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Educator Searches of Private Student Social Media Profiles: The Illinois Experiment

Last summer, Illinois (somewhat quietly) passed a new bullying law that took effect on January 1, 2015. The law includes language similar to at least 13 other states which makes it clear that schools have the authority to discipline students for cyberbullying that occurs off campus (and outside of a school-sponsored activity), when such behavior…

Chances are, Your Teen has NOT Sexted Cyberbullying Research Center

Chances are, Your Teen has NOT Sexted

Despite a recent headline announcing the opposite, most teens do not sext. Kelly Wallace wrote an article for CNN back in November which was updated and reposted last week. Most of the content of the article is accurate, and I certainly appreciate that she referred to published research and interviewed people who know what they…

Yik Yak Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Yakety Yak: What’s Up With Yik Yak?

I first wrote about Yik Yak back in March, when the app took several suburban schools by storm. High school administrators around Chicago were deluged with incidents stemming from inappropriate student use of this app, ranging from bullying to bomb threats. To their credit, the administrators of the app responded quickly and restricted its use…

Student Advisory Boards Can Inform Bullying Policies and Prevention Cyberbullying Research Center

Student Advisory Boards Can Inform Bullying Policies and Prevention

Whenever I visit schools to give a cyberbullying assembly or presentation to parents in the community, I am also typically asked to sit down and chat with the administrators about the policies and programs they have in place. Here, they let me know what they have been doing to identify, address, and prevent teen technology…

ITO Club - Student Leaders Transforming School Climate to Prevent Bullying Cyberbullying Research Center

ITO Club – Student Leaders Transforming School Climate to Prevent Bullying

For a few years now, I have admired the leadership and initiative of Ms. Geraldine Johnson, Bullying Prevention Coordinator for Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley School District. She stands out in my mind as one of the most caring youth workers I have ever known, and it is so inspiring to see the love she has for…

The Case for Including Intent in a Definition of Bullying Cyberbullying Research Center

The Case for Including Intent in a Definition of Bullying

Last week I presented at the International Bullying Prevention Association’s annual conference in San Diego, CA. This was the second time that I have participated in this event, and both experiences were enjoyable and educational. The attendees (over 700 strong this year) are generally very interested in the work that we are doing at the…

Our Website Crashed: Why That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing Cyberbullying Research Center image 3

Our Website Crashed: Why That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

Our website was down for a couple of days last week which was *extremely* maddening for us as we pride ourselves in giving our faithful followers free and unfettered access to our resources without interruption. The cause of the downtime was, well, to put it bluntly: You! Nearly a quarter of a million people visited…

Getting Teens to Rethink Cyberbullying Cyberbullying Research Center image 4

Getting Teens to Rethink Cyberbullying

This year, I’ve enjoyed being in touch with Trisha Prabhu, a 14-year-old freshman at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois. In the fall of 2013, after hearing about a young girl’s suicide because of cyberbullying, she set out to design a long-term solution to cyberbullying. Her work led her to the product Rethink, which…

A Girl and her Guitar, Inspiring Bullying Victims to Stay Strong Cyberbullying Research Center image 3

A Girl and her Guitar, Inspiring Bullying Victims to Stay Strong

Recently, I have been in touch with Kathleen, who won Seventeen Magazine’s 2013 Mean Stinks contest by sharing a song she wrote which has been played in over thirty schools nationwide. It’s not just any song, it’s a song rooted in Kathleen’s desire to use her talents to encourage teens like her who have experienced…

Cyberbullying Prevention through Dance and the Spoken Word Cyberbullying Research Center image 3

Cyberbullying Prevention through Dance and the Spoken Word

As National Bullying Prevention Month rolls on, we continue to highlight extraordinary movements and projects designed to combat cruelty and rekindle kindness, tolerance, and respect. Today, I want to feature the efforts of MusEffect, a very talented dance company out of Los Angeles. I have been in touch with their director, Jessica Starr, because I…

sanah-jivani-natural-day

Natural Day – Love Yourself Before You Can Love Others

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to get to know Sanah Jivani, who is a senior at Klein Collins High School, and the founder of the international #naturalday movement. I was blown away by her story, and told her how important it was for others to hear it and be inspired by it (as I…

What Jennifer Lawrence can teach us about sexting among teens Cyberbullying Research Center

What Jennifer Lawrence can teach us about sexting among teens

This week, the Washington Post proclaimed that “sexting is the new first base.” This assertion was grounded in the results of a research study first published in 2012 (based on data from 2010). Researchers found that over one-fourth (28%) of 948 teens from seven public high schools in southeast Texas had sent a naked picture…

Distinguishing Bullying from Other Hurtful Behaviors Cyberbullying Research Center

Distinguishing Bullying from Other Hurtful Behaviors

In my last post on this blog I wrote about the difficulty in determining when mean behavior crosses the line and becomes bullying behavior. I also discussed the challenge for researchers in trying to quantify the difference. In this post, I’d like to talk about why it is important to establish such a line. As…

Sarah-Ball-Unbreakable-Facebook

Standing Up and Speaking Out Against Cyberbullying

I met Sarah Ball a couple of years ago, as she sat in the front row of a cyberbullying presentation I gave to educators at a national conference held in Orlando. As a teenager, she stood out from the rest of my audience of school professionals. She also stood out in terms of her contagious…

Australia vs. America: More Similar Than Different When it Comes to Bullying Cyberbullying Research Center image 3

Australia vs. America: More Similar Than Different When it Comes to Bullying

I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to give a keynote address at the National Center Against Bullying (NCAB) biennial conference in Melbourne, Australia last week. The NCAB is an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation which was started in 1997 by Walter Mikac, whose wife and two young daughters (Alannah and…

Preventing Bullying through Kindness Cyberbullying Research Center

Preventing Bullying through Kindness

I’ve been working with Adam Sherman of the To Be Kind movement over the last few years, as he is an award-winning educator here in my home state of Florida (and also worked in the county where I went to school while growing up!). He is passionate about creating positive climates within schools to reduce…

Revenge Porn and the Purge trend on Instagram and Twitter Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Revenge Porn and the Purge trend on Instagram and Twitter

  Since last weekend, our site has received a lot of reports from both victims and other concerned social media users about the #purge phenomenon that has gone viral. For those of you unfamiliar, The Purge was a movie that came out in 2013.  The storyline featured the premise of all crime being legal for…

Empower Bystanders to Improve School Climate Cyberbullying Research Center

Empower Bystanders to Improve School Climate

As technology has allowed bullies to expand the reach and scope of their torment to an ever broader audience, it has also allowed for increasing numbers of others to see and potentially respond. Cruel posts on Facebook or humiliating pictures sent via a cell phone can be viewed by countless individuals, and the question becomes,…

Cyberbullying Law Ruled Too Vague Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Cyberbullying Law Ruled Too Vague

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a cyberbullying ordinance in Albany County, New York, that was being challenged and subsequently evaluated by the New York State Court of Appeals. The incident that initiated the review occurred back in June of 2011 and involved a 15-year-old student who had posted photos and hurtful comments…

Cell Phone Searches: Implications for Educators from Riley v. California Cyberbullying Research Center

Cell Phone Searches: Implications for Educators from Riley v. California

New insight about the issues associated with authorities searching the contents of cell phones has been provided by the U.S. Supreme Court. While this particular ruling deals specifically with the question of whether law enforcement officers can search the contents of cell phones possessed by people who are under arrest, educators can certainly learn from…

The Criminalization of Cyberbullying Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

The Criminalization of Cyberbullying

I have written quite a bit over the years on the question of whether it is necessary to enact new criminal statutes to combat cyberbullying. Be it a proposal for an amended state statute or a new city ordinance, it seems popular these days for politicians to publicly proclaim the scourge of cyberbullying by offering…

Cars Kill More Teens than Computers and Cell Phones Combined Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Cars Kill More Teens than Computers and Cell Phones Combined

University of New Hampshire sociology professor David Finkelhor recently wrote a short, but thought-provoking, commentary that questions the motives of journalists and scholars in their efforts to explain the nature and extent of risks associated with teen technology use. The impetus for this invited-editorial was an article written by Sonia Livingstone and Peter Smith published…

"Words Wound" Author Q&A Cyberbullying Research Center

“Words Wound” Author Q&A

Most of our regular readers already know quite a lot about us from reading our books, attending one (or more) of our workshops, or just by simply picking up bits and pieces about our background through various blog posts. Earlier this year, the publisher of our most recent book (you may have heard about it),…