This month two 11-year-olds, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Springfield, Mass., and Jaheem Herrera of DeKalb County, Ga. – neither of whom identified as gay – committed suicide after anti-gay harassment and bullying at school. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers," the Salt Lake Tribune reports, adding that "two of the top three reasons secondary school students said their peers were most often bullied at school were actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression." The Tribune was citing research by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and Harris Interactive. New York Times columnist Charles Blow cites even more data in an eloquent column, "Two Little Boys," where he considers why bullying of any kind, including what Carl and Jaheem endured, is so devastating for kids: "Children can’t see their budding lives through the long lens of wisdom – the wisdom that benefits from years passed, hurdles overcome, strength summoned, resilience realized, selves discovered and accepted, hearts broken but mended and love experienced in the fullest, truest majesty that the word deserves. For them, the weight of ridicule and ostracism can feel crushing and without the possibility of reprieve." GLSEN's latest study, its just-released "Harsh Realities," can be found here.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
- We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study
- Yik Yak update: How the app came to geo-fence off US schools
- Smart safety: YouTube’s ‘neighborhood watch program’
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years
- Safety through mindfulness: Watch ‘The Science of Character’
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media