How are other states handling bullying? New Jersey made the headlines yesterday with a new law that mandates their school districts to adopt anti-bullying programs and designate anti-bullying specialists to investigate complaints.
The law, known as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is considered the “toughest legislation against bullying in the nation,” and demands that all public schools adopt comprehensive anti-bullying policies, increase staff training and adhere to tight deadlines for reporting episodes.
Read more: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/national/new-anti-bullying-law-in-effect-for-new-jersey-school-districts#ixzz1Wl6UCa2z.
How does New Jersey’s law compare to California’s anti-bullying legislation? Good question for a classroom discussion, recorded on a Venn diagram. Check out the California Watch article Anti-bullying law expanded to include social networking sites.
On Friday, July 8th, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 746, a bill that will allow schools to suspend students who use social networking sites to bully other students. The bill modifies California’s AB 86 (2008), which gave school administrators the authority to discipline students for bullying others offline or online.
The original cyber-bullying law (AB 86) targeted instant messages, text messages and e-mails sent to individuals. It did not apply to comments or pictures posted on social networking sites. For example “Facebook burn pages” did not exist in 2008. They are now a growing disruptive issue today. Burn pages are created by students to harass, ridicule, or embarrass students at particular school sites. As fast as they are taken down, new burn pages pop up. The language of AB 746 would give schools the ability to discipline students for creating these social networking website burn pages.
As stated on the CA Watch Website:
According to the state education code, students who engage in bullying or cyber-bullying face possible suspension and expulsion. Stephanie Papas, a bullying specialist with the California Department of Education, said it’s up to administrators to determine if behavior is “materially disrupting the learning environment,” even if that bullying is happening outside of school.”
As Papas points out, the gray area still exists when the cyberbullying happens outside the school day. Articles such as the California Watch article, point out two sides of the issue: freedom of speech versus student well-being and safety.
So who should be responsible and accountable for cyberbullying? Schools? Parents? Both? This question provides material for classroom debates/essays and dinner table conversation around a serious topic and concern. We would love to hear how you are addressing this issue at school or within your home.
President Obama was joined by the First Lady for last week’s White House Summit.
In a video posted on the safety page, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama encourage Facebook members to join in the effort to decrease bullying, both online and off.
“For a long time, bullying was treated as an unavoidable part of growing up,” President Obama says in the video. “But more and more we’re seeing how harmful it can be for our kids, especially when it follows them from their school to their phone to their computer screen.”
As part of the Summit, Facebook rolled out a new set of anti-bullying tools that allow users to privately report bullying to parents or teachers. In recognition of the serious consequences that often accompany issues of bullying, Facebook said the “social reporting” feature is intended to get reports of bullying to the people with the best chance of stopping it.”
Does your child text while driving? If the answer is “yes,” he or she is at the same risk of causing a fatal accident as someone who is driving while legally drunk. The statistics are far reaching and frightening.
Across the nation, celebrities and organizations are grappling with this escalating problem. Oprah Winfrey is taking a lead with her No Texting Campaign – don’t temp f8, that txt can w8 and inviting all drivers to take her No Phone Zone Pledge. Her website now includes a growing bank of resources such as the video What you really see when you’re texting.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending distracted driving in this country. You can learn more about their program at Distraction.gov.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles is currently enforcing the following cell phone laws:
Bottom line: Do not text while driving!
If you have resources 2WebWatchers could add to this blog and include in our Internet Safety presentations, please post a comment.
Note: Image copied from Oprah.com
California Assembly members are proposing a bill that would expand on the 2007 Chavez bill (AB 307) requirement for teaching Internet safety in California public schools. The Chavez bill originally addressed the need to teach students about copyright and fair use. The bill was later amended to include a section on Internet safety.
A new bill, AB 678 (Hall) Education Technology, extends the Chavez bill to require California school districts’ 3- to 5-year technology plans to include Internet safety guidelines and criteria that educates students and teachers on the negative impacts of cyberbullying and the responsible use by students of mobile communication technology. The EGUSD 2009-2012 technology plan clearly delineates the district’s commitment to continue our outreach to teachers, students, and parents on the safe, effective, and ethical use of the Internet.
If you would like to track AB 678′s journey through the Legislature, bookmark this link: http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/Bills/AB_678/.
One of the goals of the 2WebWatchers blog is to keep our EGUSD community at large informed of changes in federal, state, and district guidelines pertinent to the teaching of Internet safety. Another goal is to provide you with resources that can be used in K-12 classrooms and at home. We have a new addition to our collection of EGUSD student-produced, award-winning Internet safety videos: Blog Safely. This PSA was produced by 4th grade filmmakers in Lesley McKillop’s classroom at Prairie Elementary and received Honorable Mention at the recent SEVA Awards Night.
As always, we invite your comments and feedback.