2WebWatchers had the pleasure of participating in “When Cyberbullying Spills Into School,“ a webinar hosted by edweek.org and sponsored by Talk About It Anonymous Communication Service. Presenters included two nationally-recognized experts on bullying: Nancy Willard, executive director, Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use and Barbara-Jane Paris, principal, Canyon Vista Middle School in Austin, Texas. Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions was the moderator for the event.
Much of students’ social lives outside of school these days takes place online, through social networking sites. And even though this form of bullying may happen most often after school hours, the impact from online conflicts and negative comments in cyberspace can directly affect a student’s in-school life, including the ability to learn. – edweek.org
Some of the questions addressed during the webinar included:
The webinar has been archived and you can access it here: http://www.edweek.org/go/webinar/Cyberbullying.
You can also download the PowerPoint presentation in PDF format here: http://www.edweek.org/media/2012-02-23-cyberbullying.pdf
We are already actively incorporating many of the thoughts and ideas shared in the webinar:
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.
2WebWatchers would like to acknowledge two new resources provided by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The first is Net Cetera – Chatting with Kids about Being Online, available as a free download (PDF) or as a booklet that you can order through OnlineOnguard.gov. Educators and parents can order multiple copies at bulkorder.ftc.gov. The booklet “covers what parents need to know, where to go for more information, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.” We really appreciate being able to provide our workshop participants with this great take-away.
In connection with Net Cetera, the FTC also recently posted a short video called “Stand Up to Cyberbullying.” This is a great tool to teach students to be kind online and stand up for bullying victims. The video calls cyberbullying a “lose-lose situation” because “it makes the person being harassed feel bad, and it makes the bully look bad.”
At a time when school councilors are spending countless hours dealing with issues of cyberbullying, including the current rage of Facebook “burn” pages, we thought readers might find the infographic below of interest. From the Schools.com organization, this infographic unveils ways college admission officers are looking at prospective students’ social media accounts.
Courtesy of: Schools.com
We’d love to hear your ideas on how to use this poster. If any of you shared it with students, what were their reactions? Were they surprised by any of the statistics? Did any voice concerns about their own digital footprints?