January 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Bully busting rule No. 1: Stay cool

PORT ORCHARD — It wasn’t because they were being bullied that T.J. Vezina brought his twin 6-year-old girls to a class Sunday aimed at educating kids and parents about ways to avoid being a bully’s favorite target.

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Ruble hit as Obama slams Russia ‘bullying’

The Bitcoin Center of New York City is seen on February 25, 2014 in New York City. The center operates as a physical place for people to come and trade digital currencies; there are over 100 digital currencies.

The price of the digital currency bitcoin rose sharply on Monday with news that the U.S. is set to have its first regulated exchange.


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Anti-bullying message loud, clear

ith rising awareness about bullying and cyber-bullying in schools, many students and parents are looking for new ways to stop bullying at the source. One organization believes that engaging with students through music is a good place to start.]]

The Allstar Nation Tour is a music tour that visits middle and high schools across the country to teach students about the dangerous effects of bullying. Students at Spring Forest Middle School and 16 other area schools were on this month’s concert tour schedule to learn about the effects of bullying and how to prevent it in their own schools.

According to a survey from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20 percent of high school students in Texas said they have experienced bullying at school, and 13 percent said they have experienced online or cyber-bullying. And while the CDC argues that bullying is not always a direct cause of suicide, it does contribute to feelings of hopelessness and depression that can raise the risk of suicide in teens.

The concert at Spring Forest Middle School last Tuesday featured Texas native Tristan Blaine, 15, who opened the show with a set of popular songs including Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” and Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle.” Blaine was an immediate hit with crowd as students cheered and sang along, but the show quickly turned somber as the songs ended and he began to speak.

“I want everyone to look to your left, and look to your right. Statistics show that eight out of ten of those people that you just saw have either been bullied or thought about taking their own life due to bullying,” said Blaine. “That person could very well be sitting next to you. I know that because I was that person. I was that kid in school that everyone picked on, the kid that everyone made fun of, I was beaten up both physically and verbally. I will never forget all the words [they] called me.”

The concert also focused on showing students the consequences of bullying, whether it’s causing someone else harm or facing criminal charges for posting hurtful comments on social media sites. Blaine warned students that law enforcement agencies will work with cell phone companies and social media sites in cases where bullying is shown to cause a suicide.

“You think that you may be too cool to listen to this message, but I can assure you that you are not too cool for prison,” said Blaine. “It can happen to any one of us.”

Other artists on the tour, including Nic Neufeld, Omar Alhindi, Branden Mendoza and Boston-band band “House on Cliff” also spoke on their struggles with bullying in between songs. According to Dillon Smith, president and tour director of the Allstar Nation Tour, it’s why the event was created.

“Each of the artists on board have been bullied, and I manage a couple of them personally and we were talking about the fact that they had been bullied and they wanted a way to testify to students and incorporate a way that they would have fun with it,” said Smith.

“We’ve noticed that there are other anti-bullying groups out there that do this, not music based though, and the students don’t retain it very well, so we’ve attached music to it and it’s become this incredible event. Students receive the message and have a blast.”

Throughout the concert, students were taught three steps to help prevent bullying:

Report: students should tell teachers or parents when they see bullying happening in school.

Support: be a friend to a victim of bullying.

Defend: stand up to bullies when they are harassing other students.

More Texas statistics and facts about bullying from the CDC can be found at Stopbullying.gov.


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Cyberbullying Law Raises Privacy Concerns

Posted by in Cyber Bullying

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Communication is key to stop bullying

Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015 12:00 am

Communication is key to stop bullying

By MELINDA KAPALIN / For the Star Beacon

Star Beacon

Years ago, a bully was often the biggest and meanest boy in school who threatened everyone in order to get his own way. Today, the bully might just be the smartest girl in the class or the high school’s star athlete. The teachers might even rely on these students and believe that they are above reproach. A bully might even be your own child’s best friend.

Children report that bullies in their school don’t always look or act like the bullies that might have been the stereotype of their parent’s generation. Often the bully is smart, socially adept at talking with adults, and a good student. Bullies come from all walks of life and for a variety of reasons, target others to establish a sense of power.

In order to recognize bullying, parents have to be observant of the spoken and unspoken messages they get from their children. Take a good look at your child’s clothing and possessions when he gets home from school or sports. Does he have all of his belongings? Are items broken or missing without a good reason?

Is your child moody or tearful when she gets home from school? Does she often say she feels sick, has a headache or stomach ache to stay home from school? Does he avoid activities that he previously enjoyed without explanation? Does your child want to be alone and not talk about school once she is home? These are just some of the warning signs that your child might be bullied.

Communication between parents and children is a key to putting a stop to bullying. Being able to ask the right questions and then truly listening is the start to getting to the bottom of this type of problem. Parents must stay aware of what is happening to their children. It just might be their own child who is the bully. Statistic show that over 30 percent of children are involved on a regular basis as a victim of bullying, as a bully themselves or participating in both behaviors.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration wants to help and has a new free APP available for parents. It can be downloaded to your smartphone and it contains tips to prevent bullying, warning signs, conversation starters for parents, and resources for educators. This can be a great tool for parents who don’t know how to begin talking with their child about bullying.

The government study showed that just “15 minutes a day of focused conversation with a child about issues related to bullying can help build self-esteem and prevent bullying.” Check out the free APP at www.store.samhsa.gov/app/knowbullying/index.html.

When your child tells you that he/she feels that someone is being a bully, these are some good tips to remember:

• Reassure your child that you love them and want to help.

• Let them know it is brave to talk about it and you are supportive.

• Parents must use their active listening skills, take notes but don’t interrupt unless absolutely necessary.

• Parents need to ask their child about his or her own behavior. Try to get the entire picture of the interactions before going to the teacher or principle about the bullying.

• Write down as many details about the relationship and see if there is a pattern to the behavior.

The more information parents are able to provide to the school administration, the more informed everyone is to keep your child safe.

Start the conversation with your child today about how to prevent bullying. For more helpful tips and support, go to www.stopbullying.gov or www.thebullyproject.com.

Remember, education and prevention are keys to keeping our children safe and bully free.

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Monday, January 26, 2015 12:00 am.


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Investigation finds district acted within guidelines on alleged racial …

Employees of El Camino High School responded appropriately to an alleged incident of racial harassment of a black student, according to independent investigators hired by the South San Francisco Unified School District.

But according to school board member Maurice Goodman, the victim’s parents claimed the incident was part of an ongoing pattern of hate speech, and the district is now taking steps to foster more equitable environments at all of its schools.

In the incident under investigation, some students allegedly used “the N-word” while taunting a black student with a noose and encouraging him to put it around his neck.

Goodman said he learned about the incident more than a year after it occurred and only because the victim’s parents mentioned it while speaking with district Superintendent Alejandro Hogan. The parents, Goodman said, told Hogan about other incidents of alleged racial bias their son experienced on campus, including the use of a racial epithet allegedly by a football coach who is no longer at the school.

Goodman said the parents claimed El Camino’s principal at the time, David Putney, did not appear to take their complaints seriously, and allegedly told them that the N-word is “a global word,” and its use among teens was too commonplace to control.

In a closed-session meeting in October, the school board placed Putney on administrative leave. The board also hired a law firm to determine whether staff had followed district policy when responding to the suspected noose incident.

Some in the community interpreted the timing of these events to mean Putney had been suspended from his duties because of his handling of the bullying complaint, but sources within the district say those assumptions are not accurate.

District officials declined to comment on Putney’s departure, and district spokesman Ryan Sebers said any public-information request pertaining to a disciplinary matter might be trumped by rules protecting employee privacy.

Goodman said he sympathized with the parents who felt the school’s response to the incident was inadequate, and he questioned why the alleged perpetrators weren’t prosecuted under a California law that prohibits hanging nooses on school campuses in order to terrorize students or staff.

San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said her office doesn’t normally comment on misdemeanor cases against juveniles, and she could not confirm whether charges related to the incident had been considered.

Measures taken by the district to address bullying and racial bias will include implementing a training program provided by the Facing History And Ourselves organization, Goodman said. According to the organization’s website, Facing History teaches students about the historical context of prejudice and how that history can impact the decisions they make in their own lives.

The district also recently launched its first African American Parent Advisory Committee to address issues of concern to parents of black students. The committee’s first meeting this month was led by Putney’s replacement, El Camino interim Principal Linda McDaniel, who is black.

The culture at El Camino High has changed for the better as a result of the investigation, Goodman said, and parent involvement is helping the district to better address bullying and bigotry issues.

“Having parents involved in the process, and ensuring that their voices matter will only benefit the district as a whole,” Goodman said.


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Father of bullies fired after Minnesota man takes Snapchat harassment of his …

WARNING: The video below contains video recordings of Snapchat messages and voice mails containing profanity, racial slurs and anti-gay slurs. The father also briefly uses profanity while describing the person who used/defended the use of those slurs. Viewer discretion is advised.

MINNESOTA – A video posted by a Minnesota father has gathered more than 4 million views in less than a week, and the obviously emotional man is speaking out against bullying after his African-American daughter received hateful and racist messages on Snapchat.

When the father confronted the father of the bullies, the father of the bullies defended his children’s actions and said the incident wasn’t a big deal.  The video above includes two hostile voice mails from the father of the bullies, who KMSP FOX 9 in Minneapolis-St. Paul reports lost his job two days after the father’s video was posted online.

In the video, Brad Knudson explains that his adopted daughter, who is African American, began receiving bullying messages over Snapchat from two twins who are freshmen at a nearby school. He said after the third or fourth message, he and his wife recorded one of the messages using another phone. During that video, the teens use various slurs that included the “N” word.

Knudson said he tried to contact the parents of the teens and even tried going to their home, but couldn’t reach anyone. Then he contacted police about the incident, explaining that close friends of his family had recently lost their son—who committed suicide after being bullied.

“It dawned on me that I cannot have this hanging over us, and my daughter thinking the worst and something could happen,” Knudson said in the video of his decision to take the issue public.

Police talked to school officials, and the kids believed to be behind the bullying were talked to by police stationed at Prior Lake High School, as were the parents. The parents gave a cell phone number, and when Knudson called the family he said the twins’ father said it wasn’t a big deal and it was the sort of thing he did as a child.

In the YouTube video, Knudson plays two voice mails that he said he received after he argued with the twins’ father. The twins’ father can be heard calling him a “N—— lover” and a “F—–“, among other things.

Knudson said he felt he had to respond to one of those slurs.

He says in the video: “So I called him back, and I said, ‘Well yeah, that’s a correct statement. I am an N lover because I have a beautiful African American daughter who I love more than life itself and would do anything for her’ and said a few more choice words to him and hung up on him.”

Knudson has reportedly received an outpouring of support since posting the video, and the twins and their father have reportedly apologized. The father lost his job just two days after the video was posted, KMSP reports.

Knudson said in the video he just wanted the twins and their father “to own it” when it comes to their actions.

Click here for more details and local coverage of this story from KMSP.


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A new dimension of bullying: 1 out of 5 children will receive a sexual image …

In November, three high school boys in Illinois were arrested for sexting and cyberbullying a female student.

In July, underage girls from Naples, Fla., had nude photos of themselves posted to Instagram without their permission.

In 2009, Hope Wistell was only 13 when she committed suicide, after being bullied in her school for sending a topless photo of herself to a boy she liked.

This past year a Cleveland County School student spoke at a Board of Education meeting about how she had been bullied so much, she almost committed suicide.

The digital world has much to offer children and teenagers, but it can also hold dangers as well.

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department is working to make sure the students and the parents of Cleveland County are educated on what sexting and cyberbullying can do to a community and its young people.

What is sexting and cyberbullying?

Sexting is when a person sends sexually explicit images or messages to another person via cell phone. Cyberbullying isthe use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Capt. Joel Shores of the Cleveland County sheriff’s office shared these definitions to open a seminar for parents on sexting and cyberbullying.

“Sexting and cyberbullying go hand in hand,” Shores said.

Almost 60 percent of teenagers have been asked for sexual images of themselves, according to a study by the National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 2013.

“In North Carolina one out of five children will receive a sexual image. Eight out of 10 will pass it on,” Shores said. “It can go to 150 people in less than 10 seconds.”

After the sexting, comes the cyberbullying.

In 2009 MTV partnered with the Associated Press to perform a study that showed 12 percent of sexters consider ending their own life. They correlate this number with the spread of images and the subsequent scorn and ridicule that might follow from people at school and online.

How is it happening?

“The biggest problem is cellphones,” Shores said.

John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League, commissioned a study in 2012 that found nearly 60 percent of parents said they offered cell phones to their children at ages 10 or 11.

In Cleveland County schools D.A.R.E and school resource officers have noticed problems with cellphones and the applications that can be used to promote bullying and sexting of provocative images.

One such app is YikYak. It was developed to be used in schools so that students could ask questions and discuss material outside of class. Now, though, it is being used to communicate anonymous messages, threats and perpetuate bullying, according to Shores.

“There is a lot of anonymity with these apps,” Shores said. “In the past year (sexting and cyberbullying) has exploded.”

While technology offers many ways for sexting and bullying to happen, it is also a useful tool.

“It’s how people are using the technology, not the technology itself,” Shores said.

What can be done to prevent it?

Cleveland County Schools has a bullying prevention program in place and is working to make sure the child being bullied is not hurt, and helping the bully to change his or her ways, said Greg Shull, director of communications for Cleveland County Schools.

“We have a bullying prevention curriculum that is doing a lot of character education,” Shull said. “But if it is unreported we can’t do anything about it.”

The school has set up an anonymous hotline to report bullying.

The schools are also working with parents, and Shores said parents should be involved and a little nosy.

“Parents should start getting in the business of checking their kids phones,” Shores said.

Education is another key component, he added.

Parents who want to learn more can attend Shores’ next talk on cyberbullying and sexting. It will be Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor conference room at Cleveland County Health Department, 315 E. Grover St., Shelby.


Talking to your kids about bullying and sexting.

Capt. Joel Shores offered some tips about talking to kids about these issues and how parents can monitor their children’s activities on the phone.

Make sure kids know that, that image will not go away. It is always out there

Let them know that the world can see it, not just one person.

Know where the charger is for their phone, and monitor their use of apps.


How bad is it in Cleveland County?

A survey was done, by Shores and the sheriff’s office, with 148 children in Cleveland County Schools System on just what they know about sexting and cyberbullying, and if it has affected them.

-100 percent of kids know what sexting is

-65 percent report receiving a sexual image

-16 percent state that they have sent a sexual image

-43 percent state that they have been bullied over a digital device

-21 percent state that they have bullied someone using a digital device


Reporter Joyce Orlando can be reached at 704-669-3341, jorlando@shelbystar.com or on Twitter at @Star_J_Orlando.


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Family apologizes for alleged bullying, father fired from job

Warning : The video contains strong language which may not be appropriate for all viewers

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — A family accused of bullying has apologized – and the father has been fired from his job.

CBS Minnesota reported that Brad Knudson recently posted a video on YouTube calling out a pair of kids who allegedly bullied his 14-year-old daughter.

In the video, Knudson shows a few Snapchat messages showing the kids calling his daughter derogatory names. Knudson also plays an apparent voicemail message from the father of the children accused of bullying.

The father of the alleged bullies also uses racial language, calling the father a “(expletive) lover.” The bullied girl is African-American and the bullies are accused of calling her racial slurs.

Knudson’s video has since gone viral, with more than 4 million views in less than a week.

The family accused of bullying has since issued a statement offering their “deepest apologies.” The family said they are not racist.

The father of the alleged bullies, Deron Puro, has been fired from his job, according to KMSP. He was an independent contractor at a financial firm.

Knudson said he posted the nearly six-minute video to YouTube to raise awareness of bullying. He said he is concerned about bullying and children who have committed suicide because of it.

His video can be seen above. It contains strong language which may not be appropriate for all viewers.


January 25, 2015 at 8:38 pm

‘Bullying On The Bus Caught On Video,’ Mom Releases Footage To Force …

A mother from Jacksonville, Florida, has released a video of apparent aggressive, physical bullying of her daughter on a school bus. Nikki Lee’s sixth grade daughter was injured when she was beaten on her school bus. The girl, whose name has been withheld, was kicked in the head, slapped in the head, and jumped upon by two of her schoolmates while on the school bus. A cell phone video camera caught the entire alleged bullying encounter on tape.

Nikki Lee told WSOC TV that the bus driver never offered her daughter any help that day, and that the school did not act appropriately to handle the bullying on the bus.

“I don’t think they acted fast enough. Matter of fact, I don’t think they would’ve known about it if I didn’t proceed with caution to see what’s going on with my daughter.”

Nikki turned to the media in an attempt to force accountability onto the Duval County Public Schools school district, according to the Daily Mail.

“They basically beat her like she was nothing,” Lee said of the alleged bullying on the Florida bus.

The school district official allegedly told Lee that they would investigate the matter, but was concerned that the children involved in bullying her daughter were still allowed in school the day after it happened. She told the media that her daughter continued to be threatened throughout the school day.

The district released a statement, saying that the children involved in the alleged bullying encounter on the bus “are being disciplined according to the Code of Conduct. A full investigation is underway to identify additional participants and the person(s) videotaping.”

Florida has an anti-bullying law, according to the district’s website which states, “Florida Statute 1006.147, ‘The Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act,‘ prohibits bullying and harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution.” In order to address bullying, the district says it has a comprehensive investigation process.

“In accordance with the state statute, the Duval County School Board has developed an anti-bullying policy to address bullying in the district. Bullying should be reported to the designated school administrator, who will conduct an investigation. Pending the outcome of the investigation, reports of bullying will be deemed substantiated or unsubstantiated. Students found to be in violation for a bullying offense against The Code of Student Conduct will be given consequences aligned with the Code of Student Conduct. Individuals involved maybe referred for appropriate services, if applicable.”

The law considers bullying to be “systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students.” The reports do not make it clear if any bullying activities had occurred to the Jacksonville sixth-grader prior to the attack on the school bus, but it was reportedly continued after the events on the bus.

[Photo via Duval County Public Schools]


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Boy, 13, arrested in stabbing death of teenager outside Los Angeles school

Posted by in School

A 13-year-old California boy was arrested Saturday in the stabbing death of a 14-year-old high school student, KTTV reports.

The suspect, who police say may be a gang member, was arrested at his Los Angeles home and booked for suspicion of murder at the sheriff’s East Los Angeles station.

The names of the victim and alleged murderer have not been released, but KTTV reported that family members have told reporters that the victim was Steven Cruz, a student at Garfield High School.

Cruz was stabbed with scissors by another boy Friday as he stood outside Griffith Middle School immediately after classes let out for the day. Cruz reportedly stopped by the middle school to see friends. The suspect allegedly asked Cruz where he was from, a common tactic by gang members to determine gang affiliation, then stabbed him in the torso, according to KTTV.

Firefighters responded to the scene at about 3:08 p.m. and took the stabbed youth to County-USC Medical Center, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher. The boy was declared dead at the hospital.

The school was locked down after the stabbing, and students were released to their parents in the auditorium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Tabitha Bradwell named Leon’s school-related employee of the year

Posted by in School

For the past four years, Tabitha Bradwell has been comfortable being out of the spotlight keeping Springwood Elementary students in line.

A reserved woman by nature, Bradwell was forced out of her shell Friday when she was named the district’s 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year. Leon County Superintendent of Schools Jackie Pons and Kathleen Rodgers, divisional director of Intervention, Equity and Support Services, greeted Bradwell, a classroom behavioral specialist, with balloons in the school’s media center.

“I love the kids. I love the people I work with, and I love my job,” Bradwell said. “I’m a pretty low-key person, so all of this for me is a lot. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and this is the first time I’ve been recognized for anything like this.”

Springwood Principal Christopher Small said he told Bradwell at the end of last school year that he would be looking for her to be a vocal leader on the staff this year. She has been at Springwood since March 2011. Before coming to Florida, Bradwell spent seven years working in California school districts.

“I am beyond proud of Ms. Bradwell and all of her hard work,” Small said. “She can be a lady of few words at times who does her job without expecting recognition. I feel this is just the beginning of what is still yet to come for her, and I know she will represent Leon County Schools and Springwood well.”

Rodgers said the award recognizes student support and relationships with the community. The selection committee interviewed finalists Wednesday.

“We asked them things like what their philosophies are and what changes they would like to make in the school district,” Rodgers said. “A lot of the work that we do as educators would not be carried through if it wasn’t for our support staff. Ms. Bradwell exuded confidence, commitment and competence in terms of what we were looking for.”

The other finalists included Christopher Ashby, Roberts Elementary School; Marshay Butler, Transportation Department; James Gay, Intervention, Equity and Support Services; and Joanne Johnston, Godby High School.

Bradwell, whose job is to handle unruly students, will now compete at the state level for School-Related Employee of the Year. Pons said on a list full of qualified candidates, Bradwell’s community influence set her apart.

“There was a lot of competition because we have so many great employees,” Pons said. “She ended up separating herself from the rest of the field with the way she has dealt with the children, the way the faculty feels about her and the way the community feels about her. She is a shining example of what our school system is all about.”


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Mother, daughter charged with attacking school officials, boy, 13

Posted by in School

A mother and daughter allegedly beat up and stabbed a Chicago Public Schools administrator and security guard when picking up a relative at an Englewood elementary school earlier this week, a prosecutor said Saturday.

Teen cut, 3 others wounded in Bond Elementary School fight

Debbie Wilson, 45, of the 6900 block of South Racine Avenue, and her daughter, also named Debbie Wilson, 26, of the 5600 block of South Wood Street, were both charged with aggravated battery to a school employee. The elder Wilson was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail, and her daughter was ordered held in lieu of $125,000 bail in Cook County court Saturday.

The Wilsons went to Carrie Jacobs Bond Elementary School, 7050 S. May St., on Tuesday to pick up a relative for a disciplinary issue when they saw the girl walking with a school administrator and a verbal altercation broke out, said Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Newton.

At one point during the altercation, the younger Wilson pulled out a 4-inch knife, and the school administrator, 39, was stabbed in the back, while a security guard, 50, was stabbed in the forearm. A 13-year-old minor who got involved was also cut with the knife.

Meanwhile, the elder Wilson beat the school staff with her hands and fists, Newton said.

The three victims required stitches, Newton said, and the Wilsons fled the scene but were arrested Thursday after being identified in a photo line-up, according to court documents.

After Saturday’s bond hearing, some of the Wilsons’ relatives cried, saying the charges were unfair.

Rhonda Wilson, the elder Wilson’s other daughter, said her family relies on her mother to take care of a younger relative who has cerebral palsy. She said the arrests and charges were “all wrong.”

The Wilsons have another court date Thursday.

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune


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Letter: Slaughter is hardly a defensible response to bullying

Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2015 12:10 am

Letter: Slaughter is hardly a defensible response to bullying

So, Fran Delany (“Charlie Hebdo was a bully,” Jan. 14 letter), I must ask you: Is it OK that I bully you with a bullet but not with ink? If so, all I have to say about that is that you seem to be a prime candidate for a Darwin award.


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      Sunday, January 25, 2015 12:10 am.


      at 2:38 pm

      Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services tackles bullying, peer p – WSFA.com …

      Same Sex marriage supporters continue to celebrate. A federal judge on Friday said Alabama’s ban on the practice is unconstitutional.


      at 2:38 pm

      Prior Lake bullying video dad accepts apology, ‘sickened’ by fallout

      Dad's video about bullies

      Dad’s video about bullies

      Bradley Knudson of Prior Lake uses YouTube to take bullies — and their father — to task.

      Posted: Friday, January 23, 2015 6:30 pm

      Update: Prior Lake bullying video dad accepts apology, ‘sickened’ by fallout

      By Lori Carlson and Hannah Jones


      The family of a man identified in a viral YouTube video about bullying has apologized for the racist remarks he made during phone conversations with a Prior Lake father.

      Bradley Knudson’s video “Racism and bullying in Prior Lake, Minnesota” has more than 1.8 million views and thousands of comments – just four days after he posted it. In the video, he calls out two Prior Lake High School freshmen and their father for bullying his African American daughter via Snapchat, including calling her the “N” word.

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          Friday, January 23, 2015 6:30 pm.


          at 8:38 am

          YMCA to host anti-bullying class

          YMCA to host anti-bullying class

          Parents and children are encouraged to attend an anti-bullying class from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the Butte YMCA, 2975 Washoe St.

          Chad Armstrong’s talk is geared to help empower children against bullies and provide them with tools to stand up for themselves with confidence. This class is free to members and non-members. Details: 406-782-1266.

          Other highlights:

          • Dodgeball registration continues through Feb. 1, for children fourth through sixth grade. Program runs Feb. 2-27.
          • Next Swim Lesson Session, Feb. 2-26. Register now to reserve your spot. Morning, afternoon, evening, and Saturday sessions available.
          • Sign-up for a personal training session and personal healthy eating classes.
          • Get energized to start your day off, Group Cycling, 5:15 to 6 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
          • Strength Training and Group Cycling, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
          • Zumba Gold (for the young at heart). Move to your favorite tunes of yesteryear, 12:05 to 1 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday.
          • R.I.P.P.E.D., 12:10 to 1 p.m., Monday and Friday; 5:45 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday.
          • Cardio kickboxing, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Mondays.
          • New class: Body sculpting, 5 to 6 a.m. Wednesdays. This is a total body toning class with extra emphasis on the core.
          • Water Fit, 5:50 to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday.


          at 8:38 am

          Local rapper takes on fight against bullying

          ELKHART, Ind. –
           One man in Elkhart is using his beats to help teens overcome bullying.

          Bullying is causing concern nationwide, even right here in Michiana.

          And now, the rapper from Elkhart is using his talents to reach those who are falling victim to the epidemic.

          Aaron Reynolds said he did not have a strong family life and on top of that he was picked on, so he felt alone.

          So, now, his mission is to use his voice to be there for kids who are now experiencing what he once did.

          It is an instrument Aaron Reynolds uses to fight the battles he faced when he was younger.

          “I was picked on a lot by kids, and bullied and pushed around,” said Reynolds.]

          He said bullied victims often lean on the wrong crowd.

          “A lot of people when they get bullied, they have gangs picking on them. They feel like they’re alone. So they feel like they have to join a gang or cult to feel loved,” said Reynolds.

          He now goes by Ayron on stage and he said the pen and notepad became his best friend when he was a teen.

          “I didn’t feel the love at home, I didn’t feel the love at school, I didn’t feel the love for myself,” said Ayron.

          He found love in the power of rhyming and reciting.

          Now, he is joining others on a mission to reach out to those who were bullied just like he once was.

          “We’re going to the children’s home, we’re going to faith missions to talk to the children to let them know that they’re not alone. Don’t subdue to it, overgrow it,” said Ayron.

          He said he has done his job if he convinces one young person that they are not alone, and that they do not have to give in to the beast of a bully.

          One lyric at a time, Ayron wants others to know, the power of voice is what will end the growing bullying issues nation-wide.

          “Reach out to someone, whether it’s a mother, a father, an aunt, uncle, grandmother, someone. Someone is always there for you,” said Aaron “Ayron” Reynolds.

          The 3rd Annual Anti-Gang and Bullying Festival will be held from February 27th through March 2nd at Expo Gardens Opera House in Peoria, Illinois. 


          at 8:38 am

          Tevlin: Bullying incident goes viral and backfires on all concerned



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          Brad Knudson, in his video on YouTube

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          Live by Snapchat, die by YouTube.

          The explosion of social media is a remarkable thing, allowing humankind to reach out from our basements and give the world a hug, become instantly famous or more commonly, show the world ourselves at our weakest and dumbest.

          The latter is what happened this week when a couple of kids used Snapchat, which allows short video messages that disappear in a few seconds, to yell insults and racial epithets at a Prior Lake teen.

          The girl’s father found out, and after the fourth racist message to her, Brad Knudson used his phone to make a video of the exchange between the twin brothers and his black adopted daughter. What a few years ago would have been a talk on the phone between two dads and a reprimand to the kids turned into viral spanking for all parties involved.

          Knudson tried to reach the bullies’ parents, but they never returned his calls or answered their door. So he called the police. That may seem extreme, until you realize that a teen that the Knudsons knew had recently committed suicide after being bullied.

          Police contacted the school and officers there had a chat with the kids. Knudson also wanted to talk with the bullies’ dad about his kids’ behavior. Seems reasonable.

          The dad, Deron Puro, was less than receptive to the call.

          He told Knudson he had no problem with the kids using the N-word, that in fact they used it around the house. He called Knudson “crazy” for being concerned. Knudson hung up the phone.

          Later, Puro called back and, in a stunning lack of awareness, left taunting voice mails on Knudson’s phone, reiterating the racial slurs, and more.

          Knudson had had enough. He told Puro he was going to post the whole thing on the Internet. Puro said he could care less and that he and his kids owned the behavior.

          Wrong answer.

          As of Saturday, Knudson’s video had more than 3 million views. News of it spread around the country in the unstoppable vortex of the Internet. Someone even set up a Twitter account and posted Puro’s phone number, address and other unflattering public information. Great idea: Bully the bully!

          Puro was fired from his job, took down his Facebook page and disconnected his phone. On Friday, the Puro family issued an apology, surprising no one by saying Deron was under the influence of pills and alcohol and didn’t remember the phone calls. The children had been moved out of state because of threats from nitwits purporting to rally against racism and bullying.

          The Internet had won.

          But nothing is really that simple.

          On Thursday, Knudson discovered that his daughter had also engaged in some racial banter, using the same word twice on Snapchat “thinking that this was a game and it was funny,” Knudson wrote in the YouTube comments section.

          “I am extremely saddened and disappointed because of this video she has discredited the message that we wanted to convey,” Knudson wrote. “I hope that this does not stop our efforts to highlight the issues that still remain regarding bully[ing] and the effects it has on children.”

          Some lashed out at Knudson, criticizing him for taking the issue too seriously and causing Puro to lose his job and privacy.

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          at 8:37 am

          ‘Real Housewives Of Miami’ Star Joanna Krupa On Defamation Lawsuit …

          The Real Housewives of Miami’s Joanna Krupa is speaking out about her recent lawsuit against Brandi Glanville.

          After filing a suit, citing “slander, slander per se and intentional infliction of emotional distress” over Glanville’s claim that Krupa had an affair with Mohamed Hadid, the Real Housewives of Miami star is “demand(ing) a trial by jury” and “intends to amend her complaint and seek punitive damages against Glanville.”

          In an interview with E! News on January 23, Krupa released the following statement.

          “Bullying hurts!”

          According to Krupa’s suit, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star “knowingly made the false and malicious statement” in saying Krupa had “sexual relations” with Hadid.

          Glanville initially made the claims during a 2013 episode of Watch What Happens Live, stating Krupa and Hadid’s alleged affair happened during his marriage to Yolanda Foster — and that Lisa Vanderpump was aware of statements made by Hadid, in which he reportedly said her private parts did not smell good.

          In addition, the Real Housewives of Miami star said Glanville “knowingly made the false and malicious statement that Mr. Hadid told her that Mr. Krupa’s ‘p**** smelled.’”

          As for Hadid, he has reportedly “denied the truth of Glanville’s statements and publicly confirmed Mr. Hadid never made the statements Glanville said were true and attributed to Mr. Hadid, and advised and/or confirmed that Glanville’s defamatory statements were false.”

          Glanville recently re-addressed her claims regarding Krupa’s private parts on another episode of Watch What Happens Live. During the show, Glanville compared Krupa’s lady business to “sushi,” and said her odor wasn’t her fault.

          In response to Glanville’s second round of comments, as the Inquisitr reported, the Real Housewives of Miami star spoke to TMZ, slamming her for making such outrageous statements and labeling her “trailer trash.”

          “You know what? I’m so p**sed off. Brandi Glanville. I think Brandi Glanville is the biggest trailer trash woman out there. I just saw on E! News her interview with Andy Cohen talking about my stuff again. She needs to get a life, okay? First of all, I’m happily married, I’m sorry that you’re so pathetic your ex-husband left you. Stop talking about me. Does she have nothing better to do in her life. It’s getting too much, like she’s trailer trash. That’s what she is.”

          “She’s so obsessed with me. She can’t stop talking about me. Why would Andy talk bad about me when she’s making stuff up to make herself famous? I don’t know what she’s doing.”

          The Real Housewives of Miami has yet to be renewed for Season 4.

          [Photo via Twitter]