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«Tackling School Bullying: What you need to know about bullying and cyber bullying legislation, prevention, and best practices “Empowering Today’s ...»

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School Technology Action Report

Tackling School Bullying:

What you need to know about

bullying and cyber bullying

legislation, prevention,

and best practices

“Empowering Today’s Ed-Tech Leader”

eSM STAR Tackling School Bullying

Editorial & Production

Editorial Director & Publisher

Gregg W. Downey

Dear Reader, gdowney@eschoolnews.com Editor Dennis Pierce One of the largest issues schools must contend with today is dpierce@eschoolnews.com Managing Editor bullying, including cyber bullying. Although bullying has been in Laura Devaney ldevaney@eschoolnews.com the national spotlight for the last few years, many states, districts, Associate/Online Editor and teachers have yet to design a complete online safety Meris Stansbury mstansbury@eschoolnews.com curriculum or know how to combat cyber bullying that occurs Assistant Editor Dennis Carter outside of school effectively. dcarter@eschoolnews.com Creative Director Chris Hopson This isn’t because educators and stakeholders don’t care. Often, chopson@eschoolnews.com it’s because many are unsure where the line exists between Advertising Sales students’ free-speech rights and the rights of educators to disci- Eastern Region Barbara Schrader pline their students for off-campus transgressions. (800) 394-0115 x 163 bschrader@eschoolnews.com Midwest Region In this latest School Technology Action Report (STAR) from Patty Voltz

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A message from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” While I imagine Ralph Waldo Emerson could not foresee the extent to which our children would struggle in their attempt to experience such an accomplishment, his words remind us of the tremendous work that still needs to be done.

In America alone, according to the NEA, approximately 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. The pressures facing our children reflect a changing world, built on instant access, broadcast communication style, and unreachable benchmarks set by a culture fueled by celebrity and status. As the publisher of many authors, including Emerson, who have spent their lives reflecting on the value of humanity and individuality, we believe constant voice needs to be given to this issue. Bullying will be this generation’s greatest social problem, if we do not recognize its complexity and create systems to address its impact.

Over the past 18 months we have seen increased attention directed at this issue; viral videos, award winning documentaries, public-private partnerships, targeted legislation, tweets, posts, and “likes”… We seem to be throwing everything we have at it. And yet, the need seems to be growing. Our worry is that unfortunately, as a nation, we have a propensity for short “issue attention spans.” The concerts come and go. The PSAs are taped and shown. Regrettably, after the interest wears thin, thousands of kids will go to school, sit in a cafeteria by themselves and try to suffer through another day. This preventable waste of human capital is an unnecessary drain on our economy and more importantly an unacceptable reflection of our values.

4 eSM STAR Tackling School Bullying At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, our mission is to change people’s lives, by fostering passionate and curious learners. We recognize the complexity in delivering on this mission and we seek to find ways to holistically support the educators and students we serve.

While there is much work that needs to be done, we are committed to identifying, improving and innovating in all areas of education reform, including addressing the effects of bullying and working to prevent it. Through services, professional development, and valued content, we seek to deliver more. We seek to support the idea echoed by one of our greatest writers… We seek to help kids be themselves, in a world that is constantly trying to make them something else.

For more information on HMH, please visit http://www.hmheducation.com/learningenvironment/ Mary Cullinane Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Bullying and student safety From teen password sharing to stolen identities, bullying can be more than just a push in the hallway. Yet, online safety education is still a major issue schools need to address—and many educators say they need help in identifying the warning signs for teen bullying and suicide.

7 eSM STAR Tackling School Bullying Survey reveals disconnect in online safety education A new report suggests that many schools are not adequately preparing students to be safe in today’s digitally connected age, and it cites basic online safety and ethics as two areas in which students need more education.

The report, “State of K-12 Cyberethics, Cybersafety, and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the United States,” was published by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and sponsored by Microsoft.

Although policy makers have urged K-12 schools to integrate technology into their curriculum and expose students to devices that will help them in college and the workforce, the survey reveals that administrators, teachers, and IT coordinators have different opinions on how best to ensure that children are adequately prepared for cyber safety and online security the digital age.

Eighty-one percent of school administrators, including principals and superintendents, said they believe their districts are adequately preparing students in online safety, security, and ethics. However, only 51 percent of teachers agree.

Despite some different opinions about how well schools are educating students on cyber safety, school leaders agree that schools should prepare students to be “cybercapable” in college and the workforce. In fact, 68 percent of principals and superintendents said they feel confident that their schools are preparing students to follow a college-level coursework in cyber security.

Nearly all administrators (97 percent) said that schools should help K-12 students build basic technology skills that incorporate safety and security. Eighty-one percent of administrators said schools should teach cyber safety curriculum throughout all grades, so that students are equipped for careers in the cyber security field.

Many teachers say they’re not prepared to teach these subjects, however.

Just over half of teachers surveyed (55 percent) said they feel prepared to teach their students how to protect personal information online. Fifty-seven percent said they are

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prepared to address cyber bullying, 58 percent feel prepared to address sexting, and 67 percent said they are confident that they can discuss basic computer security with their students.

Thirty-six percent of teachers say they have received zero hours of district-provided training in cyber security, cyber safety, and cyber ethics training. Forty percent of teachers received between one and three hours of training in their school districts.

Overall, 86 percent of teachers received fewer than 6 hours of training in the last year, up from 2010?s survey, which indicated that 78 percent of teachers reported receiving fewer than 6 hours of cyber safety, cyber security, and cyber ethics training.

“The survey reveals a critical need for new curricula and teacher training that will encourage safe, secure, and responsible behavior among school students,” said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Information Networking Institute, as well as director of education, training, and outreach at the university’s CyLab. “It’s essential to address this need in order to prepare a cyber-savvy workforce for our nation’s future.” To date, not a single state has passed comprehensive legislation that mandates online safety, security, and ethics be a part of K-12 curriculum. The NCSA is urging states to support legislation that does just that.

“Kids and teens have embraced the digital world with great intensity, spending as many as eight hours a day online by some estimates,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “Yet America’s schools have not caught up with the realities of the modern economy. Teachers are not getting adequate training in online safety topics, and schools have yet to adopt a comprehensive approach to online safety, security, and ethics as part of a primary education.” Though student computer and internet use in school increases, teacher efforts to instruct students in cyber safety and security are not keeping pace.

Thirty-three percent of teachers said they believe their school or district requires a cyber safety curriculum be taught in the classroom setting, 68 percent of administrators said they believe the same thing, and 64 percent of IT specialists agreed.

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More than half of teachers (56 percent) said their students use computers at least twice per week in school, and 81 percent said students use computers in school at least once per week. But only 34 percent of teachers have taught about risks associated with social networking over the past year.

Eighteen percent of teachers said they have taught their students about dealing with alarming posts, videos, or other content. Thirty-four percent of teachers have taught their students about how to make decisions about sharing personal information online.

Plagiarism appears to be among the most-taught aspects of cyber ethics—74 percent of teachers said they taught students about this topic.

Over the past 12 months, teachers responded that they have taught the following:

• Risks tied to social networking sites (34 percent)

• Using strong passwords (23 percent)

• How to send an eMail (20 percent)

• How to identify a secure website (18 percent)

• Identity theft (17 percent)

• The role of a more secure internet in U.S. economy (7 percent)

• The role of a more secure internet in national security (6 percent)

• Protecting a mobile device (6 percent)

• Careers in cyber security (4 percent)

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Many stakeholders struggle to determine who holds the responsibility for teaching students about online safety, and they wonder if the duty falls to schools, parents, or both.

Teachers said they believe parents should take the most ownership over education children about safe and responsible online behavior. Seventy-nine percent of teachers said parents should take the lead, and 18 percent said teachers and schools should play the largest role in students’ online safety education.

Sixty percent of administrators agreed that parents should be responsible for educating their children about online safety, while 34 percent said teachers and schools should take the lead.

Interestingly, 52 percent of IT coordinators said teachers and schools should have biggest role in educating students about online safety, and 45 percent said parents should assume that role.

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Cyber bullying can start with a miscue, study says Mixing the teenage mind, text messaging, and social media can be a recipe for dangerous miscues in the communication age, experts say.

A study released this month and co-written by a Florida Atlantic University professor casts new light on the dangers of cyber bullying among teenagers—and how a simple text message or Facebook post taken out of context can lead to violence.

The study looks at the phenomenon of “electronic dating violence,” a growing subset of cyber bullying.

As in any generation, teenagers use relationships as status symbols, experts say. But with text messages and social media, relationships are more about keeping tabs and less about giving space, said FAU professor Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

A generation ago, when people spoke face to face or on landlines, there was less misunderstanding, he said.

“Online, all you’re left with is your interpretation of that text,” Hinduja said. “Are they flirting? Is he cheating?” A generation ago, there also was a parental buffer, he said. A parent might have picked up the house phone and not liked someone calling a child all the time.

But now, a teen sends out an average of 3,000 text messages a month, said Hinduja, who teaches criminology at FAU’s Jupiter campus.

Hinduja co-wrote the study with Justin Patchin, a professor at the University of WisconsinEau Claire. It’s available online here.

The study revealed that 85 percent of teenage boys and 92 percent of girls engage in psychological aggression with their dating partner. It also showed that 24 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls physically attack their partner.

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Some of this violence is spawned by, or goes hand in hand with, the electronic interactions that teens have with each other.

“Privacy violations can occur as perpetrators check up on, monitor, and even stalk their partners [online],” the study said. “There have also been incidents where aggressors utilize textual, audio, picture, or video content stored on their cell phones or computers to blackmail, extort, or otherwise manipulate their partner into saying or doing something against their will.” “I call it an electronic leash,” said Dr. Jill Murray, a psychologist with the U.S. Department of Education. “I’ve had girls come into my office with cell phone bills showing 9,000 text

messages and calls in a month. This is all hours of the day and night. And it’s threatening:

‘Hi. How are you? Where are you? Who are you with? Who are you talking to?’” The motivations for teenage dating violence include anger and a need to exert power, the paper notes—and both of these “can be vividly demonstrated through the use of communications technologies. An adolescent can quickly send a scathing or harassing eMail or instant message to a girlfriend or boyfriend … without taking the time to calm down and react rationally to a feeling or situation.” Hinduja would not disclose the schools the study is based on, but educators say most cyber bullying happens away from school grounds.

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