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Patterson v. Hudson Overturned

Back in March I wrote about this case, where a federal jury had ordered the Hudson Area School District in Michigan to pay $800,000 in damages to a student who was repeatedly harassed by classmates (and allegedly staff) for a period of several years.  A federal district court had been reviewing the facts of the…

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The Current State of Cyberbullying Laws

It is imperative that everyone who works with youth, but especially law enforcement officers, stay up-to-date on the ever-evolving state and local laws concerning online behaviors, and equip themselves with the skills and knowledge to intervene as necessary. In recent survey of approximately 500 school resource officers from around the United States, we found that…

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Criminal Charges Filed Against Bullies in Phoebe Prince Case

It is not often that students are charged in criminal court for their participation in bullying.  But that is what happened this week.  As has been well-publicized, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, Massachusetts, committed suicide in January after experiencing extreme levels of bullying from her classmates.  After conducting a thorough investigation, District Attorney Elizabeth…

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Meep

An interesting controversy has emerged in the last couple of weeks over the word “meep.”  What does meep even mean?  Frankly, it doesn’t really matter.  In fact there are numerous and varied definitions of, and uses for, the word meep.  The most frequent use among adolescents, it seems, is to replace an inappropriate word with…

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Cyberbullying Legislation – Accountability in the AWARE Act

This article discusses two bills currently being considered on the American legislative landscape: Representative Linda Sanchez’s (D-CA) “Megan Meier Cyber Bullying Prevention Act” (H.R. 1966) and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) “Adolescent Web Awareness Requires Education Act” (H.R. 3630). Justin and I are personally a big fan of Schultz’s AWARE Act, because education is the…