Friday, January 23, 2015

Dealing with Cyberbullying: Tips for Kids and Parents

Dealing with Cyberbullying: Tips for Kids and Parents to ...

Lawyer's response to parent's sexting question:

(Parent's sexting question at bottom)

Thanks for your involvement with this issue. It is certainly an important one in schools these days. There are many laws which can pertain to these issues, but a good deal of information is needed to determine which, if any, laws fit the specific situation, since the facts of every single case are different. Some of the laws requires one or both of the parties to be either over or under a specific age, so without that information, I cannot speak specifically to which particular laws in question might have been broken. I have visited many middle schools to educate the kids about making good choices with respect to social media, as well as giving an overview of sexting and some of the laws that can be broken. I have spoken with large groups of girls, and my male co-worker spoke with the boys. The kids were incredibly responsive to us, and it was nice to be able to answer questions for them and help them to be more empowered to take care of themselves.

One thing that we stressed in talking to the students was to make use of the School Resource Officers (SROs). They are a mainstay in every middle school and they are there to help. They can investigate specific situations since they are there at the schools and interacting with the children. I would encourage any parent who has questions or is worried about an incident like this one at school to give the SRO a call and go see them to discuss what is going on. Children, too, should be encouraged to talk to the SRO at their school in the event that they are worried about someone. If the SRO investigates and determines a crime has been committed, then they will bring that to the District Attorney’s Office.

My daughter was was at middle school yesterday when she befriended a girl who was crying in the bathroom. The girl confided in my daughter that there are rumors going around the school that she sent naked pictures to an older grade level boy by text. The girl said she didn't send naked pictures but the older boy had texted her asking her to send naked pictures. My daughter is in shock personally (we have warned her about sexting) yet to hear about it first hand and so close to home has been troubling for her. My daughter is also concerned for the girl's emotional state. My daughter spoke to the 6th grade principal alerting him that she was concerned for this girl yet not giving him any specific information because the girl asked her to not say anything.

My question (assuming the girl is telling the truth and she did not send pictures): is this boy breaking any state or local laws by trying to elicit naked pictures over the phone? If so, which laws?

If the girl did not tell the truth and did send naked pictures by phone what / laws is she breaking?

Do the rumors like these in schools create a negative school environment? Is spreading rumors like this breaking any laws? What policy's/ practices are in place or can be put in place to protect students from this behavior and to know what to do if solicited?
Does our committee or NC department of public safety have any fact sheets to support parents/ students to to know what to do in situations like this? Informational guidelines/ suggestions for parents/ students would be helpful on how to handle a situation like this. Many of you may know me from the quarterly meetings as the parent advocate who speaks up at the local /state level to keep our schools safe. I have also been advocating for NC to create cyber bullying laws which includes allowing off campus cyber bullying that creates a negative school environment to be information a principal can use to ensure school safety and a positive school environment. I would appreciate comments/ suggestions.

Thank you,

Monday, January 19, 2015

"Cyberbullying: The Law, Psychology, and Your Children"

Th., 1-22-2014:  7-8:30pm:  5509-C W Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC

Jewish Family Services will present the program which will explore legal and psycho-social issues involved in cyberbullying and help parents understand how to help their children.

David Levine, an associate professor at Elon University School of Law; Jennifer Rosenbluth, a therapist and co-owner of Tree of Life Counseling; and Starr Brown-Hayes, a public school counselor,  will give presentations and answer questions.

This free program is open to the public.

To register, contact Beth Childs at (336) 852-4829 Ext. 226, or

Sunday, January 18, 2015

10 safest states in the nation for 2015

Vermont is one of the 10 safest states in the nation. (Thinkstock)

10 safest states in the nation for 2015

Most of the safest states are getting even safer with the dramatic reduction in violent crime seen nationwide. Income, education indicators »

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Only Six Words Parents Need to Say to Their Kids About Sports---or Any Performance

My son’s getting ready to play T-ball this spring. I say getting ready, because after sign-ups we were informed that “spring training” would begin immediately this week.

Oakland: School district to expand restorative justice programs to all 86 schools 

Oakland: School district to expand restorative justice programs to all 86 schools
By Doug Oakley
POSTED: 01/15/2015 08:25:09 AM PST  

OAKLAND -- A 10-year restorative justice experiment in city schools that uses a carrot instead of a stick on students with discipline issues will be expanded to all 86 schools in five years, officials announced Wednesday.

At the 27 schools that now use alternatives to traditional discipline responses, officials cite a drop in suspensions and chronic absenteeism and an increase in graduation rates.

"These positive impacts speak to the need to accelerate the programs in the next five years," said Oakland schools Superintendent Antwan Wilson. "Restorative justice gives students a voice to be seen as individuals who can problem-solve and understand the circumstances that impacted another person's feelings."

David Yusem, program manager for the school district's restorative justice programs, said a "harm circle" can be used to resolve a conflict rather than kicking a student out of school for a week.

"If there has been a harm, we bring that person responsible for it together with the person who has been harmed," Yusem said. "We talk about what happened, who has been impacted and how and what is going to happen to make it right."

In schools that have the programs, suspensions dropped by more than half over three years starting in 2011, from 34 percent to 14 percent, according to a new school district report.
Graduation rates increased 60 percent at high schools with the programs, compared to 7 percent at schools without them, and chronic absenteeism dropped 24 percent at middle schools with the programs, compared to a 62 percent increase at those middle schools that didn't have them.

Having a restorative justice program in a school increases student engagement, brings in a more positive social environment and teaches problem-solving, all of which contribute to the better academic results, said Data In Action founder Sonia Jain-Aghi, who helped compile the recently released report.
Until now, restorative justice programs in Oakland schools have been an option for administrators who want to try it out, said Barbara McClung, director of behavioral health initiatives in the school district.
"We just offered training for any administrator or teacher who wanted to learn about it," McClung said. "The biggest obstacle has been funding, but now it has kind of caught fire."
Contact Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699. Follow him at

Thursday, January 15, 2015

StopIT app: allows students to take screenshots when they or others are being cyber bullied

and report anonymously to school administrators/ law enforcement.
Does the NC App have this feature.
Please see link below.