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Parents, Teach Your Kids to Stand Up, Not Stand By

Earlier this month, I had the chance to speak to educators, parents, and students in Montgomery County, Virginia, and worked with Sharon Zuckerwar, an amazing and passionate crusader for character education and active blogger on all things parenting.  Her message is so spot on, and aligns perfectly with our goals with our new book for…

Criminal Charges Filed Against Two Involved in Rebecca Sedwick Suicide Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Criminal Charges Filed Against Two Involved in Rebecca Sedwick Suicide

Two girls (a 14 year-old and a 12 year-old) have now been arrested and charged with felony aggravated stalking for their involvement in the bullying of 12 year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick. Rebecca jumped to her death on September 9th after enduring months of bullying, online and off, from as many as 15 classmates at Crystal…

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Words Wound—For a Long Time

Bobby recently shared his story with us. He said that he’d been really excited for his first day of fifth grade. On that first day, his teacher assigned classroom seating so she’d know where everyone was. Then she passed around a tablet of paper and told everyone to print their given names. “She strictly specified…

Teacher shames student in classroom after student bullies teacher on Twitter Cyberbullying Research Center

Teacher shames student in classroom after student bullies teacher on Twitter

Recently, a female student in Northern Mexico posted very offensive comments about her teacher – Ms. Idalia Hernandez Ramos – on Twitter. These included referring to her as a “whore” and a “bitch,” and defaming her in other hurtful and insulting ways. At best, the behavior is a youthful indiscretion that unfortunately hurts the feelings…

Does Bullying “Cause” Suicide? Cyberbullying Research Center

Does Bullying “Cause” Suicide?

The title of Deborah Temkin’s recent Huffington Post article is a simple request: “Stop saying bullying causes suicide.” Her plea is understandable and justified. Sameer and I also cringe when we read the ubiquitous headlines espousing the conventional wisdom proclaiming that “bullying causes suicide.” But what does the research actually say about the nature of this…

Should Schools Monitor Students' Social Media Accounts? Cyberbullying Research Center

Should Schools Monitor Students’ Social Media Accounts?

There has been much discussion over the last few days about whether it is appropriate for schools to actively monitor the social media activities of students (I participated in a HuffPost Live discussion about this issue earlier today). At the center of this recent interest is Glendale Unified School District, which is located in Southern…

Addressing Discrimination to Prevent Bullying and Cyberbullying Cyberbullying Research Center

Addressing Discrimination to Prevent Bullying and Cyberbullying

In this line of work I get to hang out with teens all the time, and many of them amaze me with regard to all that they’re getting out of their K-12 school experience.  Others, however, make me sad because it seems that what made school awesome for me (being intellectually stimulated, seeing my friends…

Can Someone be an Unintentional Bully? Cyberbullying Research Center

Can Someone be an Unintentional Bully?

Defining bullying is a tricky thing. And technology just adds another complicated layer to the whole situation. I mean, we know it when we see it, and at the extreme end it’s easy to identify: the repeated threats, multiple humiliating posts, and numerous hurtful texts most likely qualify. But what about that mildly inappropriate joke…

What Teens Are Doing Online

(reposted from the Free Spirit Publishing blog) Some adults are under the assumption that just about everything that teens do online is either hurtful to themselves or others or a complete waste of time. To be fair, there’s no shortage of daily headlines that seem to point to the conclusion that many teens are using…

Hannah Smith: Even More Tragic Than Originally Thought Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Hannah Smith: Even More Tragic Than Originally Thought

Many are now familiar with the tragic case of Hannah Smith, the 14-year-old from Leicestershire, England, who hanged herself on August 2nd after reportedly being harassed online for months. Cruel messages received principally on the social media site Ask.fm are being cited by her father and others as a primary cause of the suicide, though…

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Law Enforcement Views of Cyberbullying and Sexting

Earlier this summer, Sameer and I (along with our good friend Joe Schafer), published an article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin that describes the perceptions and experiences of law enforcement when it comes to responding to cyberbullying and sexting.  This article stemmed from my work a few years ago as a Futurist in Residence…

Educators, Students, and Conversations about Technology Misuse Cyberbullying Research Center image 4

Educators, Students, and Conversations about Technology Misuse

During the last several years, school staff have become well aware that what happens online often significantly impacts the environment at school and the ability of students to learn. It is also true that what goes on at school influences the nature and content of student interactions while away from school. That means that a…

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Summary of State Sexting Laws

We define sexting as “sending or receiving sexually explicit or sexually suggestive nude or seminude images or video, usually via a cell phone.”  Most commonly when people use the term “sexting” it is to refer to incidents where minors take pictures of themselves when they are nude or nearly nude and send them to others. …

School Climate 2.0: Reviews and Response Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

School Climate 2.0: Reviews and Response

Since our book School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time was published last year, the response has been amazing.  Many educators have come up to us at events around the country to tell us how much they really appreciate the research-based information and strategies that they can put to use…

Holding Parents Responsible for Their Child’s Bullying Cyberbullying Research Center

Holding Parents Responsible for Their Child’s Bullying

Without a doubt, parents have a duty to do their part to ensure that their kids do not bully others.  They need to regularly remind their kids about the importance of treating others the way they would want to be treated.  They should talk about how some things we might do or say to someone…

Decoding Your Digital Footprint Cyberbullying Research Center

Decoding Your Digital Footprint

When individuals are online, they are assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address by their Internet service provider (e.g., Earthlink, AOL, Qwest, Comcast, their school) or cell phone service provider (e.g., Sprint, AT&T, Verizon). This IP address is unique and is bound to a person’s current online session—whether it is via a computer, cell phone, or…

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How to Report Cyberbullying on Instagram

Recently, we’ve discussed general safety tips for teens related to Instagram, and also fleshed out in detail how individuals are cyberbullied on Instagram. Today, I thought I’d summarize the ways in which teens (and adults) should use the social media platform to reduce their chances of victimization and to have the most enjoyable and hassle-free…

Cyberbullying on Instagram Cyberbullying Research Center

Cyberbullying on Instagram

Last time, I shared my viewpoints on Instagram safety in a general way. Today, I’m going to talk about cyberbullying that occurs on Instagram. As I mentioned, Instagram is minimalistic and intentionally doesn’t provide a lot of features that you might find on Facebook. This also means that various forms of victimization – identity theft,…

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My Advice to Teens about Instagram

Instagram is great. I use it and like it very much, for a number of reasons. Even though I have to view it through the lens of “online safety” given my work and professional passion, I still completely support (and am excited about) its widespread and growing adoption by teens (and adults). Similar to other…

Cyberbullying and a Man on a Motorcycle Cyberbullying Research Center

Cyberbullying and a Man on a Motorcycle

I was driving home from work the other evening, a little bit earlier than usual because it was one of the nicest days that we have had this spring here in Wisconsin and I wanted to enjoy some of it not staring at a computer monitor. I stopped to pick up my three-year-old from his…

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Anti-Bullying Youth Rally at Schools

Pep rallies for our middle and high school athletic teams have been going on for decades, and are always great ways to get fired up about the sports season, or the next big game.  They serve multiple purposes, all of which are quite important.  For one, it really heightens school spirit – and if I…

School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Educating Students about the Consequences of Cyberbullying and Sexting

Quite often when you investigate a cyberbullying or sexting incident, you will come to learn that the “offending” parties didn’t fully understand the consequences of their actions or how what they did could have ever resulted in the trouble that they are now facing. Maybe they didn’t think that what they were doing was that…

Educating Students about the Consequences of Cyberbullying and Sexting Cyberbullying Research Center

From Nick News: Do you Know a Kid Hero?

Calling all kids! Nick News is looking for kids between the ages of 11 and 15 to nominate one of their friends who has been a personal hero to them. Has someone stood up to a bully for you? Do you know someone about your age who has done something amazing to help others? If…