It certainly complicates the public discussion about dealing with bullying and cyberbullying: In an effort to tackle bullying and cyberbullying with empathy- or at least tolerance-training, schools around the US are finding themselves caught in culture wars, the New York Times reports. With national news coverage of cyberbullying-related suicides and growing evidence that gay and lesbian youth are prime targets of bullying and cyberbullying (see this), schools end up in the cross-fire because “many educators and rights advocates say that official prohibitions of slurs and taunts are most effective when combined with frank discussions, from kindergarten on, about diverse families and sexuality,” according to the Times, which zooms in on an illustration in Helena, Montana, where school officials released new guidelines for teaching first-graders that families come in all sorts of make-ups, including those with two moms or two dads, and fifth-graders, in the context of sex education classes, about diversity of sexual preferences and practices. “Some districts, especially in larger cities, have adopted tolerance lessons with minimal dissent. But in suburban districts in California, Illinois and Minnesota, as well as here in Helena, the programs have unleashed fierce opposition,” the Times reports. [See also "The freedom to *not* fit in."]
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Mobile rules in the US now too
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
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- Dealing with the nasties online
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments