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Sextortion Among Adolescents

Thirteen-year-old Amanda Todd made a mistake. The British Columbia teen had just moved to a new town and turned to the Internet to meet people. She’d been chatting online with a man whom she’d become interested in. He said she was pretty. After more than a year of communicating with the man, he convinced her…

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Federal Commission on School Safety

Yesterday, I testified on “cyberbullying and social media” in front of the Federal Commission of School Safety, chaired by Secretary Betsy DeVos and comprised of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (Homeland Security), Secretary Alex Azar (Health and Human Services), and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Collectively, they are trying to garner insight on the ecology of schools and…

cyberstalking

Cyberstalking

I was chatting with some of my students yesterday about cyberstalking, and just as I suspected, at least a few had experienced it and were able to share compelling stories about what happened. It reminded me of two times I personally dealt with it as well, one by a fellow student in undergrad that lasted…

Messenger Kids Isn’t the Problem, But Perhaps Part of the Solution

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood wrote Mark Zuckerberg a public letter today asking the Facebook CEO to shutter its recently released “Messenger Kids” app. The concerns raised by these well-meaning organizations and advocates center on the risks potentially created by the early adoption of technology among kids. I’m unpersuaded by their argument and feel…

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The Social Bond: A Practical Way for Schools to Reduce Bullying

If you work in the youth safety space, you know that certain initiatives (such as resilience building) have focused on targets of bullying and cyberbullying. Other programming has concentrated attention on aggressors – to the kids who harass, humiliate, and threaten other youth offline and online. Here, restorative practices and social emotional learning (anger management,…