Should Cities Have a Cyberbullying Ordinance? Cyberbullying Research Center

Should Cities Have a Cyberbullying Ordinance?

I have received quite a few inquiries in the last several months from local elected officials who are interested in proposing a city or county ordinance to address cyberbullying. An ordinance is basically a law or legal decree passed by local municipalities (usually a city, township, or county) that has the authority of law within…

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Nice it Forward

There appears to be a growing movement among teens to, well, be nice.  Or at least a movement to actively use social media to say nice things about others.  We are all familiar with the myriad of ways that technology can be used to cause harm; this blog is dedicated to working towards limiting those…

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Less schoolwide bans on devices, more school climate initiatives!

Computers have long been a fixture in many American schools. Indeed, we had computers in our middle schools back in the day. And when we visit schools today — large and small, rural and urban — they (of course) all have computers. Many schools have computer labs or general-access machines in libraries or other common…

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Teens and Technology, School District Policy Issues, 2012-2013

With the beginning of the school year upon us again, I thought it might be valuable to review a very important topic. One of the most important steps a district can take to help protect their students and protect themselves from legal liability is to have a clear and comprehensive policy regarding bullying and harassment,…

A Positive School Climate Makes Everything Possible

We have a lot of really great anecdotes and ideas from educators included in our latest book School Climate 2.0:Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time.  Below is one example from our friend Steve Bollar, who is a principal in New Jersey.  He is an “in-the-trenches” expert when it comes to developing and…

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A Positive School Climate Makes Everything Possible

We have a lot of really great anecdotes and ideas from educators included in our latest book School Climate 2.0:Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time.  Below is one example from our friend Steve Bollar, who is a principal in New Jersey.  He is an “in-the-trenches” expert when it comes to developing and…

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Bullying and Peer Violence Videos as Teaching Tools?

A colleague sent me an article detailing how pictures and videos of bullying and other forms of violence posted online – student on student, or student on teacher – can actually be used as a “teachable tool” and to “wake everyone up.”  Parents can sit down with youth and watch them together, and convey lessons…

Help With Fake Facebook Profile Pages Cyberbullying Research Center

Help With Fake Facebook Profile Pages

Imagine you receive an email from a friend that includes a link to a Facebook profile.  You click on the link and see your name and picture on the profile.  But you didn’t create it.  And some of the information included isn’t exactly flattering. In fact, it’s embarrassing, and malicious, and ruining your reputation.  Now…

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A Lot to Believe In

Sameer and I just returned from the Jostens Renaissance National Conference which was held this year in Orlando, Florida. This was the 5th year that I have presented at this conference and the second time that Sameer has participated. The theme of the event was “Something to Believe In” and did they ever deliver. Despite…

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New Teen Sexting Study

There is a new study on teen sexting that has been published (online at least) in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine that is receiving tons of media attention. Most research that is published in academic journals is largely ignored by the media and the public, but for some reason this article has…

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Peer Influences and Social Norming

We are working on a new paper that examines the influence of peers on cyberbullying behavior. We have long known that there is a strong correlation between a youth’s behaviors and those of his or her friends (see Mark Warr’s work, especially “Companions in Crime”). It should come as no surprise, then, that we are…

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Remarks to the Minnesota Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to members of the Minnesota Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying.  Members were appointed by Governor Mark Dayton with the charge of recommending a course of action to the governor about how best to prevent and respond to bullying.  Below were my comments to the group. Remarks…

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Guidelines for updating your school’s social networking policy

As a followup to our last blog post, we’d like to share some more guidance to keep in mind as you are updating and refining your school’s policy related to Facebook (and other social networking sites). We hope this is helpful for you. Please remember, though, that you must do a lot more than policy…

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Public schools, Facebook, and the FCC

Our colleague Mike Donlin and I have been talking out some issues related to public education and teen technology use. He has recently pointed out that there are certain points that the FCC would like schools to know as it relates to their intersection with and use of social networking sites. Specifically, schools need to…

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Cyberbullying Your Own Kids to Punish Them

Canadian Cyberbullying Educator and Speaker Lissa Albert and I have been chatting about some parents engaging in controversial and arguably questionable behavior to “send a message” to their teenagers about appropriate and inappropriate behavior. These instances have gone viral, and Lissa has done a great job of providing a backdrop of this practice as well…

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How Many Teens are Actually Involved in Cyberbullying?

Estimates of the number of teens who have experienced cyberbullying are all over the map. I can point you to a paper published in a peer-reviewed academic journal that says that 72% of students have been cyberbullied while another published study puts the number at 5.5%. The numbers are similarly varied when it comes to…

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Can a School Respond to Off-Campus Cyberbullying?

We discuss the legal issues associated with schools responding to cyberbullying incidents quite often in this space. You can find many blog posts which attempt to clarify the variety of issues raised (see here and here) and we have a summary fact sheet that is available here.  Of course the law, and our understanding of…

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Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Launch, and School Climate!

Justin and I had a great time at Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation launch at Harvard University last week.  It was amazing to be surrounded by such brilliant scholars, researchers, and practitioners from across the United States, and even a few from England and Australia.  The professional event we were a part of was…

Comments on Proposed Changes to Wisconsin's Bullying Law (2013 Senate Bill 184) Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Wisconsin’s Bullying Law

As a resident of the state of Wisconsin and someone who follows bullying legislation from around the United States pretty closely (see our summary here), I was particularly interested to learn that a proposal was being put forward to update Wisconsin’s bullying law.  Wisconsin’s law  took effect in 2010 and requires schools to have a…

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Facebook for Educators, and the issues we need to consider

I have been chatting with my colleague Nancy Willard from Embrace Civility in the Digital Age about Facebook in schools, and how they should and should not be used by educators. These are her recent thoughts with some of my input added…just to get some more discussion going on this issue. We both think that…

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Facebook Timeline and Your Privacy

By now, you have probably seen Facebook’s newest controversial overhaul to profile pages.  Dubbed “Facebook Timeline,” the latest out of Palo Alto is being described by the social networking behemoth as a new way to “Tell your life story.” With these changes, it is clear that Facebook intends to allow its users to do just…

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160,000 Students Stay Home from School Every Day Because of Bullying. Really?

At the Cyberbullying Research Center we strive to approach the issue of teen technology use and misuse from a data-informed perspective. Just to be clear, data doesn’t just mean bar charts. Over the last ten years we have formally surveyed over 12,000 middle and high school students, so yes, we have a lot of bar…

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Bullying Law Summary Fact Sheet Updated

We have just updated one of our most popular resources. You can find our latest bullying law fact sheet here. As you can see, all but 2 states now have bullying laws in place or scheduled to take effect in 2012. Most of these (35) include language about electronic forms of bullying while still relatively…

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What is the story with IsAnyoneUp.com?

One of the Internet’s latest privacy controversies surrounds the rapidly-growing web site Isanyoneup.com.  The site, which launched in late 2010, is essentially a hybrid of social media and amateur pornography – described by some media outlets as a blog for “Revenge Porn.” The blog features thousands of posts containing extremely explicit photos of naked men…