to check out new people for friendship or romance, but be aware that, while some people are nice, others act nice because they’re trying to get something. Flattering or supportive messages may be more about manipulation than friendship or romance.
  • Don’t talk about sex with strangers. Be cautious when communicating with people you don’t know in person, especially if the conversation starts to be about sex or physical details. Don’t lead them on – you don’t want to be the target of a predator’s grooming. If they persist, call your local police or contact CyberTipline.com.
  • Avoid in-person meetings. The only way someone can physically harm you is if you’re both in the same location, so – to be 100% safe – don’t meet them in person. If you really have to get together with someone you “met” online, don’t go alone. Have the meeting in a public place, tell a parent or some other solid backup, and bring some friends along.
  • Be smart when using a cell phone. All the same tips apply with phones as with computers. Except phones are with you wherever you are, often away from home and your usual support systems. Be careful who you give your number to and how you use GPS and other technologies that can pinpoint your physical location.

Posted with permission from ConnectSafely.org.

For those juniors and seniors that will be applying to colleges, remember, what goes online stays online.  Keep your social networking pages clean!  What you post today, can haunt and hinder you tomorrow.  This applies to everyone, even adults!

Broward County schools will be opening on August 23rd.  Be an educated parent, talk to your kids about bullying and cyberbullyingLet’s have a safe and fun school year! Like talking about dangers of drugs, you can never talk  to much about the dangers that lurk online.

Communication is key to keeping your teens safe!

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!