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),…

Anonymous Postings on Confession Pages, Secret, and Whisper Cyberbullying Research Center image 1

Anonymous Postings on Confession Pages, Secret, and Whisper

What many adults don’t understand, they freak out about. Especially as it relates to teens. I’m generalizing here, but you know what I mean – we really don’t want the youth we care for to be having secrets, telling secrets, and keeping secrets away from us. Because we don’t fully trust them, either due to…

Ban School, Open Facebook Cyberbullying Research Center

Ban School, Open Facebook

There is much consternation among parents and educators alike about the perceived criminogenic nature of social networking websites. Despite some evidence that its popularity among some teens is beginning to wane, Facebook is still the most prominent figure in this space. As such, it tends to receive the brunt of the blows, with fervent calls…

Yik Yak Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Yik Yak

UPDATE (04-2017): Yik Yak shut down. UPDATE (12-2014): Please see my December 2014 follow-up blog on Yik Yak here after reading this entry. There is a new cell phone application that is gaining notoriety at the speed of light among some groups of teens (as well as their teachers and parents). In essence, Yik Yak…

Restorative Group Conferencing and Sexting: Repairing Harm in Wright County Cyberbullying Research Center

Restorative Group Conferencing and Sexting: Repairing Harm in Wright County

Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Nancy Riestenberg, who works for the Minnesota Department of Education. In it, she discusses an innovative approach used to address the harm that results from sexting images that are distributed beyond the originally intended recipient. Nancy Riestenberg School Climate Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education Three years…

Deterring Teen Bullying: Dos and Don’ts Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Deterring Teen Bullying: Dos and Don’ts

There’s been a lot of interest lately in passing new bullying and cyberbullying laws. The pressure to pursue these provisions seems to come from the idea that the threat of harsher penalties will deter teens from bullying others. But will they? Deterrence theory is a very popular philosophy within the criminal justice system, and as…

Unplug for a While! Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Unplug for a While!

Many of us have become so dependent on technology, we don’t know what to do with ourselves without our favorite devices.  It’s almost sad (for me, at least) to consider how we don’t know what to do with ourselves if we can’t take out our phone at any moment to check our Instagram feed, or…

Law Enforcement Involvement in Bullying Incidents: Different Rules and Roles Cyberbullying Research Center

Law Enforcement Involvement in Bullying Incidents: Different Rules and Roles

Last week I posted about a situation where a student was suspended for his involvement in a fight in which video evidence showed that he did not participate in a way that warranted the punishment. In fact, from all available evidence, he did exactly the right thing to do: he walked away. Another aspect of that…

Video Evidence of Bullying: Implications for Effective Response Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Video Evidence of Bullying: Implications for Effective Response

A new video has surfaced showing a bullying incident in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The video shows 14-year-old high school freshman Kobe Nelson being pushed around by a classmate while a throng of onlookers heckle and encourage the two to fight. Several of the students can be seen recording the situation on their cell phones. It…

Combating Bullying During Kindness Week Cyberbullying Research Center

Combating Bullying During Kindness Week

  In my line of work, I have the amazing opportunity to meet incredibly passionate educators who care so much about students – and do all they can to create and maintain positive climates in which those students can thrive. I’ve known Becky Nahrebeski, a 9th grade Global teacher, for a few years now, and…

New Year Ideas to Make Kindness Go Viral Cyberbullying Research Center

New Year Ideas to Make Kindness Go Viral

Our first book for teens (Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral) came out a few weeks ago, and we’re really excited about its potential impact among students who have dealt with online harassment and want to do something meaningful about it (check it out if you haven’t already!).  That said, our publisher (Free…