Snapchat Speech Could be Out-of-Bounds for School Discipline

B.L. was a promising cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. She had been involved in the sport since elementary school, and as a freshman participated on the junior varsity team. Going into her sophomore year, she was hoping to make the varsity squad. To her disappointment, she was once again placed…

Inoculate Against Bullying by Chatting with your Children

I pick my son up from school most days, and from his first day of kindergarten I got into the habit of routinely asking him two specific questions: 1) “How was your day?” and 2) “Was there any bullying?” I’d ask the latter question with a conspiratorial raise of my brow—as if asking him if…

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StopTheB – A New Anti-Bullying Movement

Recently, I have become aware of a cool new global initiative called StopTheB. It is for young people, by young people – and was founded by two sisters, Vasundhara (22) and Riddhi Oswal (16). The main aim of StopTheB is not only to raise awareness and educate on the issues, context, and dynamics of bullying…

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Digital Resilience

We define digital resilience as “positive attitudes and actions in the face of interpersonal adversity online.” While adversity can arise from technological sources as well (e.g., hard drive crashes, forgotten passwords, vulnerable cloud accounts), we are primarily concerned with the social aspect of online interactions that induce anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and similar outcomes.…

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Tween Social Media and Gaming in 2020

This month we have been highlighting results from our recent national survey of tweens, conducted with our friends at Cartoon Network. In this post, I want to focus on what we learned about the devices tweens have and the apps and games they use. Technology access and use by children is of interest to many,…

Tween Cyberbullying

Tween Cyberbullying in the United States

We have been exploring how young people use and misuse technology, with a primary focus on cyberbullying, for nearly two decades. In that time, though, we have almost exclusively studied middle and high school students (12- to 17-year-olds) and their caregivers. Earlier this year we were approached by Cartoon Network with questions about tween experiences…

Bullying and Cyberbullying: The Connection to Delinquency

Sameer and I have long been interested in the connection between cyberbullying and offline behaviors. Nearly fifteen years ago we published a paper which found preliminary evidence that youth who had been cyberbullied were more at risk to engage in school violence and delinquency. We framed this possible relationship from the perspective of General Strain…

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TikTok: Pros, Cons, and the Promise of Youth Empowerment

I trust by now that you’ve at least heard of TikTok, the fledgling short-form video app that has been around since 2016 but has exploded in popularity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With at least two billion downloads and at least 800 million active users (and probably way more), its reach seems to…

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Trauma, Bullying, and Cyberbullying

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the felt experiences of youth who have to deal with bullying at school or online, and how it may have a traumatic effect on some of them. One might argue that most bullying incidents don’t induce trauma, and that may be true if we view all forms and…

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Cyberbullying Videos to Use in Presentations

Sameer and I regularly give presentations to students about the importance of using technology safely and responsibly. Due to time and resource constraints, this is often done in large school assemblies. By themselves, assemblies likely don’t accomplish all that we would hope for in educating young people about these issues, but they can serve as…

Current Efforts to Curtail Teen Sexting Not Working

The current global pandemic has greatly constrained the way people are able to interact with each other. Schools in the U.S. moved to online learning mid-March and health safety guidelines continue to warn against gathering in groups outside of immediate households. As such, teens haven’t been able to hang out with their friends in hallways,…

Defund the Police? Implications for Cyberbullying Prevention

As someone who teaches criminal justice in a university setting to many future law enforcement officers, I was appalled by the treatment of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Appalled, but not surprised. Regrettably, these incidents continue to happen at an alarming rate and the last month of worldwide protests have been…

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Digital Citizenship in 2020 and Beyond

Digital citizenship has been defined as helping youth “practice respectful and tolerant behaviors toward others” online. With the ubiquitous growth in personal device and social media use among youth – coupled with the adoption of more web-based technologies for education – many schools in the US and abroad have sought to teach digital citizenship practices…

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What the Best Bullying and Cyberbullying Assembly Speakers Do

I have recently shared the most important considerations for schools planning to host bullying assembly programs according to research. Now, I wanted to turn your attention to bullying and cyberbullying speakers themselves. As you may know from your own experiences, there are fantastic ones out there, but there are also many who leave a lot…

Bullying Assembly Programs - What Schools Need to Know Cyberbullying Research Center

Bullying Assembly Programs – What Schools Need to Know

For decades now, schools have been organizing assemblies to address bullying, substance abuse, and a variety of other student issues. Perhaps like me, you remember sitting through them during middle or high school school and – unfortunately – tuning out because you just didn’t feel like you could connect with the speaker. When it came…

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Eight Fun Student Engagement Ideas During COVID-19 and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected the way educators across the world instruct, support, encourage, and relate to their students. We know this will continue until at least the end of the school year, and plans are being discussed for online learning through the summer and start of the fall in many communities across the…

Helping Families Manage Increased Screen Time During a Global Pandemic

The spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic has created plenty of anxieties for parents trying to balance work and family responsibilities amid ever-changing uncertainties. In this unprecedented time of hunkering down and holing up, parents are relying more than ever on technology to help carry the educational and recreational load. All across the world school…

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A Teen’s View of Social Media in 2020

I recently met a high schooler named Eve, and appreciated our conversations about all things related to social media, identity, loneliness, affirmation, and purpose. I thought she would be an ideal person to share “A Teen’s Perspective on Social Media in 2020” and she happily obliged. Below are her thoughts; we both hope they give…

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Digital Dating Abuse Among Teens: Our Research, and What We Must Do

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and we’re doing our part to help equip and empower young people to make wise decisions in their romantic relationships. Most recently, we published a new research paper entitled “Digital Dating Abuse Among a National Sample of U.S. Youth” in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence to illuminate how…

What Should Your School’s Bullying Policy Look Like?

We are regularly contacted by school administrators, board members, parents and others with questions about school bullying policies. In fact, a few months ago the principal at my son’s elementary school asked me to review their bullying policy. I am always happy to help, with the preemptive caveat that I am not a lawyer and…

It is Time to Teach Safe Sexting

It’s 2020. And it’s about time we rethink our approach to teen sexting. Justin and I wrote an piece that was just published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (currently free to download!) arguing that it is time to take a more thoughtful and comprehensive approach to sexting, by supplementing abstinence messages with information to…