June 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Cyberbullying Itself Not As Harmful As In-Person Bullying, But Technology …

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but bullying texts from our friends and schoolmates will really hurt us, according to a new report by the American Psychological Association.

In what the authors have called the first empirical look at the influence of technology on bullying experiences, their report came to some rather surprising conclusions. It found that teens and kids who reported only experiencing cyberharassment felt less emotional harm than those who were bullied offline. But it was those who suffered bullying in the ‘real’ world and through social media apps or texting who fared the worst, feeling significantly angrier or more upset than either of the other two groups. These findings may overturn long-held ideas about the exact dangers of technology as it relates to bullying, the authors conclude.

Revisiting children and teens who had previously taken a survey on their exposure to violence, the authors ultimately obtained 791 interviews in this current study. Of the 791 participants, ages 10 to 20, 230 (34 percent) reported experiencing 311 total incidents of harassment in the past year (Interviews were conducted from December of 2013 to March of 2014). Out of these incidents, 54 percent occurred in-person only; 15 percent were strictly experienced through technology; and 31 percent involved a mix of both.

Noting that many academics and policymakers have worried that cyberbullying could be much worse for the victim than facing it offline, the authors found that the opposite was actually true. “Technology-only harassment incidents were significantly less distressing to victims than in-person harassment incidents,” they wrote, “Youth were more likely to feel like they could stop what was happening. And technology-only harassment incidents were less likely to be repeated and more likely to be of short duration compared with incidents that involved only in-person harassment.”

The disparity in their results, the authors explained, might have to do with how previous studies were conducted. “So far, research on cyberbullying has mostly been conducted separately from or parallel to research about in-person bullying, making it difficult to test whether new technology causes comparatively greater distress for youth,” they wrote, “The findings from the current study suggest that these concerns are mostly not well-founded, and this has important implications for retargeting prevention and intervention in this area.”

However, their other significant finding, that those who were bullied both in-person and through technological means felt the worst, suggests a more nuanced picture of technology’s role in harassment. “Victims of mixed harassment were the least likely to say they could get away or remove themselves from the situation quickly and this could be related to the fact that they were being victimized across multiple environments—at school, home, and via technology,” they wrote. Notably, it was older children who were more likely to experience this type of harassment, most often from friends and (ex) romantic partners who spread rumors or revealed embarrassing information about them.

While it appears that trolling comments alone doesn’t drive kids up the wall as much as a timely insult across the cafeteria, it does seem early to declare the fears over cyberharassment overblown. As younger generations become increasingly reliant on technology to enrich their social lives, it seems rather obvious that bullying may only become only more distressful for them.

The authors’ findings can’t help but bring to mind the tragic stories of teenagers like Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd, whose eventual suicides were exacerbated by the torturous harassment they experienced both off-and online. It is these bullied who deserve the most attention, they explain. “We believe that focusing on harassment incidents that involve both in-person and technology elements should be a priority for educators and prevention experts who are trying to identify and prevent the most serious and harmful bullying,” lead author Kimberly J.  Mitchell of the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire said in a statement.


at 4:04 pm

Childhood Bullying Strongly Linked To Adult Depression, Study Finds

In recent years, bullying has come into the spotlight as a major contributor to mental health problems in young people. According to stopbullying.gov up to 28% of kids aged 6-12 have experienced bullying, and 20% of high school students have, though other studies have reported considerably higher numbers. There are consistent links between bullying and mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, and even more heartbreaking, suicide, as kids age. A new study tells us more about the connection between childhood bullying and early adulthood depression. And the one seems to contribute significantly to the other.

The University of Oxford-based team followed almost 3,900 participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). They asked them at 13 years old whether and how often they were bullied, and then when the kids were 18, they asked them more questions about their mental health. It turned out that of the 680 13-year-olds who said they were bullied frequently – more than once a week – almost 15% were depressed at 18 years. And of the 1450 teenagers were bullied less – 1-3 times over six months’ time – just over 7% were depressed at 18 years old.

Dolores Marquez holds a canvas bag with the portrait of her late grandson, Carlos Vigil, outside the State Capitol in Santa Fe. The state Senate voted to enact anti-bullying legislation, Carlos Vigil Memorial Act, named after her grandson, who was 17 when he committed suicide in 2013. A Twitter post by Vigil about enduring bullying garnered widespread media attention after he committed suicide. (AP Photo/Vik Jolly)

In comparison, just 5.5% of teenagers who did not experience bullying as 13-year-olds were depressed at age 18. Crunching the numbers, the team say that this works out to a significant portion of adult depression being caused by (or at least, linked to) childhood bullying.

“In our study we found that up to 30% of depression in our sample of 18 year olds may be attributed to being bullied as a teenager, if this link is indeed causal,” study author Lucy Bowes tells me. “This means that anti-bullying interventions in the teenage years could potentially have a big impact in reducing depression in the general adult population.”

Of course, the study can’t demonstrate that the bullying actually caused the depression, but there’s certainly a good chance that it contributed. There could also be some reverse causation going on, whereby kids who started out as more depressed at 13 were also more likely to be bullied, in a kind of vicious cycle.

“Certainly having symptoms of anxiety or depression does increase children’s risk of being bullied – something we also found in our study,” says Bowes, “which used data from the Children of the 90s study. There is likely a vicious circle occurring – children more at risk of depression are also more likely to be bullied by their peers, which makes it even more likely that they might go on to develop depression as an adult. But even when we control for previous depressive symptoms as well as a number of other factors relating to the individual, their family circumstances and stressful life experiences, we still observed an increased risk of depression those bullied in childhood.”

In other words, when the team took out other factors, like mental and behavioral problems, family situations, and stressful life events, kids who were bullied frequently still had a twofold higher risk of depression when they were 18.

Since bullying can be a lot more subversive now than it was in years past – cyber-bullying, online or in text, is an increasingly concerning form of it – it’s especially important to talk to your kids about it, whether they’re being bullied, or not, or you think they might be doing the bullying. And join or help institute an anti-bullying campaign at their school, if you can. The more people – kids, especially – speak up and get active about it, the more it will become uncool, and even taboo.

Follow me @alicewalton or find me on Facebook.


at 10:04 am

Columbia grad accused of high-profile rape speaks out about ‘bullying campaign’

Emma Sulkowicz Columbia studentAndrew Burton/Getty ImagesEmma Sulkowicz carries her mattress around campus to protest her alleged rape at the hands of Paul Nungesser.

See Also

The alleged rapist of a fellow Columbia University student, Paul Nungesser, gave an in-depth interview to German newspaper Die Zeit claiming he endured a “bullying campaign” while finishing his studies at Columbia.

Nungesser, an international student from Germany, told the paper that following accusations in 2012 that he raped classmate Emma Sulkowicz, he was the victim of public bullying — even after the university found him “not responsible” for the alleged rape.

Since last September, Sulkowicz has pledged to carry a mattress, the alleged site of the rape, around campus until Nungesser leaves Columbia. Her move has been lauded by women’s rights activists around the world and has garnered the high-profile support of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. 

After the rape allegations started getting more attention, Nungesser says reporters began lurking in front of his dorm, and Columbia students blogging about the incident. A year later, graffiti and fliers around campus called Nungesser a “serial rapist,” according to Die Zeit. 

Activists took his photograph while he was in class and someone wrote on Sulkowicz’s Facebook page that they wanted to cut Nungesser’s throat, he told Die Zeit. 

Columbia UniversityWikimedia Commons / Momos

He has since filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Columbia University, President Lee Bollinger, and a professor, stating that he was the victim of a bullying campaign that the university allowed.

In December he told The New York Times that the events have “demolished” his reputation. While Sulkowicz has been the most visible, two other women have accused Nungesser of rape. He asserts that the three allegations against him were the result of collusion, according to The Times.

And he claims that the university encouraged the bullying by allowing Sulkowicz to carry a mattress around campus. The mattress was part of Sulkowicz’ senior thesis, a performance art piece titled “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight.” 

Sulkowicz has also had to endure her own public harassment. Posters went up on campus in May after Columbia’s graduation ceremony with a picture of Sulkowicz and the words “pretty little liar” and the hashtag #RapeHoax, New York Magazine reported. A now-suspended Twitter account, @fakerape, tweeted out images of those posters. 

A spokesperson for Columbia University said that they do not comment about any student cases or pending litigation. We also reached out to Sulkowicz and will update this post with any comment we receive.


at 10:04 am

Dick Tracy Comic Strip To Take On Bullying, With Guest Star Little Orphan Annie

A comic strip in which many of the antagonists are people who both suffer from and are identified primarily by physical deformities will take aim at bullying.

Okay, okay, that’s not fair. Dick Tracy has actually been doing its part to remove stereotypes from its pages for a while — and now they’re taking it to the next step.

Strip writer Mike Curtis and artist Joe Staton reportedly went for help to an 11-year-old and his mother, as well as a home-grown superhero.

“Bullying is a part of life no one wishes to relive, but Joe and I have wanted to take a look at the subject for some time,” Curtis said. “Tracy would take no guff from a bully, so the sequence features his tweenage granddaughter, Honeymoon. She’s going through a lot of changes in her life and they’ve come to the notice of a couple of her former friends. This leads to the appearance of two of Tracy’s advisors.”

Collin Engler, an 11-year-old living close to Curtis, shared his thoughts and experiences with the creative team. “It’s real and it’s happening everyday in schools and other places,” he said.

Engler has organized an anti-bullying club at his school with the help of his mother Millie, who says, “Collin has taken bad experiences and turned them around into a force for good in his own world and I am very proud of him.”

“Last year, Joe and I did an epic giving [Little Orphan] Annie an ending to her adventures, which had disappeared from newspapers mid-crisis in 2010,” Curtis said. “We feel Annie and her cast are part of the Tracy world and we’ve added her to the story as a friend of Honeymoon’s. Annie has dealt with bullies in her own way many times in the original Harold Gray strip, and she’s ready to stand up for her friend Honeymoon.”

Also involved will be The Cardinal, for 25 years the star of a superhero strip by Kurt Kolka, who is vocal and active in anti-bullying causes. The Cardinal, like Dick Tracy and Annie’s strip, are all hosted online at GoComics.

The sequence in Dick Tracy begins Sunday, June 21 in newspapers around the world and on GoComics.com.


at 10:04 am

Family sues New Britain schools after bullying leads to brutal fight


A school district in Connecticut is under fire after bullying lead to a brutal fight that broke out at a middle school.

A student in New Britain said she was bullied for months and school administrators did nothing about it until a brawl was posted on social media.

The student’s family is now hoping a lawsuit will get the school district to pay attention.

The victim said she went to her teacher, her security guard and even the principal but none of those cries for help protected her from a beating. She said the fight happened at the former Roosevelt Middle School, now known as Gaffney School in New Britain.

The brutal fight, which took place two years ago, was purposely caught on tape, then posted on social media

Angel Lugo, the family attorney, said the bullying should and could have been prevented.

“You have a responsibility to do something about it, to inquire, to ask questions, do something,” Lugo said.

The victim’s mother is suing the New Britain school district because she said nothing was done after her daughter reported the bullying numerous times.

The bullying then lead up to a violent confrontation that was posted on Facebook where the bullying then grew to greater heights, with people first chiming in on the comments and then actually going to the victim’s home and throwing rocks at it.

“It’s kind of like post-traumatic stress. You don’t know how this will affect her in years to come,” Lugo said.

After the video was posted, lawyers said the bully was suspended, and the victim moved so she could transfer schools, but Lugo said next year they will meet again in high school.

“It could have devastating psychological consequences,” Lugo said.

Jill Spineti, the CEO of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, said she works with schools to create bullying protocols.

“Schools are mandated by law to solve bullying problems, so I’m really surprised when I hear about a case that has fallen through in a school system,” Spineti said.

The lawsuit is looking for an unspecified amount of money.

New Britain schools did not return requests for comments.

Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


at 10:04 am

Judge reinstates Portage Central tennis player who claims she was bullied

Carly Pratt 

PORTAGE, MI — A Portage Central High School tennis player was bullied by her teammates and made the subject of rumors that led coaches and school officials to search her belongings for drugs and alcohol and give her a preliminary breathalyzer test before a match, according to a lawsuit filed in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court.

Coaches and school officials did nothing about the bullying and, despite finding no merit to the rumors spread by teammates, Carly Pratt gave up her status as team captain and was kicked off the team just one week before the 2015 MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 Girls Tennis Finals in Kalamazoo, the suit says.

Those allegations are contained in a 20-page claim filed Thursday by Carly, her mother, Meredith Pratt, and the family’s attorney, Matthew DePerno, of Portage.

The lawsuit accuses Portage Public Schools, Superintendent Mark Bielang, Portage Central Principal Eric Alburtus, Athletic Director Joe Wallace and varsity tennis coach Peter Militzer of discrimination and violating Carly’s constitutional and civil rights.

Militzer declined to comment, referring a Kalamazoo Gazette reporter to the superintendent. When contacted, the Portage schools administration issued a written statement saying they could not comment on the case because of the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act.

Among other things, the lawsuit sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to allow Carly, who graduated Thursday from Portage Central, to play in the state tournament Friday and Saturday at Kalamazoo College.

Circuit Judge Alexander C. Lipsey granted the request Thursday and reinstated Carly.

She played well in the state tournament, losing in the finals of the No. 2 singles to Madeline Bissett of Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern. DePerno said Meredith Pratt informed him that Carly advanced farther than any of her teammates at the state tournament.

“She belonged there, she obviously was good enough,” DePerno said.

While she may have been successful at the state tournament last week, the lawsuit alleges she had to navigate a difficult path to get there because of bullying by her teammates and their parents, and coaches who ignored her pleas for help with the issues.

“They searched her property at school, they searched her car, they’ve never found anything to support the allegations that were made against her and, at the same time, when Meredith Pratt has brought these allegations of bullying to the school they’ve done absolutely nothing to investigate those allegations,” DePerno said.

DePerno said that in addition to the lawsuit filed in circuit court, he is considering also filing a claim in federal court alleging that the school district’s treatment of Carly violated her constitutional rights, as well as Title 9, the federal gender-equity law for education.

The lawsuit says Carly’s problems with teammates began early in this year’s tennis season when they began spreading rumors that she was using alcohol and marijuana at school and practice.

The lawsuit also alleges that “cliques” formed within the team “among certain players and their parents,” which led to Carly being ostracized from activities at practice “such that other players would not practice with Carly or hit balls with her.”

“The rumors that were spread against her caused other teammates to stay away from Carly and they refused to speak with her at practice or hit balls with her,” the lawsuit says. “Carly was typically left to her own practice methods and drill at practices, such as hitting the ball with teammates with much lower skill levels than her because the better players would not practice with her.”

Carly brought the incidents to the attention of Militzer and Wallace at the start of the tennis season but was ignored, according to the lawsuit. That prompted Carly and her mother to go to Alburtus who “stated that he had assessed the situation and decided it was not a ‘big enough concern’ to discuss the issue with Plaintiff or Carly.”

During the season, the lawsuit says Carly’s tennis bag was searched by Portage Central Assistant Principal Kim Lumas and, on at least one occasion, her car was searched for alcohol and marijuana without consent or a warrant.

On May 4, the lawsuit alleges that Carly was issued a breathalyzer test by Wallace, which tested negative for alcohol.

“The Defendants and the School District’s officials and employees had no evidence, consent, or probable cause to conduct any searches of Carly’s possession or person, had no warrant issued, and were apparently operating on the rumors and bullying tactics of other students; which the school officials and employees did nothing to stop, but in fact contributed to this behavior,” the lawsuit says.

Additionally, the lawsuit says that Carly’s coaches threatened to remove her from the varsity tennis team, as well as qualification for any awards unless she stepped down as captain of the team. On May 8, Meredith Pratt demanded a meeting with the defendants and brought with her an independent mediator.

At that meeting, Carly agreed to step down as team captain as long as the defendants would stop harassing her, that she would be eligible for postseason awards and that coaches and school officials would acknowledge that “the bullies needed to be confronted and held accountable for their actions.”

Included in the lawsuit is an email that Militzer issued to tennis players and their parents on May 10 in which he said he wanted “to put an end to all the talk and rumors that have been spread as that certainly is not helpful to our overall cause.”

He added in the email that Carly’s decision to step down as captain “due to reports of inappropriate language at last week’s match.” However, he said Carly “has been cleared from all unsubstantiated allegations regarding drugs and alcohol, and has maintained a clean record throughout her high school career … She has a clean slate with the school and with our team.”

Despite Militzer’s email and assertions from school officials, the lawsuit says school and team officials did not confront her bullies and subsequent to the meeting one of the alleged bullies made a statement to Carly that was “sexually suggestive and abusive.”

Also, the lawsuit asserts that Militzer’s email led to Carly being bullied by the parents of teammates. The claim recalls an incident on May 21 during a tennis match between Portage Central and Allegan High School.

During the match, a childhood friend of Carly’s was playing for Allegan against one of Carly’s teammates, according to the lawsuit. At one point during the match, the lawsuit says Carly told her friend from Allegan “good shot” and was then “verbally and physically assaulted by the mother of the teammate playing in the match who hit “her twice on the top of the head and yelled at her that she needed to cheer for her teammate only.

“She accused Carly of being a ‘bad teammate. This occurred in front of other parents and players.”

After the incident, the lawsuit alleges Carly was told by Militzer that she was required to cheer for her teammate only and did nothing to address the behavior of the parent. And, the next day, on May 22, Miltzer dismissed Carly from the tennis team, telling Meredith Pratt that the move was not a punishment but “simply in the best interest of the team.”

“Defendant Militzer was unable to provide any other explanation or reason for dismissing Carly from the team,” the lawsuit says.

Later, on May 27, attorneys for the school district contacted DePerno and told him that Carly was removed from the team “because the incident on May 21, 2015 demonstrated to them that Carly was not a good teammate,” according to the lawsuit.

Rex Hall Jr. is a public safety reporter for the Kalamazoo Gazette. You can reach him at rhall2@mlive.com. Follow him on Twitter.


at 4:05 am

South Side parent sues over alleged sexual harassment, bullying of fourth-grader

BRISTOL — The mother of a former South Side Elementary School student is suing the district and the city, alleging her daughter was sexually harassed and bullied by boy students.

The mother, identified by the alias “Mary Doe” in the legal action, alleges in the lawsuit that her daughter was repeatedly bullied and harassed by three boys in her class during the 2013-2014 school year. Mary Doe alerted the teacher to a prior history of harassment and conflicts between one of the boys and her daughter, identifed as “Jane Doe,” a fourth-grader in special education at South Side.

Mary Doe is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, plus attorney’s fees, and “such further legal or equitable relief as the court may deem necessary or appropriate,” according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Kristen Kenney.

The plaintiffs’ names are confidential due to the nature of the case.

According to the lawsuit, she was in a classroom with 10 other students, staffed by head teacher Zacharia Savic and two aides.

Throughout the school year, she was repeatedly bullied and harassed by three boys in her class and early in the year Mary Doe alerted Savic to a prior history of harassment and conflicts between one of the boys and Jane Doe.

In October 2013, Mary Doe reported an instance when one of the boys attempted to kiss Jane Doe and another when he tugged on her shirt in an attempt to look at her breasts. Savic, the lawsuit says, promised he would pay extra attention to interactions between Jane Doe and the three boys.

Throughout the school year, Mary Doe repeatedly complained to South Side Principal Robert Garry about the ongoing harassment of Jane Doe by the boys.

On or about Jan. 28, 2014, during the afternoon Jane Doe was resting in the area designated as “Alaska” in her classroom. “Alaska” is sectioned off by four foot walls, with a bean bag chair, and intended to be a safe area for students with special needs who require a break from classroom stresses or psychological triggers.

The same group of three boys plus an additional boy entered there area. The lawsuit describes that three of them watched while a fourth boy engaged in unwanted sexual contact with Jane Doe: He attempted to kiss her, straddled her and moved his hips in a “humping type motion,” and pulled down her pants and underwear and touched her vaginal area.

Savic, the lawsuit says, was the only faculty or staff member present in the classroom.

The lawsuit states that the Bristol Board of Education has a Policies, Regulations and Bylaws Manual which prohibits bullying, unwanted physical contact, and sexual harassment, and that the general risk of harm of the type suffered by Jane Doe was foreseeable by the defendants under the circumstances.

The lawsuit specifies that the defendants failed to adequately staff the classroom or to adequately supervise the students there, permitted more than one person to be in “Alaska” in violation of classroom rules, permitted students known to have previously bullied and/or harassed Jane Doe to be with her in “Alaska” without supervision.

The lawsuit further specifies the defendants failed to appropriately and adequately address the prior instances of bullying and harassment, to prevent repeated incidents of bullying and harassment against Jane Doe, to recognize the signs that Jane Doe was the subject of bullying and harassment, and to adequately enforce their own rules and protocols for bullying and harassment to protect her from the type of harm she was subjected to.

In addition, Mary Doe alleges her daughter repeatedly endured further ridicule, teasing, bullying, and harassment from her classmates for her struggles with speech and fine motor skills and other behaviors due to her disabilities.

“Despite repeated reports to both Mr. Savic and Mr. Garry, actions were not taken to appropriately and sufficiently address the bullying and harassment. Instead the defendants attempted to shift the blame by asserting that Jane Doe was just overly sensitive,” the lawsuit said.

As a result, “Jane Doe has suffered emotional distress, anger, confusion, shock, mistrust, and bad dreams… [which resulted in her being] prevented from and deprived of the opportunity to fully enjoy her childhood, and will be prevented and deprived in the future,” the lawsuit said.

The situation is costing Mary Doe money for medical care for her daughter and may cost her money for psychological therapy and treatment in the future, according to the lawsuit.

Susan Corica can be reached at (860) 584-0501 ext. 1802 or scorica@bristolpress.com.


at 4:04 am

Teen Bullying Doubles Adult Risk of Depression

An image of a bullied child

Credit: Dreamstime

Bullying during adolescence may be responsible for almost a third of cases of depression during adulthood, new research finds.

A long-running study of British youth reveals that the people who experienced frequent bullying at age 13 had double the risk of developing clinical depression at age 18, compared with people who were never bullied.

It’s impossible to say for sure whether the bullying caused the depression, said study researcher Lucy Bowes, a psychologist at the University of Oxford. But Bowes and her colleagues say they strongly suspect there is a causal relationship. They controlled for factors that might otherwise explain the depression, including baseline depression and emotional problems that might make a person more susceptible to both bullying and to later clinical depression. [10 Scientific Tips for Raising Happy Kids]

Bullying and depression

Previous studies have linked bullying with having depression symptoms over the short term, Bowes told Live Science. And a few long-term studies have shown that people who are victims of such aggression during childhood may have long-term mental health problems. For example, a study published in 2013 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found increased risks of depression and anxiety in adulthood among bully victims, and especially among people who had both been bullied and bullied others.

But many of these previous long-term studies were limited because they couldn’t control for pre-existing conditions or because their measurements of bullying lacked detail, Bowes said. In the new study, Bowes and her colleagues used data from the United Kingdom’s Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which surveyed kids at age 13 with specific questions about bullying, including whether they’d experienced physical violence, threats, lies, rumors and exclusion.

“This is an age when the influence of peers becomes paramount,” Bowes said. Then, when the participants reached the other end of adolescence, they answered questions about their symptoms of clinical depression.

Long-lasting scars

About 15 percent of bully victims were depressed at 18 compared with 5 percent of those who hadn’t been bullied — an almost tripling of depression risk, the researchers report today (June 2) in the British Medical Journal. When the researchers controlled for other factors that could influence depression at age 18, such as a teen’s gender and pre-existing emotional problems, the link between bullying and later depression shrank, but remained notable.

Ultimately, “we found that kids who reported that they were frequently bullied at 13 were twice as likely to report being clinically depressed at 18,” Bowes said.

Bowes noted that she and her colleagues also controlled for the effects of being a bully, as people who fill the roles of both victim and bully tend to have pre-existing problems that can obscure the long-term effects of bullying, she said.

The researchers also found that parents and children were often worlds apart in understanding the bullying experience. The survey of more than 3,700 families turned up 1,199 teens who reported they were frequently bullied. But among the mothers surveyed, only 229 said their children were frequent bully victims.

Meanwhile, between 41 percent and 74 percent of teens said they didn’t report bullying to their teachers, and 24 percent to 51 percent said they didn’t tell their parents.

“Bowes and colleagues establish a clear link between victimisation and non-reporting to teachers or family members,” psychological criminologist Maria Ttofi of the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the research, wrote in an editorial accompanying the paper in the journal. “Parents and teachers need to be aware of this and proactively ask children about school experiences beyond academic matters.”

The study drives home the long-term dangers of bullying and highlights the need to stop it where it starts, Bowes said. Schools are beginning to institute anti-bullying programs, she said, and these should be studied to ensure they’re helping. More programs need to involve moms and dads, too, she said.

“We know that parents’ involvement is really important, and we need to design interventions that are able to bridge the gap between the home and school life,” Bowes said.

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook Google+. Originally published on Live Science.


at 4:03 am

CBS2 Investigates: Parents Say Columbia H.S. Baseball Coaches Bullying …

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An Essex County baseball coach is accused of bullying and intimidating his own players, and students say it’s happened more than once.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, high school sports is supposed to be a mix of fun and competition for college scholarships.

“They love baseball; all of these boys, that’s what they live for,” said parent Mary Jo DeFranco.

But at least four families say the enjoyment has been taken out of baseball at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Players say video featuring shouting and vulgar language taken by a teammate is nothing compared to what they describe as bullying and harassment by varsity coach Joseph Fischetti and assistant coach Matt Becht.

“I hated being there,” said senior Alex Nathan.

Nathan, a three-year varsity starter, was unexpectedly cut his senior year.

“They took my last season away from me,” he said.

Nathan’s father Randy believes his son was cut as retribution. Randy is a bullying consultant who worked with the school district and other players in the first internal investigation into the coaching staff’s behavior, Baker reported.

“We need to let people know that what is happening with these coaches is not acceptable,” Randy said.

Alex said the coaches eventually caught the kids videotaping their behavior, took the phone and deleted it.

Coach Fischetti is currently under investigation for the second time by the school district for abuses both on and off the field, Baker reported.

One parent told Baker his son’s story.

“Yelling at him, screaming at him. And coach Becht is a pretty big guy. He stood in front of the door, he blocked it and David wasn’t able to get out,” said parent Anthony DeFranco.

“I sited specific instances of how they bullied, harassed and intimidated me,” said DeFranco’s son David.

“And there was an investigation done and the coaches were found guilty of H.I.B.,” Anthony said.

H.I.B. stands for harassment, intimidation and bullying. But the coach was reinstated this past spring season.

CBS2 approached coach Fischetti outside South Orange Middle School, where he is a physical education teacher, but he quickly hopped in his car and back out of the entire length of the parking lot, Baker reported.

The school district would not comment on camera, citing confidentiality. But in a statement, the district said “We take every allegation extremely seriously, and carefully investigate and address issues as they arise.”

CBS2 reached out to assistant coach Becht, who had no comment.

The parents of the older players said they came forward with the hope of bettering the experience for younger players.


June 2, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Family 411: Cheerleaders Fight Bullying

Middle and high school cheerleaders are making crowds stand up and cheer for their stand against bullying.

Nobody knows the effects of bullying better than girls at that age, so when it was time for their teams to come up with an entry for competition, they found different words to send bullying victims a message.

“If you’re being bullied, you need some encouraging words like ‘you are unique, you are beautiful,’” said cheerleader Savannah Roads. “Don’t let bullying hurt you, and rumors are toxic.”

Words from hit songs like Pink’s “Perfect,” and “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars can help.

Parents and teachers may feel like their kids never listen, but they do listen to their friends, and that’s just what those cheerleaders are hoping.

“Most kids our age don’t want to stand up, don’t want to stand out, but we definitely did,” said cheerleader Loryn Gavula. “And we wanted to make a difference.”

Gavula is cheer captain, and she’s a senior. She has dreams of becoming a teaching career, and trying to put an end to bullying.

And by the looks of it, the girls’ competition entry said something to the first crowd who saw it.

“When they were done it was silent,” said cheerleading coach Chelsey Hassebrook. “And then after the silence, it was just roaring.”

“The applause we got and the standing ovation, it brought me to tears as we were walking off the mat,” said Gavula.

The girls won the competition, but by then, it was no longer about winning.


at 10:03 pm

Marblehead seniors learn anti-bullying methods

Posted Jun. 2, 2015 at 2:32 PM
Updated at 3:10 PM



at 4:03 pm

Bullying is down but still a serious problem

A new survey of U.S. teens delivers good news and bad news on bullying: fewer kids say they were
being bullied at school in 2013 compared to 2011, but bullying still is widespread, and has become
magnified by social media.

The Education Department survey found that 22 percent of students between the ages of 12 and 18
reported being bullied, down 6 percentage points from two years prior. That still means that more
than 1 in 5 kids report being bullied, and it is more prevalent among girls, who often are
subjected to more vicious personal attacks online.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the data indicated progress in “educating the public about
the health and educational impacts that bullying can have on students,” but noted that there is
more work to be done.

There have been cases in central Ohio and around the country in which bullying has played a role
in teen suicides. A number of schools have moved to address bullying with programs and oversight,
but it remains a problem; Principal Mike Ulring of Dublin Coffman High School was quoted in 2013
likening shutting down abusive sites to a game of whack-a-mole.

The new data is encouraging, but should not relax the fight against bullying.


at 4:03 pm

Timothy Malcolm: Time to act on bullying is now – Times Herald

Posted Jun. 1, 2015 at 7:56 PM
Updated at 8:48 AM


at 4:03 pm

Media group to Turkey’s Erdogan: Stop ‘bullying’ journalists

College Board, Khan Academy Partner to Offer Free, Online SAT Prep

Martin O’Malley’s Baltimore Record Is Key to His 2016 Bid

OECD Study: Americans Prefer Satisfaction Over Health

Kentucky Senators At Odds – And Taking the Blame – for NSA Shutdown

Mitch McConnell Still Backs Rand Paul for President


at 10:03 am

Family 411: Fighting back against bullying

text size


MT. ORAB, OHIO (Sheila Gray) — The cheerleaders at Western Brown High School and Middle School are busting stereotypes.  

Instead of fighting for a win on the field, these teenage girls are fighting bullying. The cheerleaders from both schools are making crowds stand up and cheer for their stand against bullying.

High school cheer captain Loryn Gavula said, “We wanted to make an impact.”

Nobody knows the effects of bullying better than girls this age.
“Words,” said eighth grade cheerleader Savannah Roades, “Words can really hurt.”  

So when it was time for their teams to come up with an entry for competition, they found different words to send bullying victims a message.  

“If you’re being bullied, you need to some encouraging words like you are unique, you are beautiful, don’t let bullying hurt you, and rumors are toxic,” said Roades.  

They created big, colorful signs to go with the words in hit songs like Pink’s “Perfect,” and “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars.

Parents and teachers may feel like their kids never listen to them. They DO listen to their friends, and that’s just what these cheerleaders are hoping.  

“Most kids our age don’t want to stand up, don’t want to stand out, but we definitely did, and we wanted to make a difference,” said Gavula.  

How important is it for kids to hear a message from other kids?  Western Brown High School Principal Heather Cooper said it’s more important than adults sometimes.   

“They’re always in front of the crowd, they’re always in front younger kids that look up to them,” added cheer coach Chelsey Hassebrock.

Senior Loryn Gavula has dreams of a teaching career and the end of bullying.  

“First of all, people need to realize they’re doing, and a lot of people don’t, and people need to stand up for the people being bullied. If you see it happening, say something,” she said.

Their competition entry said something to the first crowd who saw it.  

“When they were done it was silent, and then after the silence, it was just roaring,” said Hassebrock.  

Gavula added, “The applause we got and the standing ovation, it brought me to tears as we were walking off the mat.”  

The girls won the competition, but by then, it was no longer about winning.  

CLICK HERE for the National Crime Prevention Council tips on teaching kids how to stop bullying.

Follow Sheila Gray on Twitter @SheilaGrayTV, and LIKE her on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!


at 10:03 am

Reynolds remains optimistic about anti-bullying bill

ANTI-BULLYING BILL: Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the administration still views anti-bullying legislation as a top priority and remains hopeful lawmakers will approve the proposal and send it to the governor’s desk. Senators approved the bill, but it has languished in the House, which is controlled by Gov. Terry Branstad’s and Reynolds’ fellow Republicans. The Legislature is nearing adjournment, but Reynolds said she believes the anti-bullying bill still could pass. “Every day we are working on making that happen,” Reynolds said. “As long as the session’s still going, we feel optimistic because it continues to be a priority of this administration.”

YANKEE DOODLE FOOD DRIVE: Reynolds announced the start of the seventh annual Yankee Doodle Drive Against Hunger. Reynolds announced the kickoff with representatives of the Des Moines Symphony, the Food Bank of Iowa, Bank of the West, Casey’s General Stores, Hy-Vee, and the Polk Co. Board of Supervisors. This year’s goal is 30,000 pounds of food. Nonperishable food donations can be made at Hy-Vee stores, Bank of the West locations, and at the Iowa Capitol. Donations also can be made at the Des Moines Symphony’s 22nd annual Yankee Doodle Pops on Thursday, July 2, at the Capitol. The drive runs until July 5. According to a national study, 1 in 8 Iowans are “food insecure” and 1 in 5 Iowa children do not have enough to eat.

2 MORE BIRD FLU CASES: The Iowa Department of Agriculture announced two more cases of avian influenza have been reported, bringing the total number of cases in Iowa to 67. The two new cases were discovered on a 36,000-bird turkey farm in Hamilton County and a 21,000-bird turkey farm in Calhoun County. State and federal officials will work to confirm the disease and, if confirmed, destroy the flocks. The disease has now resulted in the deaths or depopulation of more than 28.6 million birds in Iowa.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s kind of like getting served a heaping pile of mashed potatoes that are cold. It’s not fun to eat.” – Sen. Matt McCoy, Des Moines, describing the fiscal 2016 budget deal that resulted from House-Senate negotiations. — Erin Murphy


at 10:03 am

Media Group to Turkey’s Erdogan: Stop ‘Bullying’ Journalists

A media freedom watchdog has called on Turkey’s president to stop “bullying” journalists after he accused a newspaper editor of espionage and threatened punishment for publishing images of what the paper said were Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants.

In a statement late Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for threatening legal action against the Cumhuriyet newspaper editor Can Dundar.

Last week, the paper published images from January 2014 when local authorities searched Syria-bound trucks, touching off a standoff with Turkish intelligence officials. Cumhuriyet said the images were proof that Turkey was smuggling arms to rebels — a claim the government rejects.

The CPJ said: “We call on (Erdogan) to stop bullying journalists … just because he doesn’t like what they report.”


at 10:03 am

Second Student Accuses Lincoln High School of Yearbook Discrimination

Posted by in School


A second student is speaking up against what she calls “gender expression discrimination” against Lincoln High School in Stockton.

We first brought you the story of a student who took her photo in a tuxedo on Friday, her senior portrait ended up getting cut from the high school’s yearbook Mari Champagne experienced what she calls the same discrimination.

“It’s not fair in any way, shape or form,” Mari Champagne, a Lincoln High School senior said.

“It’s like I didn’t even exist in Lincoln,” Crystal Cumplido, another student told FOX40 on Friday.

Two different young women, same high school and similar stories.

“Kind of surprised and I was disappointed in Lincoln for doing that and I was more upset when I found out why they did it,” Champagne said.

Champagne is the second student to claim that Lincoln High School cut her senior portrait out of their yearbook because she wasn’t wearing the black drape young women are supposed to wear, per school policy.

“I knew there was a chance that I wouldn’t be in the yearbook but I didn’t know for exactly what reasons and how I could fix it,” she said.

Champagne said she transferred to Lincoln from Lodi High School earlier this year.

While she’s in Lodi’s yearbook she was surprised that her picture was cut out from Lincoln’s. “I tried my best to like you know look good in both of them, or what I was comfortable in,” she said.

The day our story aired with Cumplido, Champagne’s mother, Susan Kirkgaard, said she got a call from Tom Uslan, the Lincoln Unified School district’s superintendent who told her that he wanted to make things right.

“This is a learning opportunity to address all the discrimination that these kids feel,” Kirkgaard told FOX40.

He offered to reprint all yearbooks a gesture he also made clear to us.

“I sincerely apologize to anyone who has been adversely affected by this,” Tom Uslan told us on Friday.

The school district is hoping to repair the damage for two young women who say they were just being true to their identities.

“That really disappointed me,” Champagne said of the incident.

Champagne said she’s hoping that she and anyone who wants a reprint gets one.


at 10:03 am

11 phones confiscated in school district sexting investigation

Posted by in School

Detectives confiscated cellphones from at least 11 junior high school students after being notified May 29 of a sexting situation in the Northshore School District.

An investigation of the students began after the notification, according to police. Detectives said it appears several boys encouraged a number of girls to send nude photographs of themselves to the boys’ cellphones over the past year.

The Northshore School District said in a couple of instances, girls may have been threatened that their photos would be shared unless they sent more.

The activity allegedly happened throughout the school year involving students at Canyon Park Junior High School and Skyview Junior High School.

It is illegal to possess, view, or manufacture pictures of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in Washington, which means that both the boys and girls involved could face charges.

“People got called into the office. The vice principal was telling people they need to delete the pictures, and I heard parents were calling, saying that they knew that kids had their kids’ pictures on their phones,” said Kennedy Davis, a ninth-grader at Canyon Park Junior High School.

Kennedy’s mother, Kim Davis, said she has access to her daughter’s phone to keep an eye on what’s going on. She said she has told her daughter that if she is sent a photo or is ever approached for one, she should tell an adult.

“Everything you text, you Snapchat, you Instagram, whatever you do – you think you delete it, but it’s all out there forever,” Davis said.

Sgt. Ken Suberlich issued a reminder to parents on the Bothell Police Department blog, saying “the Bothell Police Department strongly encourages parents to talk to their teens about safe internet, cellphone, and social media behavior.”

Police are now interviewing people and comparing phone records with those interviews.

The case will ultimately be reviewed by the appropriate prosecutor’s office to determine if there are any potential criminal charges to be filed, police said.

Because the Northshore School District lies in both King and Snohomish counties, either prosecuting attorney could pick up the case, depending on where the students live.

Jeremy Gutierrez, an eighth-grader, told KIRO 7 he heard “one kid decided to do the right thing and tell an adult what’s going on,” which spurred the investigation.

His father, Gustavo Gutierrez, said photos like that can unintentionally fall in the hands of sex predators or other criminals.

He told his son, “Turn the other way. Walk away from it. Don’t get involved with them people, because that’s all about trouble and drama, and we don’t need that.”

The note below was sent to families in the Northshore School District.

Dear Northshore Families:

The Bothell Police Department is investigating reports that several male junior high students encouraged female junior high students over the last several months to send nude images of themselves to the boys’ cell phones. It is alleged that in a couple of instances girls have been pressured to send images or threatened that their photos would be shared unless they sent more. Anyone who has information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Bothell Police Department at 425.486.1254.

Living in the digital age has its benefits and challenges. Students now have technology at their fingertips through smartphones, social media and apps such as Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. As students become more connected through technology, they have instant access to friends, but can become more vulnerable to such things as online bullying or sexting. Many students believe that once a photo is deleted or disappears from the screen that it is gone forever, but that isn’t the case. Importantly, college/university admissions officers and employers increasingly review the Internet to be sure that there is nothing in a person’s past that might overshadow a potential acceptance or hire. Helping your child make smart decisions with technology now will help support their future plans after high school.

Student safety is a top priority and we encourage you to talk with your student about social media and online safety. Please review the resources below provided from the National Crime Prevention Council about online safety and the consequences of sexting and discuss the pressures to send revealing photos. Encourage your child to tell an adult if s/he receives an inappropriate photo via email, text, social media or other application, and advise them not to forward the photo to other friends as that is a violation of the law.

Our goal is to provide your child with a world-class education and support their educational success. We appreciate your partnership in discussing this important issue with your child and fostering a safe learning environment for all students.
Heather Miller
Assistant Superintendent


Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.


at 10:02 am

Burglars steal scholarship funds in break-in at St. Hyacinth school

Posted by in School

Burglars broke into St. Hyacinth Basilica School this weekend and took a safe holding scholarship money slated to help needy students once the Catholic school closes its doors in 10 days.

lRelated More Avondale crime
Breaking NewsMore Avondale crime »See all related

“These are children I’ve known since they were 3. It’s just money to you, but it’s a future to these children,” Angela Ybarra said in an interview Monday, speaking to the burglars.

Ybarra, secretary for the parent and teacher board at St. Hyacinth and a 1983 alumna, fought back tears as she spoke of the break-in.

6 Northwest Side Catholic schools asked to work together for reorganization

About 7:30 a.m. Monday, police were called to the school at 3640 W. Wolfram St., where it appeared someone had broken in through a back window, said Ybarra and Officer Thomas Sweeney, a Chicago police spokesman.

According to the school’s website, an office was ransacked, locked cabinets were pried open and the safe was taken.

The safe contained money collected over several months for the Keep the Light Alive Scholarship Fund, as well as money for eighth-grade graduation festivities, including a banquet scheduled for Tuesday night, officials said.

About two weeks ago, alumni had a fundraiser specifically for the scholarship fund, Ybarra said.

In October, teachers and parents were told the school would be closing, a decision made before the late Cardinal Francis George retired last fall. Graduates and other supporters then decided to collect funds in hopes of keeping the school open but later shifted their focus to gathering money for students to attend Catholic school elsewhere, Ybarra said.

“This is heartbreaking and shocking,” she said. “Some of these kids will not be able to attend another school without a scholarship.”

Ybarra’s daughter graduated from St. Hyacinth in 2009 and her son was expected to graduate in 2019.

“I don’t have to worry about my son, but this theft has closed a lot of doors for many children,” Ybarra said, adding that her son received a separate academic scholarship.

In total, about 150 applications have been submitted for financial aid for students at the school, and Ybarra said about 75 students would face hardship because of the break-in. On Monday, a GoFundMe account was opened in hopes of replacing the scholarship funds.

“The last day of school is June 11,” Ybarra said. “This is a working-class neighborhood, and we are a family. You did more than steal a safe.”

Donations can be submitted through the GoFundMe site or Jodi Theyan, director of development at the school. She can be reached at 773-342-7550.

Police were investigating.


Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune


valentino shoes outlet|valentino rockstud replica|cheap valentino shoes|valentino shoes replica|valentino shoes outlet|valentino rockstud replica|cheap valentino shoes|valentino shoes replica|valentino shoes outlet|valentino shoes outlet