Read the latest news and brand new pieces on youth, social media, and emerging technologies! We focus on preventing harm and promoting positive online behaviors.

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

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 post thumbnail

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 post thumbnail

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 post thumbnail

“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 post thumbnail

Anonymous Postings on Confession Pages, Secret, and Whisper

Describes Facebook and Twitter confession pages, as well as how apps like Secret and Whisper are being used – both for cyberbullying and to help teens cope. 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 […]

Ban School, Open Facebook post thumbnail

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 post thumbnail

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 post thumbnail

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 post thumbnail

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 […]

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