The internet is considered children and teens’ territory, yet adults are still obliged to prevent cyberbullying associated with it. Usually they are parents and teachers with whom kids spend the most of their time. However, the latter are often reluctant to report about online abuse. Of course, a lot has been already done to reduce the number of victims, but the problem still remains. Considering its possible consequences, including the fatal outcome, we cannot tolerate complacency. For sure, there is a way to change the situation for the better if teachers and parents, who have the most interest in kids’ safety, join their hands to reduce the prevalence of cyberbullying.Read More
What's Happening in Character?
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bullying Prevention goes hand in hand with honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who stood up for what he believed in, even when that was a very difficult thing to do. Martin Luther King Jr. serves as an exemplar for students who are striving to become allies to their bullied peers, rather than mere bystanders. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, here are two examples of schools who have done an amazing job empowering their students to stand up for and care for one another.
The sudden emergence of a plethora of cyber issues that literally defines K–12 policy toward technology integration has created a dire need for ethical clarity and behavioral policy. The digital age beckons us to usher in a new era of character education, aimed directly at addressing the opportunities and challenges of living a digital lifestyle.
Jason Ohler, author
Digital Community, Digital Citizen
Amazingly, those timely words were written more than two years ago. But many parents, educators and other stakeholders—including some social networking sites—have been much too slow to dive into the rushing cyber currents already tossing youngsters to and fro online. So now, as another school year chugs toward the holidays and social media from coast to coast gears up for yet another tsunami of teenage emotions, unfiltered comments and inappropriate pictures, I hope more of us are ready to engage in our children’s digital lives.
In other words, even adults who feel woefully behind the e-curve now are coming to the grudging realization that they can’t bury their heads in the sand forever. And they cannot deny that they have an important role to play in guiding young people through what some have called “the Wild West” of the internet. And just as that bygone era of American history was known for its frontier justice before law and order could migrate from the East, today’s digital free-for-all is notoriously short of enough monitors to protect it from its own worst impulses.
Digital citizenship should not only be required, it should also become the primary lens through which we ask our children and ourselves to view the world. Our prosperity, humanity, and indeed even our survival, may well depend on it.
Internationally recognized expert and author Michele Borba gave attendees a tour-de-force of the critical components of effective bullying prevention. Most people don’t realize what an issue bullying is in the United States, but a few statistics make it clear that we have an epidemic. Today, 1 in 3 US students are bullied. Rates are similarly high and rising internationally, where 1 in 5 students is bullied. The problem is so bad that the US National School Safety Center has stated that bullying is “the most enduring and underrated problem in American schools.”
Don't miss your chance for a free copy of Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century, by Annie Fox. Just click the link on Thursday, 10/18/12 or Friday, 10/19/12 for your free book. Note: The link will only work these two days for a free book. Even if you don't have a Kindle, the downloaded file will work on your Mac, PC, iPod, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:
I remember October 1, 2010. My friend Rachel emailed to find out if I’d blogged yet about the cyberbullying incident that ended in a Rutgers University freshman killing himself. I told her the news had really upset me, but I had no insights that couldn’t be found elsewhere. What do you say when yet another teen is so victimized by bullies s/he can’t figure out what the hell to do to make things OK again and gives up everything just to end the suffering?
“A number of middle school students—including my daughter–are receiving vicious anonymous e-mails and text messages from peers. The school sent a letter home describing the problem as ‘cyber-bullying.’ What do I do to help my daughter? When do I worry? Do I call the police? HELP please!” - A concerned mother from Omaha, NE
Earlier this month, I attended the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit here in D.C. Now, we all know how concerned Secretary Arne Duncan and the U.S. Dept. of Education are about this issue. But I was particularly heartened to hear how pro-active the U.S. Justice Department is. They are also working to reduce and prevent school bullying across the nation.
REALITY CHECK: Did you know that a recent survey found that almost 70 percent of adolescents say the best way for them to be safe online is through education? Are you educating your child how to be safe online?