This may be a big step forward for US anti-bullying efforts: A recent federal court decision in Michigan sent “a clear message to schools that inaction, or even a simple unwise reaction, is not enough when it comes to dealing with bullies,” author and cyberbullying researcher Justin Patchin blogs. The court ordered a Michigan school district to pay $800,000 “to a student who claimed the school did not do enough to protect him from years of bullying,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The verdict “puts districts on notice that it’s not enough to stop a student from bullying another.” Dane Patterson, the victim in the Michigan case, “was in middle school when the bullying began as simple name calling and verbal harassment. It escalated in high school and included being pushed into lockers and at least one incident in 10th grade where he was sexually harassed,” Patchin relates. It’s not that his school didn’t do anything at all about this, it just didn’t change a thing. The occasional disciplinary action accomplished nothing, apparently. Patchin cites court records saying that, at one point, a teacher even joined the bullying by asking Dane in front of an entire class how it felt to be hit by a girl. “This is almost unbelievable,” Patchin writes. I agree. He goes on to write about what does help, and I’ve written about it too (see this, but I have to be repetitive because this is so relevant, here: “Because a bully’s success depends heavily on context, attempts to prevent bullying should concentrate primarily on changing the context rather than directly addressing the victim’s or the bully’s behavior,” wrote Yale University psychologist Alan Yazdin in Slate.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems
- U.S. Safer Internet Day focused on potential, positives and problems too