September 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Quantum Leadership: Transforming Bullying into Opportunities for Others

Like many bullies, JP Butler started out as the one who was bullied. What’s different about JP’s story is that his next transformation took him from bully to a bullying prevention leader and activist. Dedicated to taking a stand against bullying while instilling leadership qualities in youth and their role models, Quantum Leadership was born. Below is an interview with JP which I believe you will find inspiring and motivating.

What is Quantum Leadership?

Quantum Leadership is a nonprofit organization that seeks to lower the prevalence of bullying through leadership development. We provide leadership trainings for youth and adults, professional development workshops, parent education seminars, and other presentations that all revolve around empowering communities to end bullying.

Why combine youth leadership with bullying prevention?

I found that the common topics that are covered in bullying prevention programs (such as empathy, awareness, connection, and emotional regulation) were all topics that were just as applicable in leadership programs. I asked myself, “Why don’t we combine the power of youth leadership with the potential to approach bullying prevention in a way that had never been done?”

Why do you see a need for schools to teach leadership and bully prevention?

We are all leaders in one way or another. At the most basic level, we are leaders of our own lives. We must make decisions, reflect on our actions, strive to become a better person each day, and do what we can to make the world a better place. This is in alignment with schools’ objective of teaching and preparing contributing members of society. I see leadership and bullying prevention as a crucial social-emotional component of traditional academic learning.

Do you have a history with bullying?

I was a victim of bullying at the tender age of 11. The offense caused me to become a bully myself, picking on students who were easy targets. I finally recognized the wrong I was doing after my primary target finally stood up to me and pointed out the harm and pain I was causing. As I became older, I realized that so many students (19.6 percent of high school students in the United States, as a matter of fact, according to the CDC) experience some form of bullying each year.

How did you start Quantum Leadership?

After working for years as a youth program coordinator, I wanted to learn more effective ways to help adolescents. I enrolled in the couples and family counseling master’s program at the University of Colorado, Denver, and simultaneously began my career as an independent motivational speaker, focusing specifically on bullying. After two semesters of my master’s program, my passions took a new course and I changed my master’s degree to educational psychology with an emphasis in human development. I spent my spare time outside of class writing a leadership training curriculum that would eventually become the cornerstone of a new nonprofit.

How is Quantum Leadership different than other bully prevention/leadership initiatives?

A combination of our experience, creativity, innovation, and focus on leadership sets us apart. Between myself, our board of directors, and our volunteers, we have over 50-plus years of youth programming and leadership development experience. We work with youth to develop and redevelop our curriculum so it is up-to-date with what students are experiencing. Finally, we actively engage all members of the community to be a leader and to stand up against this social issue.

When did your organization take off? How is it funded?

Quantum Leadership incorporated in 2011, and every training we have done up to this point has been covered, in-kind, by my board of directors and my parents. They have been such a loving and supportive network and have continued to fuel and support my ambitions. Because of our future vision, Quantum Leadership is looking to raise $100,000 before the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

What’s in store for the 2015-2016 school year?

My goals for the 2015-2016 school year are: (1) serve 10,000 students through assemblies and keynotes to increase awareness about what students can do about bullying, (2) train over 1,000 students to lower the prevalence of bullying through student leadership, and (3) train over 500 school staff to recognize the signs of bullying and effectively intervene. In order to do that, we need to partner with community members across the nation to raise these funds so we can continue our work and see this vision through.

What do you hope to accomplish with Quantum Leadership in the next decade?

Quantum Leadership is already on the way to becoming a national organization. Many of my volunteers are close friends who work in education in several different cities. We want to diversify the national resources available to schools and communities through our knowledge and experience. Therefore, I truly do hope that everyone will see Quantum Leadership as a leader in bullying prevention and leadership development.

What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about bullying?

Bullying behaviors are not a part of normal youth development (or adult development, for that matter). When someone is bullying a victim, there is a power imbalance and the bully is taking advantage of that. So you have three choices: (1) victim-blame the student who “can’t stand up for themselves” and hope they figure it out, (2) shame the bully and try to remove the power imbalance, or (3) equalize the power imbalance. Quantum Leadership opts for the third option through self- and others-awareness training, leadership development, and empathy training.

How can someone learn more about Quantum Leadership?

Visit Quantum Leadership’s Website at: http://www.quantumleadershipinc.org and our youth website at http://www.qleaders.org.

Through JP’s vision, persistence, stamina, and his own quantum leadership, more students and adults are better equipped to recognize the patterns of bullying and prevent future offenses through dialogue, strength, and understanding. The more we can achieve this locally and throughout our own country, the more we will have peace, understanding, and respect throughout our world.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-j-carter/quantum-leadership-transf_b_5907624.html

at 7:16 pm

Students to host PeaceJam conference against violence and bullying

For the sixth year in a row, the struggle for peace in schools will continue with student-centered discussions in Tallahassee.

Next month PeaceJam Southeast will host its annual Slam, which serves a prelude to the actual PeaceJam Conference in the spring. Students will learn how to engage in service projects and lend their voices to the community during the Slam.

The Slam serves as the kickoff for PeaceJam Southeast, said affiliate director Rody Thompson.

“The Slam is very basic,” Thompson said. “What is PeaceJam? We look at various issues identified by PeaceJam as global issues. There are also a few identity-development topics. Who are you and what do you bring to this program?”

This year’s Slam, which takes place at 8 a.m. Oct. 24, is on a Friday for the first time in the event’s history. Thompson said she’s hoping to see almost 400 students at this year’s Slam. Both the Slam and the annual conference are open to students in eighth through 12th grade.

“We’re going to have a larger crowd than usual,” she said. “It’s mostly youth from Leon County, but we’re going to have people from Miami, Pensacola, Jacksonville and others from around the state. It should be a pretty fun opportunity to connect and make some friends and see PeaceJam is all over, not just in one school.”

PeaceJam Southeast is based at Florida State University at the Center for Leadership and Social Change. About 75 students from the university assist each year with the conference.

Since 1996, PeaceJam has battled against all forms of violence, including bullying. Leon County Schools has been a partner with PeaceJam for years, and frequently lends it students to help out with the program’s anti-bullying message.

Last year, district divisional director Rocky Hanna spoke during an anti-bullying rally held at the Old Capitol during the conference.

“Bullying has changed,” Hanna said last year. “There’s the physical part and then there’s social media. Jurisdiction for schools when it comes to bullying has changed. Kids can be bullied or harassed on their cellphones or on social media. It is an added responsibility for the schools; some would say it’s none of the school’s business.”

The state defines bullying as “inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress.” School districts already have to adopt policies prohibiting bullying and other harassment in schools. The House in 2013 passed HB 609, which means cyberbullying — online harassment through social media — is included under the state’s anti-bullying law.

The House bill extends protection from bullying when it is done using computers connected to the Internet. The bill had been amended to clarify that bullying using computers off school grounds has to “substantially interfere with or limit” a student’s in-school activities to be covered. It’s also covered if it disrupts the educational process. Sixteen other states’ anti-bullying laws already address cyberbullying.

Of course, PeaceJam’s goals include more than just putting an end to bullying.

The conference typically include well-known speakers who are advocates of nonviolence. Last year’s speaker was Oscar Arias Sanchez, who used to be president of Costa Rica. Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end violence in Central America. This year’s Nobel laureate will be announced at the end of the Slam.

The spring conference draws anywhere between 500 and 600 students, Thompson said. The event lasts all weekend.

“This is a large and comprehensive weekend,” she said. “The students who are coming have been preparing all year. There are students literally all over the world doing this. Students are coming from every Tallahassee high school as well as a few middle schools.”

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/family/2014/09/30/students-host-peacejam-conference-violence-bullying/16482707/

at 7:16 pm

Local teen escapes bullying through online program

iUniversity Prep offers free virtual education for Texas students

SAN ANTONIO – Nina Zinna had attended San Antonio schools since kindergarten, but when she moved on to middle school, things got especially tough for her.

“Sixth grade, there was quite a bit of bullying,” Nina’s mother, Lecia, said.  ”Seventh grade, there wasn’t quite as much bullying.  Just the social aspect.  She was more concerned about social life.”

Even Nina admits that focusing on her studies in that environment wasn’t easy.

“I would get very distracted during work and I would talk to people,” she said.

Together, she and her parents decided that it was time to try something different this school year.

About a month ago, she began taking classes through an online program called iUniversity Prep.

On a recent morning, the eighth-grader took a break from her studies and sat around the kitchen table with her mother in their north Bexar County home discussing the program that they heard about from a friend.

“I absolutely love it because I can wake up (and attend classes) in my PJs,” Nina said. “You still have the same amount of work. You just can choose when to do it and you can choose how to do it.” 

iUniversity Prep is run by the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in the Dallas area.

The online public education system is tuition-free to all fifth- through 12th-graders who attend traditional Texas schools.

“All the traditional things you would do in the classroom, we get to do the same things.  It’s just that the mode is a little bit different,” said Kaye Rogers, director of virtual education for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

“There is interaction daily with their teachers, so there are classes,” Rogers said.

About 250 students statewide are enrolled in the program, which Rogers said has been rated by the Texas Education Agency as the highest performing virtual school in the state.

Rogers said while students such as Nina have chosen it for personal reasons, there also are those who are unable to attend traditional schools due to health issues or other interests.

Among those enrolled in the program are elite gymnasts, golfers and actors.

Rogers said while the program may not be a perfect fit for everyone, those for whom it works are not short-changed academically.  

“You don’t have to sacrifice a college prep education anymore just because being in a bricks and mortar (building) is the only place you can get it,” Rogers said.

Nina admits, though, that there are some things that don’t translate to cyberspace, including face-to-face interaction with other students.

“I do miss my friends,” Nina said. “But I can still go to lunch (at her old school). I can still go to the school dances.”

Nina’s mother said if her daughter desires, she still will be able to attend a traditional school, too, when she reaches the  10th grade.

For more information about iUniversity Prep, click here.


Copyright 2014 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

 

http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2014/09/30/local-teen-escapes-bullying-through-online-program0.html

at 7:16 pm

KISD cyberbulling seminar helps parents prevent issue

Posted by in Cyber Bullying

KISD cyberbulling seminar helps parents prevent issue

KISD cyberbulling seminar helps parents prevent issue

Dr. Sameer Hinduja shares with parents and staff members on how to prevent cyberbullying during a seminar hosted by Klein ISD on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Klein Multipurpose Center. Hinduja is a professor at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the cyberbullying research center.

KISD cyberbulling seminar helps parents prevent issue

KISD cyberbulling seminar helps parents prevent issue

Dr. Sameer Hinduja speaks about Cyberbullying during a seminar hosted by Klein ISD on Tuesday, Sept. 23.



Posted: Monday, September 29, 2014 10:04 pm

KISD cyberbulling seminar helps parents prevent issue

By Petrina J. Johnson

Houston Community Newspapers

Through electronic technology many kids today are involved with cyberbullying. Like traditional bullying the effects are painful and school districts are uniting with parents on how to prevent it.

During a cyber bullying seminar hosted by Klein Independent School District on Tuesday, Sept. 23, parents were informed on how to talk to their children about safe ways to use technology. The seminar, “Cyber bullying Unwise Social Networking: The Role of Parents” held at the Klein Multipurpose Center, invited parents and staff members to also ask questions on the best way to deal with cyber bullying and to stop it completely.

Dr. Jim Cain, Klein ISD’s superintendent, shared how Klein ISD does not tolerate any type of bullying. He expressed that the school district is doing every thing they can to stop cyberbullying before it begins.

“We have a no place for hate organization on every single campus (in Klein ISD) and they stand for respect and understanding for all people,” said Cain.

The seminar also featured guest speaker Dr. Sameer Hinduja. Hinduja is a professor at the Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberybullying Research Center. He explained to parents what cyber bullying is and the similarities to traditional bullying.

“Cyberbullying is just being mean and cruel willfully causing harm through technology,” said Hinduja. “Many people are very familiar with traditional bullying in the classroom or hallway or in the neighborhood. It is really the same thing as in terms of the emotional and psychological pain but using technology.”

Hinduja shared videos of how students can come together to help others who are being bullied through technology. He also emphasized the importance of parents talking to their children and monitoring their online activities. Providing statistics on the percentage of parents that monitor their child’s text messages, Hinduja said it was too low.

“Cyberbullying has been open to a wider portion of people because everyone is online and everyone has their devices,” he shared. “It is critical for parents to know what cyberbullying is and to really care about this issue simply because adolescents have completely embraced technology, which is not going away.”

Oftentimes the offender, according to Hinduja, is not a stranger on the web but knows the victim. The offender in cyberbullying, he said, is typically from school. He explained how parents can recognize if their child is a victim of cyberbullying based on their behavior. Some of the signs, he said, is not using technology as often or putting away their phone when the parent enters the room.

Hinduja also spoke to elementary students at a next day seminar follow-up called, “Not Cool: ThingsYou Should Not Do Online.” He advised students to “keep track” of what is going on if they are ever being bullied. Students were also able to share their past experiences about being a victim of cyberbullying and how they dealt with it.

Emory Roberts, a fourth-grader at Benignus Elementary School, attended the session and said the presentation was really “inspirational.” In her opinion people sometimes need go that “extra” mile in stopping others from being bullied.

“Cyberbullying isn’t funny and it is a really bad thing.”

For more information on cyberbullying log onto www.cyberbullying.us.

on

Monday, September 29, 2014 10:04 pm.

http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/news/kisd-cyberbulling-seminar-helps-parents-prevent-issue/article_5c558ac8-3ae5-59a0-8a77-2d2cf295bfd3.html

at 7:16 pm

Naked woman a passenger in truck that slams school bus

Posted by in School

STARKE, Fla. — Seven students were taken to the hospital after a semi-truck smashed into the back of a school bus in Bradford County Monday afternoon.

At least one of the Starke Elementary students was seriously injured and two people inside the semi were in serious condition following the crash on U.S. 301 near State Road 200 in Lawtey just after 2:30 p.m., FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan told First Coast News. All of those injured were taken to UF Health in Gainesville.

FHP said 15 students were on the bus at the time of the crash.

According to FHP, dispatch received several calls that the semi was driving erratically before the crash. FHP and the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office were responding to the calls when the crash happened.

FHP later said a female passenger in the semi was naked at the time of the crash. A police officer who arrived at the scene had to hand her a towel to cover up.

Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith said the bus driver told them she tried to get out of the way.

“She said that when she noticed that the truck driver coming up behind her was not stopping, she released the brake and tried to mash the gas,” Smith said.

Sheriff Smith said witnesses told investigators the driver of the semi truck never applied to brakes.

Terrance Jamerson and Scott Korschewitz didn’t know each other until Monday, but they both saw the driver of a log truck driving erratically. Jamerson said he witnessed it for miles and reported it a couple of times.

Both witnessed the crash.

“I seen the bus explode,” Jamerson said. “I just jumped out of my truck. I went right toward the bus with the kids.”

Korschewitz and Jamerson jumped in and helped the children.

“Once I jumped onto the bus, there was a young lady who had her leg pinned on the seat,” said Korschewitz who had just returned from taking a certification exam to be a corrections officer where some of the questions focused on first aid.

Janice Crawford also saw the collision.

“Unreal. I seen that semi hit that bus. It hit the back end of it lifted it up,” said witness Janice Crawford. “I thought all four of my kids were on that bus.” Luckily, said Crawford, her recently adopted children were still at school at Bible study.

None of the injuries are deemed life-threatening, Sgt. Bryan said. The accident shut down southbound traffic on 301.

“I couldn’t do nothing. All I could do is just stand there and scream,” the witness said.

A tweet by the Bradford County School District confirmed the accident, but did not provide any additional details:

FHP says the bus was unloading kids on 301 when it was rear-ended. No word yet from the trucking company that owns the truck, Mo’s Trucking of Palatka.

Our news partners The Florida Times-Union were at the scene of the crash shortly after the collision and recorded video of the aftermath:

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/traffic/2014/09/29/school-bus-collides-with-truck/16438507/

at 7:16 pm

Kentucky high school evacuated after student shot; lone gunman remains at large

Posted by in School

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One student was taken to a hospital after gunshots prompted an evacuation at a Louisville high school, reported WAVE.

The person who shot the student at Fern Creek Traditional High School remains at large, police confirmed during a news conference. It’s not clear who the suspected shooter is.

The school, located about 10 miles southeast of downtown Louisville, remained on lockdown as of 2:30 p.m. — as was nearby Fern Creek Elementary School. Parents were being directed to a nearby park to reunite with their children.

A police spokesman told WDRB that police believe there was only one shooter, and that the shooter “left the scene immediately after the shooting.” He called the school “a large crime scene.”

Jody Duncan, a spokeswoman for EMA-MetroSafe described the suspect as “male, about 6-foot-5, wearing a gray hoodie, black pants with a gray stripe, and about 15 to 16 years old,” she said. “We’re not sure if he is a student at Fern Creek High School, but we do know that he’s a younger individual.”

Students earlier were seen walking out of the school in a single-file line with their hands on their heads.

A representative of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department told WDRB that one person was wounded. The student’s  injuries are not life-threatening. A parent is with the child at the hospital.

http://myfox8.com/2014/09/30/kentucky-high-school-evacuated-after-shots-fired/

at 7:16 pm

Police: Shots Fired at Ky. School, 1 Student Hurt

Posted by in School

APTOPIX School Evacuated Kentucky

Associated Press

A high school student was injured and one person was being sought after a shooting at a high school in southern Louisville, police said Tuesday.

The student had non-life threatening injuries and was reunited with parents at University Hospital, Officer Phil Russell said. He didn’t say if the injured student and shooter knew each other or if the shooter was a student at Fern Creek Traditional High School.

Russell said the suspect left the 1,400-student school immediately after firing the shot.

“It appears it is an isolated incident that happened just inside the school,” Russell said. “Obviously a large crime scene, but it was isolated to just inside the building.”

Video from television stations showed police escorting students with their hands over their heads out of the school in the southern part of the city to a nearby softball field.

Police cars surrounded the 91-year-old school.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman Ben Jackey said the school went into lockdown with students put in classrooms. After police arrived, students were led out before being taken to a nearby park for dismissal.

Students at a nearby elementary school with a later dismissal were restricted to their building, Jackey said.

“This is senseless. This is unacceptable,” Jackey said. “This cannot happen in our school. This is not the type of things students should be exposed to.”

The school, which opened in 1923, concentrates on communications, media and arts. It has a student-run radio station, WFHS.

Earlier Tuesday, a student was shot by a fellow student outside a North Carolina high school just minutes before classes began, and the suspect then waited for police to arrive, authorities said.

The shooting happened around 7:40 a.m. as the two male students argued in an on-campus courtyard at Albemarle High School, Albemarle Police Chief William Halliburton said at a news conference.

The shooter put down his gun after firing two shots, walked into the principal’s office and waited for police, Halliburton said.

———

Associated Press writer Brett Barrouquere contributed to this report.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/report-weapons-kentucky-high-school-25868789

at 1:16 pm

Bryan Youth Group Makes Music Video Against Bullying

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Youth at First United Methodist Church of Bryan produced a music video set to Taylor Swift


BRYAN - Bullying is a big problem in this country.

One out of every three students report being bullied at school according to The National Center for Educational Statistics while ABC News has reported over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied at school.

Bullying leads to depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping and suicide.

A group of teenagers at a Bryan church, who are victims of bullies themselves, are taking a stand.

Like these kids, a lot of us have been the victim of a bully sometime in our lives.

The youth group at First United Methodist Church of Bryan produced a music video, set to Taylor Swift’s popular song “Shake It Off,” as their way of taking stand against bullying.

Many times, a bully’s weapon is a harmful word. So the kids held up words they’ve been called.

“Mine was ‘worthless’,” said Christian Ely, a junior at Bryan High School. He hopes the video will help.

“Well bullying can lead to a lot of things like depression and anxiety and suicide. It’s not really what we want,” Ely said.

“You know you can just break free of all the judgments that people pass on you,” said Christine McCall, a Bryan High School Freshman.

Bryan High Sophomore Max McMann said it was wonderful to let go of “terrible.”

“We decided to make the video to let the people in our society and people in our world know bullying is a major problem and that words do hurt us and that we have the power to stop that,” McMann said.

Youth Director Jake Andrews says it is as easy as the songs title – “Shake It Off.”

“They can shake off like all the harmful words that are said, to be set free from that and to fully accept and to fully love the person that God created them to be,” Andrews said.

Natalie Jeane, the youth group’s worship leader, says it’s an important lesson for all of us to learn.

“We definitely want to teach our kids that their identity is in Christ and not in the harmful words that people can say about them,” she said.

A musical message worth mentioning to all.

So far their YouTube video has had more than 4,500 views and the church has had calls from some churches across the country who’ve shared it with their youth programs.

We have the music video attached in the related links section of this story.

http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/Bryan-Youth-Group-Makes-Music-Video-Against-Bullying-277483461.html

at 7:16 am

Elkhart high school students participate in anti-bullying summit

ELKHART -

Students from Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial took a day off from school today, but they weren’t playing hooky. They were hand-picked by their teachers to participate in a special high school anti-bullying summit.

“I feel like I was not important,” Jordan Williams, a senior at Memorial, said.

This is his fourth year in the Move to Stand program.

He was bullied from 1st through eighth grade… then he went to the summit freshman year of high school.

“I felt good about myself because they empower you to like…you’re not the only one to be bullied…” Williams said.

He’s one of about 200 Elkhart high schoolers taking part in today’s program. It’s funded by United Way and hosted by a group called STARS. They visit schools around the country.

Throughout the day students participated in interactive activities like breaking up into small groups to discuss how they approach bullying now and how they can put a stop to it.

“Bullying prevention efforts that work well at high school level have student input and student leadership so these are the kids that go back to their building and become student leaders,” said Mary Yoder Holsopple, the Bullying Prevention Coordinator at Elkhart Community Schools.

She says bullying has only gotten worse with social media.

“When I was young if I was bullied at school I could go home and be safe. Now that’s not the case,” Holsopple said.

She says research shows adults only see 5% of bullying going on in school.

“…Which is why we know that the kids see it and hear it and know it’s happening so we need for them to be positive bystanders, kids who are willing to talk to adults about it when they see it going on.”

To give you an idea of the scope of the problem, there were 513 reported incidents of bullying last year in Elkhart Schools. 38 of those took place in the high schools. The students will bring today’s lessons back to their schools, and host events through their school’s bullying prevention clubs.

http://www.fox28.com/story/26656922/2014/09/29/elkhart-high-school-students-participate-in-anti-bullying-summit

at 7:16 am

NEWS 12 SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Bullying: Allison’s story – WRDW

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When News 12 started investigating bullying, the emails and Facebook messages started rolling in from students in every district. The number of messages did not surprise us, but what your kids were telling us did. Most told us another student has told them to commit suicide. Even scarier? Some of them have actually considered it.

News 12 at 6 o’clock / Monday, September 29, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) — Chances are, your child has been bullied or is being bullied right now. The latest statistics show three out of every four kids admit they’ve been a victim of it. When News 12 started investigating bullying, the emails and Facebook messages started rolling in from students in every district. The number of messages did not surprise us, but what your kids were telling us did. Most told us another student has told them to commit suicide. Even scarier? Some of them have actually considered it.

Allison Gossage is breaking her silence about bullying in hopes others will break their silence too.

“I remember one time when I think I was in 11th grade,” Allison said, “this kid was in 10th grade, and he told me that if I killed myself, he would laugh.”

Allison admits she had already considered suicide many times before that. She says she started having those thoughts when she was only 14.

From 14 on, it only got worse. That’s because the bullies weren’t just tormenting Allison in class. They weren’t just waiting by her locker or hiding in the shadows of the halls. The bullies were waiting for her when she got home too. They could attack her on her phone or through her computer any time they felt like it.

“You can’t get away from it.”

Each hateful word chipped away at her self-esteem until she had none left. Allison remembers the hateful things she constantly heard. “No one cares about you. And you just need to shut up. It doesn’t matter what you think.”

What mattered was how Allison felt. “When you hear something over and over again,” she remembered, “eventually you start to believe that it’s true.”

Her bullies were especially cruel on Facebook. She eventually let her assistant principal know. “I told her, like what had happened, and she was like, ‘I wish you hadn’t told me it happened online. Because now there’s not really anything I can do about it.’”

Two weeks before graduation, Allison considered dropping out of school. She was that desperate for it to stop. “Will somebody just pull the trigger? Because I don’t just have the courage to do it myself.”

Year after year, she had the courage to put all of those feelings on paper. “I was the dork with the notebook. I carried around a notebook everywhere, and I wrote poetry.”

Her words, even the ones about wanting to end her life, might have helped save it. Now this senior at Toccoa Falls College wants to use them to save others. She’s majoring in music and counseling. “I can talk about it and use what I went through, the parts that I haven’t erased from my memory, to help stop the problem.”

She says she now realizes she’s worth a lot more, and she wants her bullies to know this: “You don’t own me anymore. You thought you had me right where you wanted me, but joke’s on you now. You didn’t win. I didn’t let you win.”

http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/NEWS-12-SPECIAL-ASSIGNMENT-Bullying-Allisons-story-277528131.html

at 7:16 am

Former victim of cyberbullying nominated for personal safety award

Posted by in Cyber Bullying

Carney Bonner, 20, of Cheltenham (10868964)



First published


in News





by Stuart Rust

A University of Gloucestershire student who attempted suicide after falling victim to cyberbullying has been recognised for using his past to educate others about the damaging effects of online abuse.

Carney Bonner, 20, of Cheltenham, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious National Personal Safety Awards 2014, for his anti-cyberbullying campaign that he launched with the support of the charity Fixers.

He has been shortlisted in the ‘Young Person Safety Award’ category in the awards run by The Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

The award recognises a young person under 25 who has campaigned to improve the personal safety of others.

He said “It feels amazing to be a finalist in the National Personal Safety Awards. It’s a real honour.”

Mr Carney will attend the award ceremony on Monday, October 13, in central London.

A panel of judges, including comedian Jo Brand, journalist Victoria Coren Mitchell and the Voice UK 2014 star Jermain Jackman will be deciding the winner.

http://www.gazetteseries.co.uk/News/11502317.Former_victim_of_cyberbullying_nominated_for_personal_safety_award/?ref=rss

at 7:16 am

Armed with iPads, Citrus students fight cyberbullying

Posted by in Cyber Bullying

Armed with their iPads, some Citrus County students have turned a school assignment into a quest for change.

A group of eighth-graders at Inverness Middle School put together 12 public service announcements, and the message in the videos is clear: cyberbullying is dangerous and needs to stop.

It’s a class project that hit very close to home for Jamie Stephen. She says she was a cyberbullying victim.

“It felt really bad,” she said. “I felt worthless and it really affected me.”

The eighth-graders were given a few guidelines and went to work on their iPads.

“I really wanted to do it so more people could see what’s happening when they cyberbully other people,” Stephen said.

That’s exactly the point, according to teacher Lauren Fenech, who got the project rolling. She said the students’ message is spreading around the school and beyond.

Fenech also said her kids have all learned a valuable lesson.

“Technology is dangerous, without a doubt,” she said. “They have to be responsible. We leave a technological footprint of everything we do and they know that.”

Jamie has high hopes that the PSAs will open some eyes and spare other kids from what she had to go through.

“I hope they will raise awareness and put a stop to cyberbullying,” she said.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2014/9/29/armed_with_ipads_cit/?cid=rss

at 7:16 am

Former coach files lawsuit against UCF


ORLANDO, Fla. –

Allegations of discrimination, racist remarks and bullying have been laid out in a lawsuit against the University of Central Florida.

The accusations come from a former assistant coach, who claims he was wrongfully terminated and wants back pay.

Some of the words O’Leary is accused of using are too obscene to repeat. The lawsuit was filed on Friday by former defensive coach Paul Ferraro, who accuses O’Leary of making derogatory comments against Italians, Jews and African-Americans.

Ferraro only lasted three months at UCF before, he said, the university illegally ended his contract just one day after he complained about his head coach.

The 21-page complaint says O’Leary once told a colleague, “Check the [African-American] players to make sure that their gums are blue, because they are bigger, faster and stronger than [African-American] players with red gums.”

And it claims “O’Leary also created a work environment that was permeated by bullying, threatening behavior and repeated discriminatory epithets by O’Leary.”

Ferraro says O’Leary’s behavior is not the same as it was when he worked with him at Georgia Tech and Syracuse.

In February, Ferraro complained by email to O’Leary and his fellow coaches. The next day, the university athletic director sent him a letter terminating his contract. Ferraro said the school retaliated and forced him out by fabricating a resignation he never made.

In a statement, university spokesman Grant Heston said, “UCF immediately investigated the allegations Mr. Ferraro made when he abruptly abandoned his job. The university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found the allegations to be untrue.”

However, the lawsuit says Ferraro did not tell UCF the specific allegations, and that he only gave investigators a summary of what happened.

Now he’s claiming the school violated the Federal Whistleblower Act and conspired against him.

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/lawsuit-filed-against-ucf-head-football-coach-george-oleary/28326954

at 7:16 am

Schools Hit with Rising Number of Bullying Lawsuits

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http://www.ctlawtribune.com/top-stories/id=1202671701459/Schools-Hit-with-Rising-Number-of-Bullying-Lawsuits?mcode=1202615402746&curindex=0

at 1:16 am

National bullying prevention project takes off



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    When the National Bullying Prevention Center launched its first nationwide campaign in October 2006, the goal was to put a spotlight on bullying and offer ways for schools, businesses and community groups to help stop it.

    Since then, the campaign has mushroomed into National Bullying Prevention Month each October, drawing high-profile supporters ranging from journalist Anderson Cooper to comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

    Thousands of communities across the nation now participate in petition drives, school anti-bully campaigns and other educational events organized through the Bloomington-based center and its website offering a tool kit of ideas.

    “We’ve gone through 2,500 posters in the past 10 days from schools, businesses and other groups,” said Julie Herzog, director of the project, part of nonprofit PACER Center.

    “And that’s without doing any promotion around it,” she said. “It’s phenomenal.”

    As part of the campaign, a survey now is conducted each year to gauge the scope of bullying. In this year’s online survey of 1,500 teens, more than 80 percent reported they had been teased or bullied.

    Sixty-four percent said they were teased because of their weight, clothes or other aspects of their physical appearance, the survey said. One in four worried about being bullied at least once a week.

    The survey was commissioned by the Virginia-based CustomInk company, a longtime supporter of the bullying prevention center, and conducted by Kelton Global. Including “teasing” in the survey was important, said Herzog, because it often isn’t considered bullying, but has the same effect.

    Herzog was heartened by one survey finding, namely that 72 percent of the teens said they would join a bullying prevention project. That holds “tremendous potential,” she said.

    This year’s biggest effort will be Oct. 22, which is Unity Day. Expect to see students and teachers wearing orange — the project’s color — as well as educational campaigns around the state and on social media. Go to www.pacer.org/bullying.

     

    Jean Hopfensperger 612-673-4511

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    at 1:16 am

    Yik Yak bullying leads districts to ban app

    WEST LAKE HILLS, Texas (KXAN) – You send your children to school to get an education. But these days we’re hearing way too much about students bullying other students. And now they’re using an app called Yik Yak to do it anonymously.

    It’s meant to be fun. You post a random anonymous thought for others to read. But it’s also caused problems across the country and now right here in Central Texas.

    KXAN spent the day in West Lake Hills where school officials have banned students from using the app.

    Carl Hooker is the director of innovation and digital learning for Eanes ISD.

    “Yik Yak creates communities to allow people to share information, post jokes, observations…” he says.

    But unfortunately,  school officials with Eanes ISD say some students at Westlake High School are using it to bully other students; making fun of their weight or how they look.

    “We had a block put up on our filters which was great, but the problem was that their cell phones were able to get through it,” he explained.

    School officials sent home a letter to parents warning them about the negative and demeaning comments being made about students and staff. But because it’s anonymous it’s hard for school officials to track down who’s behind it.

    We asked school officials if enough is being done to protect students.

    “At school yes. For everything we can do we’re doing with our own devices, our own wireless [network],” Hooker says.

    But the district says it’s also up to parents to keep an eye on the apps their kids are downloading.

    If identified, students can be suspended or even expelled.

    Yik Yak told KXAN in a written statement the district can sign up to have it’s schools barred from the service using a geo-fencing technology.

    Yik Yak was created to provide users with a forum for positive, hyper-local interactions. We strongly discourage any misuse and took the proactive measure of geo-fencing the app on 85 percent of middle school and high school campuses in the US. Additionally, we require users to be 17 years of age or older to utilize Yik Yak to ensure the user base is age appropriate and parents can easily block the app on their children’s phones. The app monitors conversations and posts, and any negative or harmful behavior will result in the respective user being blocked, or altogether banned from future use. We are proactively working to geo-fence additional middle schools and high schools, as well as continuing to coordinate with school administrators to block the use of Yik Yak at these schools.

    In this instance, we are working with the Eanes Independent School District to address the issue of misuse. If a school administrator or parent sees the app being used maliciously at a high school or middle school, we encourage them to visit our website and request that a particular school be geo-fenced.”

    We also found out today the social media app has been banned from at least two other local school districts. An AISD spokesperson said Yik Yak was blocked on school devices and networks in May. Round Rock ISD has a filtering service that blocks Yik Yak to all students and staff in the network.

    An app or website is only allowed in the network after a specific case-by-case review.

    The app has also become a tool for students to threaten others on college campuses. Ariel Arias is facing two felony charges after police say he threatened students at the University of Georgia. Officers say Arias allegedly posted quote, “If you want to live don’t be at the MLC at 12:15.” At the time, the threat was considered credible and a bomb squad was sent to the area. Arias later admitted it was all a prank.

    http://kxan.com/2014/09/29/yik-yak-bullying-leads-districts-to-ban-app/

    at 1:16 am

    Malls & Retailers Unite Against Bullying

    (Clarksville, Tennessee) During the month of October, Governor’s Square Mall will become a Bully-Free Zone for the Third Annual “Malls Retailers Unite Against Bullying.” This is a national effort sponsored by Captain McFinn and Friends created to teach children to be kind to one another and to reject bullying behavior.

    To kick off the month, Governor’s Square Mall is inviting the community to join Captain McFinn, Coral Rose, and the Dark Knight for a special Friendship March Bullying Prevention Day on Saturday, October 4 in the JCPenney Court. The event begins at 10 a.m. with a special interactive video presentation by Captain McFinn Coral Rose followed by a musical performance by Nashville recording artist Bailey Dozier. Local groups and individuals are invited to show your support for bullying prevention during the Friendship March at 11:30 a.m. followed by an anti-bullying stage show and meet and greet with everyone’s favorite caped crusader, Batman, the Dark Knight. The United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region will show guests how they can be community heroes just like the Dark Knight at their photo booth. Local healthcare providers including the Clarksville Dental Center, Vitamin World, About Faces and Braces, Elite Primary Care, GNC, Hillcrest Chiropractic, the Tree of Life Center, and more will be sharing information with guests throughout the day.

    Throughout the month of October shoppers are asked to sign the Bully-Free pledge located at the Food Court Entrance. Additional Bullying Prevention events will include:

     A performance by Tristan McIntosh on Saturday, October 18 at 3 p.m. in the JCPenney Court. Tristan will be performing her song “You Can’t Take That Away From Me,” from for the National Pacer Organization’s bullying prevention campaign.

     Captain McFinn and Coral Rose will be joining the mall for a special Bully-Free Family Fun Night on Friday, October 31 from 4-8 p.m. in the JCPenney Court.

    The community is invited to show support for bullying prevention by joining the #ClarksvilleLinksUp Against Bullying campaign. Families, organizations and local businesses are asked to sign individual paper slips with their names or a positive message, create a paper chain and post a picture with the hashtag #ClarksvilleLinksUp on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Paper links and posters will be provided free of charge to local businesses and organizations interested in Linking Up Against Bullying. The public can sign paper links at the Governor’s Square Mall Customer Service Center.

    If your group is interested in performing or sharing information with the community in support of Bullying Prevention at Governor’s Square Mall, please contact the mall office at 931-552-0289.

    Malls Retailers Unite against Bullying was born as an extension of an ongoing program for children, based on the lessons of Captain McFinn and Friends. The stories revolve around the underwater inhabitants of the fictional world of Sand Dusty Reef. Captain McFinn, their hero, is a black-tipped reef shark who used to be a bully. He has transformed into a hero, friend, and protector through the example of others. The stories teach powerful lessons about kindness, loyalty, honesty, empathy, and care for the world’s environment.

    http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/local/clarksville/2014/09/29/malls-retailers-unite-bullying/16449029/

    at 1:16 am

    National bullying prevention project takes off



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    When the National Bullying Prevention Center launched its first nationwide campaign in October 2006, the goal was to put a spotlight on bullying and offer ways for schools, businesses and community groups to help stop it.

    Since then, the campaign has mushroomed into National Bullying Prevention Month each October, drawing high-profile supporters ranging from journalist Anderson Cooper to comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

    Thousands of communities across the nation now participate in petition drives, school anti-bully campaigns and other educational events organized through the Bloomington-based center and its website offering a tool kit of ideas.

    “We’ve gone through 2,500 posters in the past 10 days from schools, businesses and other groups,” said Julie Herzog, director of the project, part of nonprofit PACER Center.

    “And that’s without doing any promotion around it,” she said. “It’s phenomenal.”

    As part of the campaign, a survey now is conducted each year to gauge the scope of bullying. In this year’s online survey of 1,500 teens, more than 80 percent reported they had been teased or bullied.

    Sixty-four percent said they were teased because of their weight, clothes or other aspects of their physical appearance, the survey said. One in four worried about being bullied at least once a week.

    The survey was commissioned by the Virginia-based CustomInk company, a longtime supporter of the bullying prevention center, and conducted by Kelton Global. Including “teasing” in the survey was important, said Herzog, because it often isn’t considered bullying, but has the same effect.

    Herzog was heartened by one survey finding, namely that 72 percent of the teens said they would join a bullying prevention project. That holds “tremendous potential,” she said.

    This year’s biggest effort will be Oct. 22, which is Unity Day. Expect to see students and teachers wearing orange — the project’s color — as well as educational campaigns around the state and on social media. Go to www.pacer.org/bullying.

     

    Jean Hopfensperger 612-673-4511

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    September 29, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Bastrop YMCA to host bullying awareness campaign – Austin American

    Bastrop YMCA routinely offers local youth and parents alike a number of activities to keep their body and minds and healthy, but throughout the month October, the local nonprofit will be promoting another message: No more bullying.

    In accordance with National Bullying Prevention Month, the YMCA will be hosting a slew of classes and programs aimed at raising awareness of the issue of bullying and presenting youth either experiencing or witnessing the problem with the tools they need to properly handle the situation.

    “Each week we’re going to have a different theme that coincides with bullying,” said Josh Haney, Bastrop YMCA youth programs coordinator, noting themes such as Cyber Bullying Week and Make a Friend Week. “One of the main lessons we’ll pass on is to report bullying when you see it. Don’t just assume someone else will handle it.”

    To help raise awareness throughout the city, the YMCA will be hosting rallies on the first three Mondays in October, bringing out local youth members to promote positive messages on signs they’ve crafted such as “Stop bullying, be grand” and “Give respect and never doubt.” The Y is currently set to host a session for youth members to create their signs at 5 p.m. Oct. 2 at their downtown location, 1112 Main St.

    The first rally is set to kick off at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 in the parking lot of Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8 on Chestnut Street. Following the rally, participants will be invited to attend a free screening of the documentary Bully, which follows five kids and families over the course of a school year as they deal with the effects of bullying.

    The Y will also be offering free connections classes on each Tuesday throughout the month aimed at providing tools to help prevent and stop bullying. The classes will be age specific, so the information will be individually tailored to each group. Dates, locations and pre-registration forms for the classes can be found by visiting www.austinymca.org/news/october-bullying-prevention-month.

    Parents will also have a chance to join in the action at a panel discussion hosted by mental health professionals, parents who have dealt with bullying and adults who were bullied as youth. The panel discussion — set to run from 7:30-9 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Bastrop Public Library — will aim to teach adults to recognize potential warning signs of bullying, how to speak to speak to their children about the issue and additional available resources.

    The month-long event is set to culminate with an Oct. 25 screening of the 2010 version of The Karate Kid at Fisherman’s Park at dusk.

    “We’re trying to provide fun and educational opportunities for the community to come together and show we won’t tolerate bullying,” said Haney.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/bastrop-ymca-to-host-bullying-awareness-campaign/nhXqj/

    at 7:16 pm

    Family looks at Montana anti-bullying law – KPAX

    3 hours 10 minutes ago by Alex Clark – MTN News

    HELENA – Montana is one of few states remaining that does not have an anti-bullying law.

    So, when 12-year-old Pilar Petroski started getting bullied at CR Anderson Middle School, her parents spent endless hours researching legal ways to help her.

    Finding no solution, Montana’s lack of anti-bullying laws is something that Pilar and her family are now trying to change.

    Pilar says she doesn’t want to see anyone else go through what she had to go through.

    “I feel like if we can make Anti Bullying a law, where it won’t be just wrong but, you’ll be breaking a law in Montana, that we will have the best law in the U.S., that other states are going to say we want Montana’s law, we want it to be just like that,” Pilar says.

    “I feel like if there are repercussions or consequences and you can tell someone, you’re breaking the law, not just what you are doing is wrong but not only what you are doing is wrong its criminal, it might kind of open peoples eyes,” Pilars mother, Mariela said.

    The bullying problem is not just in schools. A lot of times, students are being harassed and assaulted online and through social media. Not only does it make school hard to handle, but home life as well.

    “They can’t really escape it, It use to be that you went to school and there was maybe some teasing or bullying on the playground, you went home and it was better for awhile and it was dealt with differently back then,” Judge Mike Swingley said. “So, I think maybe it’s time to address it with a law, yes.”

    “I don’t think we need a law in order to address what’s wrong,” Superintendent Kent Kultgen said. “I think that’s it. A law comes about when there is an issue that you can’t seem to rectify and so I really believe that schools do, and Helena schools really steps up with bullying and works as situations arise, in order to keep our children safe and secure.”

    Pilar has since returned to school. She’s excited to be back with her friends and even though the bullying experience is far from over for her, she is striving to get back to normal.

    “It’s been really great for the past couple of days, just being with my friends makes me happy, you know being able to not worry about my grades being so low, is one of my main priorities is having good grades and I am not going to let someone like her bring everything down,” Pilar said.

    “I want her to be the proof that it is right to stand up, its right to speak up and be strong and even when someone is pounding you down, it’s only going to make you stronger in the end, and that’s what we keep telling her. That this is just a really rough patch and it’s going to make her wiser, and a better person,” Mariela said.

    http://www.kpax.com/news/family-looks-at-montana-anti-bullying-law/