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Formal bans on sexting in school districts

My colleagues and I have been discussing the phenomenon of sexting in great detail recently, in light of the actions of two Texas school districts.  Before the beginning of this new school year, the Houston Independent school district (one of the largest in the nation) and the Dallas-Fort Worth school district banned sending sexually-explicit photos…

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Cyberbullying is the Future of School Violence

I was in Colorado Springs earlier this week meeting with the Futures Working Group, which is a consortium of folks interested in exploring the future of law enforcement.  The group is an eclectic mix of law enforcement administrators, military intelligence officers, federal agents, and academics established through a memorandum of understanding between the Federal Bureau…

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Cyberbullying and helping youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

I’ve recently discussed the susceptibility of youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to be cyberbullied, outlining a number of reasons that contribute to such victimization.  When it comes to suggestions as to how we can help these kids, a few things stand out in my mind. First, it is really important to try to understand…

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Lori Drew Officially Acquitted

Well, it’s official.  On Sunday, U.S. District Judge George Wu acquitted Lori Drew of all federal criminal charges for her involvement in the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier.  As you may recall, back in November a jury initially found Drew guilty of three misdemeanor charges of illegally accessing a protected computer (in essence, she was…

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Facebook, Cyberbullying, Death Threats, Jail Time

We’ve been discussing the recent case in Britain involving 18-year-old Keeley Houghton, who posted a death threat on Facebook and was subsequently incarcerated.  Specifically, the aggressor wrote the following on her own profile page, “Keeley is going to murder the bitch. She is an actress. What a ******* liberty. Emily ****head Moore.” Those with whom…

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Revealing the identity of cyberbullies by schools….

Following up from my last blog post, and after talking to a number of individuals working in various school districts, this is what we know: 1) FERPA allows schools who learn the identity of a cyberbully upon investigation of an incident that affects the climate or environment or values of the school to protect that…

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Revealing the identity of cyberbullies by schools….

Following up from my last blog post, and after talking to a number of individuals working in various school districts, this is what we know: 1) FERPA allows schools who learn the identity of a cyberbully upon investigation of an incident that affects the climate or environment or values of the school to protect that…

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FERPA and the identity of students who cyberbully others…

I was talking to a school administrator yesterday…and she posed a question that I couldn’t clearly answer because it doesn’t seem there is a clear answer.  So I wanted to see if any of our readers had some thoughts about it. If a parent comes to you (you as an educator in the school system)…

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Cell Phones at School and Student Expectation of Privacy

We’ve covered this issue a couple of times before on this blog, but given the interest I thought I would respond to some of the comments that have been posted and provide some insight gained from discussions I have had with folks over the past few months.  Some people have suggested that students have effectively…

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School-sponsored PDAs in the classroom?

A colleague sent along this article detailing how some public schools are issuing PDAs to third, fourth, and fifth graders in an effort to render them comfortable with the technology, and as another medium through which they can learn.  For example, they can use it to draw pictures, write essays, study flash cards, and take…

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Do We Need Cyberbullying Legislation?

I had a recent exchange with several colleagues about whether or not we need cyberbullying legislation, and if so, what that legislation should look like.  I thought perhaps others would be interested in my perspective so I am posting my thoughts here.  As always, you are welcome to provide your thoughts… My experience working with…

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Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Cyberbullying

I spoke at an Autism conference last week, and presented information on cyberbullying victimization and Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) among youth.  I am particularly interested in this population as one of my close friend’s has AS, and has shared with me his experiences being harassed by peers who perceive them as “different.”  These youth are especially…

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Autism and Cyberbullying

I spoke at an Autism conference last week, and presented information on cyberbullying victimization and ASD youth.  I am particularly interested in this population as one of my close friends is on the spectrum, and has shared with me his experiences being harassed by peers who perceive them as “different.”  These youth are especially susceptible…

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Are teachers and parents really talking to youth about online safety?

As you know, we are endlessly working to have our finger on the pulse of how adults are educating youth about online technology.  The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Educational Technology Policy, Research, and Outreach (ETPRO) recently found that less than 25% of educators feel comfortable teaching students about Internet safety issues.  You and…

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Teen Tweeting

Sysomos released a report in June describing the “explosive growth” of twitter over the past several months.  We’ve certainly seen an increase in tweeting in popular culture, but are adolescents jumping on board?  Our conversations with teens suggest no.  And a recent account from one particular teen about his peers’ views of twitter also reaffirms…

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Jostens 2009

I just got back from presenting at the Jostens Renaissance National Conference in Orlando.  As I wrote about after attending this conference last year, these folks really know how to have a good time!  The energy was just amazing.  There were once again over 1100 educators and high achieving students from around North America in…

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The sexting case in Virginia, and the need to identify and share best practices

Justin and I have both blogged about the case where an assistant principal in Virginia was charged with possession of child pornography after trying to investigate a sexting case through the collection of evidence where a student emailed the evidence (a sexually-explicit picture of a minor) to his office computer.  The charges were eventually dropped,…

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Cyberbullying Research Center

For those of you who are regular visitors to the site, you may have noticed some changes over the last week or so.  Sameer and I have been working hard to add and update information on the site to make it even more useful for you all.  For example, we’ve added a few videos to…

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Video recordings of student and teacher behavior in the classroom

In this recent story from the West Coast, a 15-year-old high-schooler named Arielle was suspended for two days after surreptitiously capturing video on her cell phone of her chaotic algebra class.  Apparently, the situation was horrible with the teacher unable to control the students, who were participating in paper-ball fights, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, and…

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More on seizure and search of student cell phones at school…

In April, Justin briefly blogged about this article from the Washington post entitled My Students. My Cellphone. My Ordeal. I’d like to follow up by saying that more educators are contacting us with questions on what to do in cases where students have cell phones with sexually-explicit pictures of other youth on them.  While the…

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Facebook privacy settings

Thankfully, Facebook is soon going to restructure the way it displays privacy settings to users.  Currently, those settings are scattered across multiple pages, and it is a chore for individuals to customize them to their liking.   When we talk to elementary, middle, and high-schoolers, we ask about those settings – and have found that very…

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Convictions against Lori Drew overturned today; case dismissed

The case against Lori Drew has been dismissed in federal court today, as the judge seemingly thought it would be wrong to criminalize certain Terms of Service violations of MySpace and other social networking web sites since users often misrepresent themselves online. (Bottom line when it comes to this ruling is that the law used…

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Lori Drew to be sentenced in Megan Meier cyberbullying case

We are all waiting with baited breath to learn of the sentencing decision to be handed down this week against Lori Drew.  In part because of the incredible amount of controversy surrounding this case, I believe the sentence will be minor and not amount to more than a proverbial slap on the wrist.  Already we…

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Same Story, Different Day: Another Teen Suicide Associated with Bullying

Another story has surfaced where a teen committed suicide after experiencing bullying.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Iain Steele, a 15-year-old boy from a western suburb of Chicago, hung himself in the basement of his home.  This case, like many others, illustrates the omnipresent nature of adolescent bullying in the 21st century.  Iain was bullied…