July 31, 2014 at 12:30 am

Dolphins’ credo on T-shirts after bullying scandal

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins, rocked by a bullying scandal last season, are now wearing T-shirts bearing a credo of togetherness that was coined by the players.

One by one some of the members of the offense and defense removed their shoulder pads Wednesday and changed into the new gray shirt. On the back was a list of 10 sayings bordered by the words “I am a Miami Dolphin” that encompass their approach to the upcoming season.

Among the sayings that bring to mind last year’s scandal involving former offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin is this one. “If I see something — I will say something — I commit to call it as it is.”

Head coach Joe Philbin applauded the gesture made by his players.

“I think the best way to do things is to give them some ownership and let them feel like I’m not coming down from the mountaintop and saying this is a must and this is a mandate,” Philbin said. “I thought they did a good job. I thought they gave some consideration and some thought to it and I think it’s good. Probably ‘I’m a professional,’ is one of them I like. But I think I like them all. They’re all good, but that one sticks to me. It’s kind of all encompassing, entails a lot. ‘Team first,’ too. Maybe I like team first better. I’m trying to picture the T-shirt.”

Considering that Philbin has come up with plenty of his own rules, he joked that some of the players think he has too many and that he’s “a little stiff.” He had approached a group of veterans during the offseason to emphasize his desire for them to take ownership of the team. The idea for an official credo came naturally.

Defensive end Cameron Wake, a three-time Pro Bowler, had showed off a T-shirt last year in the locker room that he and other members of the defense designed specifically for defensive players. That one was adorned with the words “Respect The Brotherhood” on the back surrounding a military style logo, so he was probably a good person to go to with the new shirt.

http://journaltimes.com/sports/football/dolphins-credo-on-t-shirts-after-bullying-scandal/article_3a65a301-0eb8-5b28-ba17-6e16a1b9af73.html

at 12:30 am

Bullying a concern for parents as back to school draws near

Cyber bully

Cyber bully



Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 4:50 pm

Bullying a concern for parents as back to school draws near


0 comments

BRADENTON, Fla. — Constant bullying has driven some children and teens into a deep depression, and some have even committed suicide. Others become bullies themselves.

ABC 7 sat down with a Bradenton mother whose daughter endured bullying at school, as well as a mental health counselor, to find out more.

“She got attacked at school … She got scratched. They stole everything that she had.” Zulamit Barroso’s worst nightmare came true when her daughter came home and informed her she was being bullied at school. Her daughter Arianne is a special needs student who had to transfer to another school because of the constant mental and physical abuse. Arianne even took to punching the wall out of frustration. Barroso says even though faculty was told about the abuse, the bullying continued.

“Every time, she went to complain to a teacher or counselor. She was asked if she had any witnesses … when she said no, they said they could not do anything about it,” she says

Clark West, a licensed mental health counselor at Affordable Mental Health Counseling Services of Sarasota says that to properly identify whether a kid is being bullied, parents and their children must have a good rapport with each other as well as great communication.

“Tell people. Open up — don’t be ashamed,” he says. “A lot of kids these days are really ashamed of telling an adult that someone is beating them up or threatening them. This is not primarily about you, this is about the abuser.”

And it’s not just physical bullying and harassment that is a problem.

“Cyberbullying these days are just as bad as the physical contact,” West says. “You know, what are your kids doing on Facebook?”

In Zulamit and her daughter Arianne’s case, Clark West has advice for them — others who are in the same situation.

“You need to get specific as you can about the situation. You know well if the kids say I’m being bullied…well what does that mean?” West asks. “Is someone threatening you? What is the situation?”

More about Cyber-bullying

  • ARTICLE: Popular app blocked at Sarasota schools due to cyberbullying potential
  • ARTICLE: Two girls arrested in cyber-bullying death

More about Bullying

  • ARTICLE: Study shows effects of bullying years later
  • ARTICLE: Two girls arrested in cyber-bullying death
  • ARTICLE: Bullying prevention month
  • ARTICLE: Bradenton girl, 16, crusades against potentially deadly bullying

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 4:50 pm.


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http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/bullying-a-concern-for-parents-as-back-to-school-draws/article_514a96b8-182b-11e4-b46d-0017a43b2370.html

at 12:30 am

School Director Prepares for Bus Bullying – WJBF

Columbia County, GA -
School buses in Columbia County will begin transporting more than 14,000 students twice a day starting next week. As directors complete routes, they are also working on ways to prevent bullying on the bus.

A majority of the buses have no cameras or monitors on board. In most cases, there is no camera footage to look back on, but the school will accept student phone video in investigations. When a bullying incident happens, the bus driver must turn in a form to the principal for disciplinary action to be taken.

As the school buses begin to roll out next week in Columbia County, drivers are making last minute preparations. One important item all bus drivers must check off their list before the year starts is training on how to handle bullying.

School Transportation Director Dewayne Porter said all drivers must watch a tutorial before school starts and participate in meetings once a month starting at the beginning of the year.

“We try to give some real world examples based on the calls and concerns that I have received in my office each day and use that as a training tool to train new drivers and veteran drivers on how to react and responds,” said Porter.

With more than 200 buses in the county, only one bus has cameras, so when it comes down to bullying, much of the responsibility falls on the bus driver.

“Our drivers are trained to turn that into the school on a disciplinary form and allow the school to investigate it, provided the driver does recognize it and knows that it’s happening,” said Porter.

Columbia County adopted the state’s policies on bullying back in 2011, but the principal remains the key component for action when they receive these forms.

“If we know it, we may move the child that’s being accused of bullying to the front seat for a period of time, the principal may choose to do something different in conjunction with that,” said Porter.

The transportation department has already has requirements, such as placing girls and boys on opposite sides and placing students from youngest grade level in the front to oldest in the back.

Porter said the county hasn’t had any major problems in past years and he’s hoping to keep it the same this year.

Columbia County does not have any plans to buy additional cameras for buses right now. Each camera system costs around $1,500 and without any substantial reason to get them, Porter said this money can be better used in the classroom.

http://www.wjbf.com/story/26154475/school-director-prepares-for-bus-bullying

July 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

WIFC calls on students to Stand UP against bullying

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) — WIFC’s morning show is challenging students across central Wisconsin to Stand UP against bullying this school year.

It’s part of a program aimed at breaking the cycle of abuse in schools between students. WIFC morning show host Stacy Cole says they’d heard enough heartbreaking stories of bullying that they wanted to make a difference. “We’ve got a voice, and it’s time to use it for something like this. And of course we can talk about the stories, but can we actually do something, can we get into the kids minds and say ‘this is wrong’. School’s coming up, start thinking about what you can do to prevent it.”

People who want to take part can sign a pledge to stand up against bullies and not take part when it’s going on. “Even one action, not laughing when a bully does something, that’s one action. So it’s about taking that pledge that you’ll do your best to not allow it.” Cole says it’s a simple pledge than anyone can get behind.

WIFC morning show host Dave Kallaway says their message and pledge will come with a reminder. “In return, we’re giving everyone these bracelets, these anti-bullying bracelets. And so we’ll have a limited quantity of those every day out at the fair. And this will be the start of the campaign, it’s going to continue after the fair for high school football games, and a bunch more, but it will get started at the fair.”

You can sign up for the pledge and a bracelet at the WIFC booth near the East Gate entrance at the Wisconsin Valley Fair after 5pm all week.

http://wsau.com/news/articles/2014/jul/30/wifc-calls-on-students-to-stand-up-against-bullying/

at 6:30 pm

Bullying: State law aims at improving system, but many local districts already …

Local districts previously have taken such action. And there have been attempts to raise awareness. In Geneva School District 304, there were anti-bullying videos created by choir members at Geneva Middle School South and North. In Kaneland, Kindness in Kaneland Week was celebrated.

In St. Charles, Schlomann said the legislation can provide some more clarity. He said the district works to identify bullying, and “we take it seriously and try to investigate.” Sometimes, he said, it can be a misunderstanding, but often, it is bullying. And there also is the matter of bullying in cyberspace, “and we are charged also to deal with that.”

In Batavia, Newkirk said that there are efforts made to be sure procedures are in place and to be sure the district is in compliance with the new law. He talked of the district’s PBIS system, which stands for positive behavior intervention system. And he said the district is aware that bullying instances do occur.

Linda Chapa-LaVia, D-Aurora, was one of the bill’s House sponsors. She said that if school districts already are in compliance with the law, “that’s great.” She said it was put into place because not all school districts have a bully policy in place with a restorative antidote.

• • •

Despite such efforts, there is controversy when it comes to bullying. District 303 saw two lawsuits alleging bullying filed in 2013 and 2014.

In Kaneland, the Kindness Campaign movement gained strength last year, but in 2012, a group called Knights Against Bullying packed a school board meeting and demanded change after saying bullying allegations had gone unresolved and that situations were continuing.

Soon after the Knights Against Bullying meeting, a task force on bullying was formed in the Kaneland district, including one community member – Leigh Ann Reusche, who was with Knights Against Bullying. She is the director of the Kindness Campaign.

But the task force no longer is in existence. Dee said that is disappointing, and a community voice is needed. Schuler said the future of the task force was not clear. He said such work has “really shifted to our internal groups that are working to implement that.”

“We would reconvene the task force if a need existed,” Schuler said, adding that the task force “wasn’t a response necessarily to community feedback.”

Know more

To view anti-bullying videos at Geneva Middle School North and South, visit www.geneva304.org/Anti-Bullying-Videos.aspx and www.geneva304.org/Anti-BullyingVideo-June2014.aspx.

http://www.kcchronicle.com/2014/07/25/bullying-state-law-aims-at-improving-system-but-many-local-districts-already-in-compliance/aj6pijd/

at 6:30 pm

Rutherford Institute Asks Court to Hold Public School Superintendent and …

NEWARK, N.J. — Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked a federal court to hold a New Jersey school superintendent and “Bullying Specialist” accountable for unreasonably enforcing the state’s anti-bullying law as an unconstitutional restraint on students’ free speech rights. The Rutherford Institute’s brief comes in response to a federal judge’s question as to whether the individual defendants should be dismissed from the lawsuit.

Institute attorneys argue that the “Bullying Specialist” and Superintendent’s discretionary enforcement of the state’s anti-bullying act represents a violation of the student’s due process and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and a violation of his free speech rights under New Jersey’s state constitution, and that school officials should be held accountable for their actions in enforcing the district policy. Institute attorneys filed the free speech lawsuit in December 2013 on behalf of a 4th grade boy who was punished under state’s anti-bullying law for truthfully stating that a fellow student had head lice.

The Rutherford Institute’s complaint in Lim v. Bd. of Educ. of Tenafly is available at www.rutherford.org.

“School administrators who engage in a pattern of overreach, effectively criminalizing student speech, must be held accountable,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “While administrators face a difficult task in providing a safe learning environment for our children, they must not enforce rules at the cost of running afoul of the Constitution’s protections for free speech and expression.”

In 2011, New Jersey amended its bullying law with sweeping reforms that significantly impacted student speech rights. Under the new law, the state created new “Anti-Bullying Specialist” positions in each district, who were responsible for identifying and reporting “harassment, intimidation or bullying” violations by students. Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the law’s scope is unconstitutionally broad and the language is too vague to give parents or students adequate notice about what statements will or will not be prohibited.

For example, Institute attorneys pointed to an incident that took place in September 2011, when a 4th grade boy was punished under the act for correctly stating that a fellow student had head lice, despite the fact that a few days earlier, school officials had sent a note home to parents warning them that one of the students had head lice. In a subsequent conversation among several students, one student asked a female student why she had dyed her hair. After she failed to respond to the question, one young boy, L.L., correctly replied that she had done so because she was the student who had head lice. The female student complained to the teacher who in turn instructed L.L. to apologize. The teacher then reported the incident to the school’s “Anti-Bullying Specialist,” who filled out a bullying report and reported to the Superintendent. The student was subsequently forced to undergo a special sensitivity assignment, and the entire class was reminded about the need to be kind to each other, which further embarrassed the fourth grader.

L.L.’s parents appealed the bullying determination first with the local school board, and then with the state Board of Education, both of which affirmed the decision. Arguing that the statute punishes any speech deemed “hurtful,” even if factually true and non-disruptive, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute filed a free speech lawsuit in federal court, asking that the statute be struck down, and that students like L.L. not be penalized for exercising their constitutional rights. Affiliate attorney Mike Daily is assisting in the case.


This press release is available at www.rutherford.org.

 

http://www.gilmermirror.com/view/full_story/25510207/article-Rutherford-Institute-Asks-Court-to-Hold-Public-School-Superintendent-and--Bullying-Specialist--Accountable-for-Free-Speech-Violations?instance=home_news_bullets

at 6:30 pm

School district seeks boy’s records in bullying case


By Associated Press


Posted Jul. 22, 2014 @ 12:57 am


http://www.examiner.net/article/20140722/News/140729802

at 12:30 pm

Almost half of US kids suffer traumas; exposure linked to bullying, problems …

CLEVELAND, Ohio—Almost half of the nation’s children have been exposed to traumatic experiences such as witnessing violence or living with a parent who is an alcoholic or drug addict, and these kids are much more likely to bully, repeat grades in school, and have learning problems. That’s according to a new report released today from Child Trends, a Washington non-profit research organization that analyzed some of the first nationally representative data on the topic.

When it comes to exposure to these “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs as they’re called in research circles, Ohio’s children uniformly fared worse than the rest of the country. In this state, about one in seven kids has been exposed to more than three of these traumatic experiences– which researchers have known for decades have a cumulative long-term health effect and can lead to alcoholism, mental illness, and obesity in adulthood.

The report looked at eight ACEs, which were reported by parents surveyed during the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. Parents told researchers over the phone if their kids had been exposed any of the following: divorce; economic hardship; lived with anyone who was an alcoholic or drug addict; lived with a parent who died; lived with a parent who spent time in jail; lived with anyone who was mentally ill; been the victim of or witness to violence in the neighborhood; or witnessed domestic violence.

By far the most common of these adverse experiences across the country was economic hardship—defined as often or very often having difficulty covering the costs of housing, food, or other basic needs. About 26 percent of kids nationwide, and 27 percent in Ohio, shared this experience. A close second was divorce, which affected 20 percent of kids across the country, and 23 percent in Ohio.

“These are unfortunately common experiences,” said Vanessa Sacks, a senior research analyst at Child Trends. Abuse of alcohol or drugs, exposure to neighborhood violence, and mental illness were among the most commonly-reported adverse childhood experiences in every state, she said.

The national survey data also showed that the more of these traumatic experiences a child was exposed to, the more likely a parent was to report learning and behavioral problems such as bullying, not doing homework, repeating a grade and attention issues.

“For example 41 percent of kids who have had at least three of these experiences, their parents say they are demonstrating these negative behaviors like bullying, arguing frequently with their parents and others,” Sacks told The Plain Dealer. “Almost half are showing signs of low levels of engagement in school, and 20 percent have repeated a grade.”

The report echoes findings from one of the largest studies on the topic, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, which surveyed 17,000 adults in the Kaiser Permanente HMO from 1995 to 1997 about their childhood experiences of trauma, neglect and family dysfunction. That study, and others, have found a dose response relationship between ACEs and poor health outcomes in adulthood, linking the traumas to headaches, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and obesity.

“These are potentially traumatic experiences that can have negative and lasting effects on health and well-being,” Sacks said. “We don’t know what the long-term consequences for these specific kids are going to be, but the fact that we have teens who are already showing signs of negative well-being” is telling, she said.

Jim Spilsbury, assistant professor of general medical sciences at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an expert in childhood trauma research, said the age range of the children included in the survey questions—from birth to age 17—broadens the spectrum of the research on the topic. Most studies on ACEs have sampled adults who answered questions about their own childhoods, he said.

“It highlights the potentially profound effects that these childhood experiences can have on a whole range of health outcomes throughout the life course,” he said.

Spilsbury and a team at CWRU recently received a $2.3 million grant to study the causes of child abuse and neglect in Cleveland neighborhoods, an effort that will involve two years of interviews with families, social workers, neighbors and residents.

He wasn’t surprised to hear that Ohio parents in the survey said their children were exposed to more of the traumatic experiences than other kids in the country.

Ohio had the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest prevalence of very young children who are victims or witnesses to violence in their neighborhoods. Among the 0 to 5 year old age group, about 6 percent of kids in the state have had this experience, compared to a low of only one percent of children in Illinois.

Ohio’s children were also in the highest quartile of the nation in terms of percentage of children who have witnessed domestic violence, kids who have lived with a parent who has been to jail, and those who have lived with a parent who has died.

“I would think too that in general these studies that rely on parent report, parents may not be aware of what kids have been exposed to so the tendency may be to under-report,” Spilsbury said.

The problems highlighted in the report are difficult ones, and won’t be changed overnight, but Sacks and Spilsbury believe the data can help bring attention to the importance of recognizing the signs of trauma in kids, treating it, and funding those who can help make a difference.

“I think it just speaks to the people and organizations that are trying to work with families and kids that are dealing with these traumas, and validates that this is a real problem,” Spilsbury said.

http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2014/07/almost_half_of_us_kids_suffer.html

at 12:30 pm

Almost half of US kids suffer traumas; exposure linked to bullying, problems …

CLEVELAND, Ohio—Almost half of the nation’s children have been exposed to traumatic experiences such as witnessing violence or living with a parent who is an alcoholic or drug addict, and these kids are much more likely to bully, repeat grades in school, and have learning problems. That’s according to a new report released today from Child Trends, a Washington non-profit research organization that analyzed some of the first nationally representative data on the topic.

When it comes to exposure to these “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs as they’re called in research circles, Ohio’s children uniformly fared worse than the rest of the country. In this state, about one in seven kids has been exposed to more than three of these traumatic experiences– which researchers have known for decades have a cumulative long-term health effect and can lead to alcoholism, mental illness, and obesity in adulthood.

The report looked at eight ACEs, which were reported by parents surveyed during the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. Parents told researchers over the phone if their kids had been exposed any of the following: divorce; economic hardship; lived with anyone who was an alcoholic or drug addict; lived with a parent who died; lived with a parent who spent time in jail; lived with anyone who was mentally ill; been the victim of or witness to violence in the neighborhood; or witnessed domestic violence.

By far the most common of these adverse experiences across the country was economic hardship—defined as often or very often having difficulty covering the costs of housing, food, or other basic needs. About 26 percent of kids nationwide, and 27 percent in Ohio, shared this experience. A close second was divorce, which affected 20 percent of kids across the country, and 23 percent in Ohio.

“These are unfortunately common experiences,” said Vanessa Sacks, a senior research analyst at Child Trends. Abuse of alcohol or drugs, exposure to neighborhood violence, and mental illness were among the most commonly-reported adverse childhood experiences in every state, she said.

The national survey data also showed that the more of these traumatic experiences a child was exposed to, the more likely a parent was to report learning and behavioral problems such as bullying, not doing homework, repeating a grade and attention issues.

“For example 41 percent of kids who have had at least three of these experiences, their parents say they are demonstrating these negative behaviors like bullying, arguing frequently with their parents and others,” Sacks told The Plain Dealer. “Almost half are showing signs of low levels of engagement in school, and 20 percent have repeated a grade.”

The report echoes findings from one of the largest studies on the topic, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, which surveyed 17,000 adults in the Kaiser Permanente HMO from 1995 to 1997 about their childhood experiences of trauma, neglect and family dysfunction. That study, and others, have found a dose response relationship between ACEs and poor health outcomes in adulthood, linking the traumas to headaches, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and obesity.

“These are potentially traumatic experiences that can have negative and lasting effects on health and well-being,” Sacks said. “We don’t know what the long-term consequences for these specific kids are going to be, but the fact that we have teens who are already showing signs of negative well-being” is telling, she said.

Jim Spilsbury, assistant professor of general medical sciences at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an expert in childhood trauma research, said the age range of the children included in the survey questions—from birth to age 17—broadens the spectrum of the research on the topic. Most studies on ACEs have sampled adults who answered questions about their own childhoods, he said.

“It highlights the potentially profound effects that these childhood experiences can have on a whole range of health outcomes throughout the life course,” he said.

Spilsbury and a team at CWRU recently received a $2.3 million grant to study the causes of child abuse and neglect in Cleveland neighborhoods, an effort that will involve two years of interviews with families, social workers, neighbors and residents.

He wasn’t surprised to hear that Ohio parents in the survey said their children were exposed to more of the traumatic experiences than other kids in the country.

Ohio had the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest prevalence of very young children who are victims or witnesses to violence in their neighborhoods. Among the 0 to 5 year old age group, about 6 percent of kids in the state have had this experience, compared to a low of only one percent of children in Illinois.

Ohio’s children were also in the highest quartile of the nation in terms of percentage of children who have witnessed domestic violence, kids who have lived with a parent who has been to jail, and those who have lived with a parent who has died.

“I would think too that in general these studies that rely on parent report, parents may not be aware of what kids have been exposed to so the tendency may be to under-report,” Spilsbury said.

The problems highlighted in the report are difficult ones, and won’t be changed overnight, but Sacks and Spilsbury believe the data can help bring attention to the importance of recognizing the signs of trauma in kids, treating it, and funding those who can help make a difference.

“I think it just speaks to the people and organizations that are trying to work with families and kids that are dealing with these traumas, and validates that this is a real problem,” Spilsbury said.

http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2014/07/almost_half_of_us_kids_suffer.html

at 6:30 am

Spurred by daughter’s experience, Racine mayor joins bullying campaign

Bullies can target any student. Even a mayor’s daughter.

Racine Mayor John Dickert said that like many other youth, his daughter has been a victim of cyber-bullying.

“She was really hurt,” Dickert said. “I reminded her that bullying on the Internet was no different than bullying in person.”

Now, Dickert is one of more than 170 mayors across the country who signed on to the Mayors Campaign to End Bullying, a national initiative to raise awareness, foster safer school climates and work with experts to combat bullying in their school districts.

The project involves partnering with educational experts from the Bully Project, an advocacy and educational organization inspired by the award-winning documentary “Bully.”

Bullying has always been around, but many say it’s now epidemic, especially with the proliferation of new technology that makes bullying online easier, faster and sometimes more vicious than what children would do or say to each other in person.

A report released last year by the National Center for Education Statistics found that nearly 28% of students in U.S. schools were bullied, and that 9% were victims of cyber-bullying.

Bullying can take the form of physical harm, but also psychological harm such as being made the subject of rumors, being called names, being excluded from games on purpose, or being the subject of hurtful information posted on the Internet, according to the NCES.

Bullying can lead to physical injuries, social and emotional problems, or even death, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

“Children do not have good mental health when they’re under physical duress or being tormented by other youth,” said Martina Gollin-Graves, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Wisconsin.

Gollin-Graves said adults can’t minimize bullying by telling kids not to let it bother them or else the next generation of kids will think bullying is normal.

“Bullying is one of the things that many people in our society turn a blind eye to,” Dickert said.

It’s one of the reasons he joined mayors Paul Soglin of Madison, Jim Schmitt of Green Bay and Steven Ponto of Brookfield to sign up for the national campaign.

Lee Hirsch, who created the Bully film as well as the Bully Project, said lawmakers stalled on legislation, including the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which could help end the bullying epidemic. The act would have resulted in making some federal funds received by school districts contingent on them adopting codes of conduct that would ban bullying and harassment.

Dickert said his district has a peer-mediation program that aims to diminish bullying, but there’s more work to be done in terms of educating the public.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/spurred-by-daughters-experience-racine-mayor-joins-bullying-campaign-b99320585z1-269155101.html

at 6:30 am

Breaking down bullying

Local districts previously have taken such action. And there have been attempts to raise awareness. In Geneva School District 304, there were anti-bullying videos created by choir members at Geneva Middle School South and North. In Kaneland, Kindness in Kaneland Week was celebrated.

In St. Charles, Schlomann said the legislation can provide some more clarity. He said the district works to identify bullying, and “we take it seriously and try to investigate.” Sometimes, he said, it can be a misunderstanding, but often, it is bullying. And there also is the matter of bullying in cyberspace, “and we are charged also to deal with that.”

In Batavia, Newkirk said that there are efforts made to be sure procedures are in place and to be sure the district is in compliance with the new law. He talked of the district’s PBIS system, which stands for positive behavior intervention system. And he said the district is aware that bullying instances do occur.

Linda Chapa-LaVia, D-Aurora, was one of the bill’s House sponsors. She said that if school districts already are in compliance with the law, “that’s great.” She said it was put into place because not all school districts have a bully policy in place with a restorative antidote.

• • •

Despite such efforts, there is controversy when it comes to bullying. District 303 saw two lawsuits alleging bullying filed in 2013 and 2014.

In Kaneland, the Kindness Campaign movement gained strength last year, but in 2012, a group called Knights Against Bullying packed a school board meeting and demanded change after saying bullying allegations had gone unresolved and that situations were continuing.

Soon after the Knights Against Bullying meeting, a task force on bullying was formed in the Kaneland district, including one community member – Leigh Ann Reusche, who was with Knights Against Bullying. She is the director of the Kindness Campaign.

But the task force no longer is in existence. Dee said that is disappointing, and a community voice is needed. Schuler said the future of the task force was not clear. He said such work has “really shifted to our internal groups that are working to implement that.”

“We would reconvene the task force if a need existed,” Schuler said, adding that the task force “wasn’t a response necessarily to community feedback.”

Know more

To view anti-bullying videos at Geneva Middle School North and South, visit www.geneva304.org/Anti-Bullying-Videos.aspx and www.geneva304.org/Anti-BullyingVideo-June2014.aspx.

http://www.kcchronicle.com/2014/07/25/breaking-down-bullying/aj6pijd/

at 12:29 am

Local Teen Transforms from Bullying Victim to Bodybuilding Prodigy

When his family moved to the Olney section of Philadelphia from Port-au-Prince, Haiti seven years ago, Nixlot Dameus faced a difficult transition.

As a nine-year-old, he only spoke Haitian Creole, so he watched PBS Kids programming for hours on end. Regularly wielding the “what does that mean” question, he picked up the English language in about a year.


Learning the language in a quest for assimilation did not help him escape bullies who targeted him for being different, though.

Chief among his being-bullied memories was the time he got jumped for wearing a Lawncrest youth-sports shirt while walking through shopping plaza in Olney.


“There was a whole bunch of them,” he recounted Monday, while talking in the neighborhood’s Fisher Park. “I got away from the first group, but eight of them, they got me. To this day, my parents still don’t know about that.

“That’s when everything flipped. I thought, ‘Maybe getting bigger and stronger will make it stop,’ and it did.”


A young life shifts toward the positive

Bigger and stronger is an understatement for what he’s gotten in the time since that day, a span that includes an “Art and Craft of Poetry” class at Delaware Valley Charter High School (DVCHS) inspiring him to break his silence.

It was then, fueled by those memories, that Dameus — now 16 — committed himself to weightlifting and bodybuilding.

He got so good at both, in fact, that he won the 2013 Mr. Philadelphia Junior Teen Title.

The only thing that kept him from representing the United States at the International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation’s World Championships in Slovenia in June was a rectified-too-late visa issue.

Those are the types of events that suit teenagers who casually, but confidently, mention an ability to bench press 405 pounds, squat 455 pounds and deadlift 525 pounds.

While Dameus’ story has been covered before, that visa issue brought about the next step in his evolution. He’s used the money raised for the trip to start “Summer Superman Camp” in the park off Sixth and West Spencer streets.

It hearkens back to the poetry class of Catherine Kang, a woman who Dameus considers “the glue that held this project together.” It inspired his thought of giving back to the community.

While he doesn’t talk about bullying during the cardio- and strength-training exercises he leads three mornings a week, it’s certainly the underpinning of how the sessions came to be.

“I never wanted to talk about it when I was getting bullied,” Dameus said. “Instead, I’m working to start a brotherhood where everyone is comfortable with one another, and where they are confident in themselves.”

A man at age 16

Neither his chiseled physique nor the manner in which Dameus comports himself belies the typical 16-year-old.

Sounding like someone who learned English around the time he picked up crawling, he discussed the value of leadership and example-setting. He also made note of his desire to earn a criminal-justice degree so he can one day work in law enforcement, specifically for the FBI.

His reflections on how he got to this point — including recollections of benchpressing 225 pounds as a beanpole 13-year-old who played the cello — and what he’s learned along the way are equally as sharp.

“You build confidence by lifting weights,” he said before leading five camp attendees in a cardio workout on the Fisher Park tennis courts. “I also lift weights to get my anger out, thinking about something someone said and imagine that weight being them.”

Asked whether that’s a peaceful way to work out one’s aggression, Dameus quickly replied, “It’s not very peaceful for the weights.”

What they’re saying

Among those on hand for Monday’s 8 a.m. session was Kahree Steplight, a personal trainer from Body Challenge Fitness Center in Hunting Park who helped lead the early exercises.

He recalled what he thought the first time he saw Dameus.

“I never would have guessed he was 16 when I saw him,” Steplight said. “I respect what he’s doing, and I hope [the attendees] keep it up.”

For his part, DVCHS Principal Ernest Holiday lauded Dameus of a shining example of students giving back to their communities.

He recalled talking to Dameus as a freshman about where he wanted life to take him. Not coincidentally, that’s around the time that the school launched a weightlifting program, which is now in its second year.

“He’s shown people how to respond to adversity in a positive manner,” Holiday said, noting that Dameus is on “a pedestal” in how other students see him now.

“Some kids tend to respond to bullying by bullying someone else,” he continued. “But, like we try to preach in our school, you always have a choice. They can make it a great day or not. The choice is theirs.”

If anything bums Dameus out, it was having to tell people who donated to his Slovenia trip that he wasn’t going. He worried that they would think he just made the whole thing up, which he didn’t.

That, and imparting one specific lesson, is what makes the “Superman” camp so important to him.

Already focused on qualifying for next year’s International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation’s World Championships, Dameus shared what he hopes people take away from his story:

“Don’t let anybody take you away from what you want to do.”


This story is reported through a newsgathering partnership between NBC10.com and NewsWorks.org.

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Local-Teen-Transforms-from-Bullying-Victim-to-Bodybuilding-Prodigy--269059051.html

at 12:29 am

Bullying Prevention Program Comes to HCPS

WHSV-TV3
50 North Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
540-433-9191 – Switchboard
540-433- 4028 – Fax
540-433-2700 – News Fax

WSVF Public Inspection File

http://www.whsv.com/home/headlines/Bullying-Prevention-Program-Comes-to-HCPS-269014601.html

at 12:29 am

Wisconsin mayors join campaign to end bullying




Bullies can target any student. Even the mayor’s daughter.

Racine Mayor John Dickert said that like many other youth, his daughter has been a victim of cyber-bullying.

“She was really hurt,” Dickert said. “I reminded her that bullying on the Internet was no different than bullying in person.”

Now, Dickert is one of more than 170 mayors across the country who signed on to the Mayors Campaign to End Bullying, a national initiative to raise awareness, foster safer school climates and work with experts to combat bulling in their school districts.

The project involves partnering with educational experts from the Bully Project, an advocacy and educational organization inspired by the award-winning documentary “Bully.”

Bullying has always been around, but many say it’s now epidemic, especially with the proliferation of new technology that makes bullying online easier, faster, and sometimes more vicious than what children would do or say to each other in person.

A report released last year by the National Center for Education Statistics found that nearly 28% of students in U.S. schools were bullied, and that 9% were victims of cyber-bullying. Bullying can take the form of physical harm, but also psycological harm such as being made the subject of rumors, being called names, being excluded from games on purpose, or being the subject of hurtful information posted on the Internet, according to the NCES.

Bullying can lead to physical injuries, social and emotional problems, or even death, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

“Children do not have good mental health when they’re under physical duress or being tormented by other youth,” said Martina Collin-Graves, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Wisconsin.

Collin-Graves said adults can’t minimize bullying by telling kids not to let it bother them or else the next generation of kids will think bullying is normal.

“Bullying is one of the things that many people in our society turn a blind eye to,” Dickert said.

It’s one of the reasons he joined mayors Paul Soglin of Madison, Jim Schmitt of Green Bay and Steven Ponto of Brookfield to sign up for the national campaign.

Lee Hirsch, who created the Bully film as well as the Bully Project, said lawmakers stalled on legislation, including the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which could help end the bullying epidemic. The act would have resulted in making some federal funds received by school districts contingent on them adopting codes of conduct that would ban bullying and harassment.

Dickert said his district has a peer-mediation program that aims to diminish bullying, but that there’s more work to be done in terms of educating the general public about the issue.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/268893981.html

July 29, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Anti-Bullying Coalition Brings United Nations Association to San Diego Comic-Con

Press Release:

Anti-Bullying Coalition Brings United Nations Association to San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego, CA, July 28, 2014 – In a ground-breaking event, Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition brought the United Nations Association to San Diego Comic-Con, the first-ever pop culture panel event for the global organization.

“We all love superheroes — so why not be one?” asks Founder Chase Masterson. “We’re working to inspire, enlist and excite pop culture fandom to join us in strategies to end bullying. Partnering with the United Nations Association is both a natural and powerful choice, and we are honored to have them onboard.”

United Nations Association San Diego Chapter President Bettina Hausmann stated, “The painful effects of the preventable “disease” of bullying are wide spread, knowing no country borders, and deeply felt, often lasting for a lifetime. Rededicating ourselves and our efforts toward eliminating this poison in our homes, schools, workplaces, and communities is the social justice issue of the 21st century.”

“In our digitalized, media-driven society, pop culture has a constant influence on the way that both children and adults interpret the world. When kids see celebrities take action against bullying, it resonates strongly and sends the message that cruelty is not acceptable,” remarked Founder Carrie Goldman.

The Coalition’s panel, “End Bullying! Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture” was touted as one of the top ten events at Comic-Con and moderated by author Carrie Goldman (Harper Collins’ Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear). Panelists included Bettina Hausmann (President, United Nations Association, San Diego), Brad Bell (Executive Producer and Star, Husbands), author Anthony Breznican (St. Martin’s Press Brutal Youth; Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly), Ashley Eckstein (Her Universe; Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Jane Espenson (Executive Producer, Husbands), Dr. Andrea Letamendi (The Arkham Sessions), Alice Cahn (VP Social Responsibility, Cartoon Network), Tina Malka (Associate Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League, San Diego) and Masterson (Star Trek: DS9; Doctor Who: Big Finish).

Panelists discussed strategies to overcome bullying and create witnesses and allies out of bystanders; topics included geek bullying, LGBT bullying, cyber-bullying, and analyzing how media and entertainment affect our attitudes toward bullying and aggression.

http://www.chicagonow.com/portrait-of-an-adoption/2014/07/anti-bullying-coalition-brings-united-nations-association-to-san-diego-comic-con/

at 6:29 pm

There’s a gender gap in bullying — watch it widen as kids grow up

Every other year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is required to collect data on “key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools.” A few years ago, the survey grew to include reports of bullying and harassment.

An analysis of the 2011-2012 school year data show that disparities between bullying and harassment on the basis of sex increase between boys and girls as they progress through school. While girls at every level are harassed on the basis of their sex at a higher rate than boys, the disparities increase with age.

“Harassment or bullying on the basis of sex is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature,” according to a Department of Education definition. “Harassment or bullying on the basis of sex also includes gender-based, nonsexual harassing conduct, such as harassment based on gender stereotyping. This conduct can be carried out by school employees, other students, and non-employee third parties. Both male and female students can be victims of sexual harassment, and the harasser and the victim can be of the same sex.”

As you can see by the graphic above, middle school is where the most reports of bullying or harassment are made for both genders. However, in  a traditional high school (grades 9-12), reports of harassment are as much as 56 percent higher for girls than their male counterparts, up from 34 percent in middle school (grades 6-8) and 20 percent in elementary school (grades 1-5).

The data is self-reported and likely understates the problem. Since the bullying and harassment question is new to the survey, the Office for Civil Rights reports that it’s hard for some schools to provide accurate data.

For example, of the nearly 3,900 public schools in Florida, there were only 606 incidents in the data. Vermont, which has 295 public schools, reported 709 incidents over the same year.

There’s also the issue of under-reporting among students. Many students never come forward to report being bullied for fear that it may make things worse.

The next collection, which took place this last school year, will likely be out in two years and will hopefully refine results as schools get used to the reporting requirements.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/07/29/theres-a-gender-gap-in-bullying-watch-it-widen-as-kids-grow-up/

at 6:29 pm

Dealing with bullies in the workplace

Carol Anne Geary is a veteran librarian who loved her profession and went back to school, while working, to earn a master’s degree in library science. But her passion turned into a nightmare when, she says, she was bullied on the job to such an extent that she was hospitalized with high blood pressure and other health issues.

Geary, who lives in Shrewsbury, was working at a library in another town where she says other staffers verbally abused and excluded her, spoke to library patrons about her in derogatory terms, and made disparaging remarks about gay issues, knowing that she has a gay son.

RELATED: Making job change after 22 years tough, but doable

Continue reading below

When Geary took a short leave, on her doctor’s orders, she was bombarded with phone calls, asking her why she couldn’t work from home. The truth was, she could hardly get out of bed. The library, she says, fought her workers’ compensation claim, and then fired her when she was too sick to return to work. “Workman’s comp — they understand if you hurt your leg on the job. But it’s almost impossible to prove that you’re sick because of bullying,” says Geary, who doesn’t want to identify the library because she fears her former co-workers. “We need to make the workplace safe and healthy.’’

In recent months, a spotlight has been turned on the issue of workplace bullying by some high-profile local cases, including Suffolk County Register of Probate Patricia Campatelli, who was suspended over allegations of punching a subordinate after a holiday party. A report by a court-appointed investigator said she “created a fearful atmosphere” in the office.

In July, Leslie Berlowitz
resigned as head of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge following several accusations that included subjecting employees to frequent tirades, prompting some to quit in a matter of days or weeks. One former worker recalled that Berlowitz barred entry to the employee kitchen for weeks by posting yellow crime scene tape over the doorway because a worker left a dirty spoon in the sink.

Research suggests that the problem is widespread, with as many as one in four workers saying they have been subjected to abusive conduct on the job. And state legislators are considering a bill to combat it.

Given the apparent scope of the problem, why does it remain so shrouded?

Continue reading below

For starters, workers fear retribution. Most of those who agreed to speak to the Globe about workplace bullying did not want their names used because some still remain on the job while others are seeking new employment. Some who got a settlement from their employer said they could not speak because a confidentiality agreement was part of the deal.

The stories they tell are darker than ordinary on-the-job stresses and strains. They include bosses so toxic that doctors have recommended workers quit their jobs for the sake of their health. There are public humiliations, exclusions, ostracism, impossible demands, threats, and even physical confrontations.

RELATED: Warning from new boss on texting is within bounds

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, bullying constitutes “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or verbal abuse.”

An institute survey shows that 27 percent of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work, and another 21 percent have witnessed it. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents are aware that such bullying occurs.

Gary Namie, a social psychologist who founded the institute with his wife, Ruth, says that 65 million workers are affected by bullying, either as targets or witnesses. The institute is behind legislation that would outlaw it. “The stories out there are heartbreaking about people who suffer because this is not yet illegal,” says Namie. “They’re treated as if their complaints are illegitimate. Sexual harassment is illegal, but bullying is not.”

Last winter, when she walked into a pub in a town south of Boston, the new waitress thought she had it made. The place was new, it was cool, and as a veteran waitress of 20 years, she thought it would be a good gig, not too far from her Foxborough home.

“Almost immediately, bad things started happening,” says the woman, who did not want her name used. Her second week, a waitress was fired after a rumor spread that she’d said something unflattering about the owner. Female staffers were regularly reprimanded by managers and the owner, who would sit at the bar and drink and “get in your face and yell at you,” she says.

Two months after she started, she was fired because she had placed an appetizer order two minutes late. The manager told her that her customers were “going hungry,” though no one had complained to her.

“I was stunned,” the woman says. “This is the first time I’ve ever been fired. Getting yelled at, having rumors started about you, and public humiliation were literally all part of a day’s work.”

For years, school bullying has been in the news, and in 2010, Massachusetts passed legislation in the wake of Phoebe Prince’s suicide after she was bullied at South Hadley High School. Less well known is the case of her teacher, Deb Caldieri, who after she criticized how the school dealt with the bullying behavior that led to the suicide, said she felt humiliated by administrators and was forced from her job. School officials have denied mistreating her or acting unfairly.

RELATED: Badmouthing work is seldom productive

A bill currently before the Massachusetts Legislature would allow a victim to sue an employer, a co-worker, or both for reinstatement, back pay, medical expenses, and damages for pain and suffering. “It creates a civil legal claim for severe workplace bullying, if it can be proved that it caused physical or mental harm and was intended to cause stress or harm,” says David Yamada, a Suffolk University law professor who wrote the legislation.

The bill, he says, also provides incentives for employers to minimize liability if they can show they acted responsibly and had policies in place that they followed. But the Healthy Workplace Bill is stuck in a House committee, and the legislative session ends July 31.

This is the third attempt to get it passed.
“There’s so much employer resistance to this,’’ Namie says. “It’s just sickening.” Massachusetts would be the first state in the country to pass a comprehensive workplace-bullying bill.

Part of the opposition to the measure involves questions of how to tell the difference between innocent teasing and harassment or a tough boss and a bully.

Representative Keiko Orrall, a Lakeville Republican,
opposes the bill because she believes the definition of bullying is too subjective. “You may think it’s bullying, but I may be just kidding around,” Orrall says. “I just don’t see how it could be proved.”

Orrall also believes the bill could hurt business in Massachusetts. “To me, it feels like another mandate. It doesn’t help business, and I think it could inhibit businesses from hiring people. Employers need to have freedom to work with their employees.”

Though she says she opposes any sort of bullying behavior, Orrall says more awareness, not a law, is needed.

Yamada disagrees. “Most of us can distinguish between a bad boss and a malicious boss or co-worker,” he says. “It boils down to some type of malicious intent. This is going after someone with the intent to rub them out of the workplace.”

Which is what one man says happened to him at a prominent Boston area university where he had worked for eight years, with colleagues he liked and good job evaluations. He had worked his way into a relatively senior position, and then a new boss arrived.

“I began to realize I was gradually being marginalized by my supervisor,” says the man, who is in his early 40s. “I was not being included in meetings, the more interesting aspects of my job were being farmed out to others, and I was not being given information germane to what I do.”

When he went to the university’s human resources department, he was told that he was making a serious complaint against a co-worker. “I felt very much that rather than helping me out, HR was on the side of what I consider the aggressor,” he says.

RELATED: How to answer, ‘Why are you looking’?

The man’s blood pressure soared, and he developed insomnia. On his doctor’s recommendation, he took a month’s leave of absence, but when he returned, he learned that human resources had not acted on his complaint.

That’s when he decided to quit. Others have left, too, but the alleged bully remains. “What’s insidious about bullying is that it’s under the radar because people solve the problem by just getting another job,” he says.

In 1997, Greg Sorozan became president of the SEIU/NAGE Local 282, which represents 2,700 state employees. Sorozan is the Massachusetts co-coordinator, along with Yamada, of the Healthy Workplace Bill. He became an activist after, he says, he was bullied out of the state Department of Social Services.

Sorozan was a longtime employee at DSS — now the Department of Children Families — starting as a caseworker and working his way up to unit supervisor. He’d been there 20 years when a new manager came in.

“This person commenced to basically ruin every single project that our unit had been working on,” says Sorozan. “She caused half the unit to quit. My job kept changing almost every day with more expectations, requirements, and things I was not provided adequate resources to do. Over a period of eight months, I was getting sicker and sicker. As a longterm employee of DSS, I knew the dynamics of abuse and neglect inside and out, and this director was a horror.”

Sorozan called his union, but the issue of bullying was not covered in the contract. Vowing to change that, Sorozan became more active, eventually becoming president. The contract between the union and the Commonwealth now says that “behaviors that contribute to a hostile, humiliating or intimidating work environment are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” and it allows for grievance procedures.

But private employees are not covered, and Sorozan has about 5,000 volunteers who are lobbying for the Healthy Workplace Bill, most of them victims of bullying.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, men are the perpetrators in 69 percent of the cases, women in 31 percent. Men are the targets 40 percent of the time, women 60 percent.

Though bullies are sometimes fired, they often aren’t.

RELATED: If you suspect layoff is coming, start looking

Joseph Grenny, a social scientist who focuses on workplace issues, did a recent survey in which nine out of 10 people say they have witnessed excessive office bullying for more than a year, and more than half say that the bullying persists for more than five years.

The study reveals that bullies often have longer job tenure than their targets. Grenny, coauthor of “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High,” attributes that to a culture of silence. According to his survey, two in three people say they deal with bullies by avoiding them, while only 31 percent confront them.

“There’s this collective powerlessness, which is remarkable,” says Grenny. “Social control is the most effective way to stamp out bullying, but that’s not happening.”

One man who recently quit his job at Boston University says that particularly in a weak job market, workers may feel they can’t help one another. “I don’t want them to lose their kid’s tuition because they stood up for me, or lose their retirement. If there were plenty of jobs around, people would stand up, but the reality is it’s hard now.” The man had been at BU for 13 years when a new boss began to exclude him from meetings and badmouthed employees and programs.

While the pub waitress was struggling with her difficult bosses at work, her husband understood completely. He had been bullied out of a job at a Walmart store south of Boston after a new manager took over and yelled at and belittled employees loudly enough for customers to hear.

“I was afraid to stand up to him because I needed my job,” says the worker, who despite good evaluations over four years was now being written up for infractions such as taking too long on a break. When he finally did speak up, his boss denied everything, called the man “a cry baby,” and fired him.

The employee is now working in a job he loves for a boss he admires. “He’s awesome. It’s a good working relationship. It’s a world of difference. It’s professional.”

Related:

Advice on quieting a blowhard

Opinion: Does public shaming work?

Miss Conduct’s all-in-one career fix-it guide

Creative job titles are the new norm

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2014/07/29/dealing-with-workplace-bullies/nWqpS2i9RTE7DyHSgmTieM/story.html

at 6:29 pm

Compton School Board Member Vows to Keep Seat After Arrest

Posted by in School

http://ktla.com/2014/07/28/compton-school-board-member-vows-to-keep-seat-after-arrest/

at 6:29 pm

The DO Is in Now

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/education/edlife/the-osteopathic-branch-of-medicine-is-booming.html

at 6:29 pm

Vermont Law School professor Hanna dies at 48

Posted by in School

Cheryl Hanna, a Vermont Law School professor and well-known legal analyst, has died. She was 48.

Hanna, a frequent legal commentator for the Burlington Free Press and other Vermont media, was found at her home on South Winooski Avenue in Burlington at about noon Sunday.

Burlington Rescue rushed her to Fletcher Allen Health Care, where she died, police said.

The cause of her death is expected to be released Tuesday.

Michael Pottetti, who completed his first year at Vermont Law School, said Hanna was an inspiration to him and to many other students.

“She was by far my favorite professor,” he said. “She was pretty inspirational. I really connected with her. A lot of people connected with her. She was helpful and eager to help any student and offered great advice.”

The Burlington Police Mobile Crime Lab and at least three city police cruisers were parked outside Hanna’s home Sunday afternoon.

An autopsy was conducted Monday by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.

The South Royalton school said only that Hanna’s death was “untimely.” She was due to return to the campus to teach in the fall, a spokeswoman said. Dean Marc Mihaley did not respond to requests for comment.

After working as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore, Hanna began teaching in 1994 at Vermont Law School, including courses in constitutional law. She also had worked on the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign in 1992.

Hanna offered legal commentary to the Vermont media on a wide range of topics, including the death penalty, abortion, the First Amendment and the legal fight over closing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. She was noted for translating legalese into easily understandable language and clarifying the impact of court decisions on everyday Vermonters.

Faculty, staff and students gathered on campus Monday afternoon to remember Hanna. A formal memorial is being planned for another date.

“People looked forward to going to her class. She cared about the students,” law student Pottetti, of Long Island, N.Y., told the Burlington Free Press.

The law school was providing counselors for students, faculty and staff by phone and planned to have them available on campus Tuesday.

“Professor Hanna was a beloved teacher, a role model to many within and beyond the Vermont Law School community, and a powerful force for innovation,” the school said in an email to the campus. “We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed.

Hanna’s survivors include her husband, Paul Henninge, and their two children.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, who along with his wife, Stacy, got to know Hanna through their children’s attending school, said her death is a loss not only for the law school but for the state of Vermont.

” My family and I are heartbroken to know that we will no longer watch our children’s school performances together or hear her wise words on VPR when we wake up in the morning,” Weinberger said in a statement.

“Vermont is indebted to Cheryl for her passionate work representing public interest organizations and protecting the rights of women. We will remember and honor Cheryl’s work to make the world a better, more just, and less violent place for all of us, and especially our daughters.”

Hanna’s Facebook page became a flowing tribute to the many lives she touched.

Olga Kariyawasam, a former student, wrote in part, “So hard to believe … Professor Cheryl Hanna was so full of life and character. She created perfect atmosphere in class. She would cover the dry law school material mixing it with funny stories about her kids or goofy anecdotes about students. An ideal professor.”

Christina Asbee, a former student and now a lawyer in Albany, N.Y., wrote, “Professor Cheryl Hanna would have the perfect words of sympathy to share in this situation. She was eloquent, compassionate, smart, funny, and inspirational. We have not only lost an amazing professor, but a great friend and advocate for those in need of support. I can only imagine what kind words she is whispering to us all as we mourn this great loss.”

Hanna was active with the Girl Scouts and with Council for the Future of Vermont. She was elected the chairwoman of the board of trustees for the Richard and Barbara Snelling Center for Government in 2010.

She also had served on the board of trustees of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and as a member of the Vermont Gender Bias Study Implementation Task Force.

Hanna also was a recipient of the Sister Elizabeth Candon Distinguished Service Award by Vermont Women in Higher Education.

Hanna said on the Vermont Law School that she was excited about teaching at the school.

“I came here for many reasons, but two in particular stand out,” she is quoted as saying. “First, I wanted to join a mission-driven law school, and VLS is one of the few schools that has a strong sense of mission. Most law schools are focused on helping law students learn how to conform to the profession. But here, we expect our graduates to go out and be agents of change. I have dozens of former students — in all sectors of the legal profession — who are doing interesting, innovative work to raise awareness of important issues and bring about the changes this world needs.

“The second key reason to be at VLS is Vermont itself. This is one of the most progressive states in the nation, and people here are actively working to better their communities and help others, sometimes locally, sometimes nationally or internationally. The law school gets involved with this. What we do here on a smaller scale often paves the way for change on a larger scale.”

Contact Mike Donoghue at 660-1845 or mdonoghue@freepressmedia.com. Follow Mike on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FreepsMikeD.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2014/07/28/professor-cheryl-hanna-dies/13279563/