Monthly Archives: September 2015

School officials warn parents of cyber-bullying app (TN)

BLOG-8-24-15-APPSOfficials at one Midstate school are warning parents about a new smartphone app that could act as a platform for bullying.

The After School app allows students to anonymously bash their fellow students.

“It looks like an innocent app, but when you get into the app and you start seeing the things that are being posted,” said Vanessa Jacobs, technology coordinator at Davidson Academy. “It could be anybody saying anything about anything. That is, basically, could be a lie, could be truth, could be anything just to stir something up among students.”

Monday, Davidson Academy sent an email to parents warning them about the app. After School has already gained a reputation for facilitating cyber-bullying and threats of violence.

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The UN says we need to ‘wake up’ and fight violence against women and girls online

United Nations LogoThe internet is being used as a tool “to inflict harm on women and girls,” the United Nations declared (Thursday, September 24, 2015) in a powerful report that calls for worldwide action against rampant online violence that targets women. At stake: the safety and emotional well-being of women and girls — as well as “the digital inclusion of women everywhere.”

Pegged as a “world-wide wake-up call,” the report presents a staggering view of harm against women online. About one in three women worldwide will experience some form of violence in their lifetime, but the UN’s new report takes that analysis one step further; it shows that 73 percent of women have already been exposed to violence online or have experienced it firsthand. Nine million women in 28 European countries have experienced online violence at ages as young as 15. Women who are victims of “cyber-violence against women and girls” (cyber-VAWG) also experience emotional and financial consequences through legal fees and missed wages, among other things, the UN report states. “Cyber-VAWG is emerging as a global problem with serious implications for societies and economies around the world.” And because the internet is mobile, these threats are very difficult to avoid.

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International Bullying Prevention Conference to Convene in Denver

IBPAThe International Bullying Prevention Association is pleased to announce that Governor John Hickenlooper will be addressing the participants at this year’s annual conference in Denver.

Over 25 organizations will showcase their latest products and services for the field; there will be a screening of UnSlut, a new documentary film that explores the sexual shaming of girls, women and sexual assault victims, and a research panel of experts that will offer participants an opportunity to ask questions and learn the latest findings.

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Teens Charged with Possessing Naked Images of…Themselves

selfie_1(Thanks to Justin Patchin.  — Mike Tully)

Two sixteen-year-olds from Fayetteville, North Carolina, did what many teens who are in romantic relationships do: they talk, they text, they hang out. And they sent each other nude photos. Research shows that at least one-third of teens have engaged in this kind of behavior at some point in their lives. Technically speaking, though, youth who are under the age of 18 who participate in “sexting” have created and distributed child pornography, a serious crime that could land them in a lot of trouble.

This particular case is gaining headlines, not because the couple did something particularly unusual, but because prosecutors did: they charged the youth with possessing naked images of themselves.

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Is It Workplace Bullying To Unfriend A Co-worker?

BLOG_081815-3(NOTE:  The decision by the FWC does refer to the respondent “unfriending” the complaining party, but the decision did not turn on that finding.  Rather, Deputy President Wells seemed to invoke the “unfriending” as evidence of the respondent’s state of mind.  I would not cite this case as precedent for finding that “unfriending” somebody on Facebook, standing alone, constitutes workplace bullying.  However, it is clearly evidence that can suggest a bullying mind-set.  The lesson to Australian workers, especially managers, is to be careful what you do on Facebook and other social networking sites.  I suspect we’ll see a similar case in the States at some point, but that’s going to be years away.  You can read the Fair Work Commission opinion here.  – – Mike Tully)

Have you ever unfriended a current co-worker on Facebook? Well, a workplace tribunal Down Under has ruled that doing so could be considered a form of workplace bullying!

The decision arises from one employee’s complaint to Australia’s Fair Work Commission that she had been unfriended by a work colleague. According to a story in the Australian Financial Review, the tribunal thought the unfriending revealed a “lack of emotional maturity” and was “indicative of unreasonable behaviour.”

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Federal district court in Virginia issues opinion dismissing transgender student’s Title IX claim and denying his motion for a preliminary injunction in suit over use of the boys’ restroom

Scales of JusticeA federal district court in Virginia has issued a memorandum opinion regarding dismissal of a student’s Title IX claim, on July 27, 2015, and the denial of the student’s motion for a preliminary injunction, which was filed for the purpose of allowing the student to use the bathroom that corresponds with his sexual identity pending the court’s ruling on his Equal Protection claim.

The court dismissed the student’s claim that the school board’s policy excluding him from using the boys’ restroom based on his gender identity amounts to sex discrimination in violation of Title IX. It concluded that “the Title IX claim is precluded by Department of Education [(ED)] regulations.” Specifically, it pointed out that ED regulation 34 C.F.R. § 106.33 expressly “allows schools to provide separate bathroom facilities based upon sex, so long as the bathrooms are comparable.”

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Lawsuit contends Wyoming school failed to timely discipline bullying

CHEYENNE — A lawsuit filed against a western Wyoming school district contends school officials and coaches failed to timely discipline “one of the better” student athletes who was harassing and bullying other teammates.

The lawsuit against Lincoln County School District 2 was filed last week in U.S. District Court.

It contends that the district was negligent by failing to protect its students and that an unnamed student who was a victim of the particular student athlete in the fall of 2012 had his civil rights violated because of the failure to act promptly. The names of the students were not included in the lawsuit because they are minors.

The lawsuit says coaches of the Star Valley High School football and track teams failed to immediately act against the inappropriate behavior of a student athlete even though they were aware of the behavior.

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Inside story: Schools studying best way (NZ)

NEW ZEALANDYoung people requesting inappropriate photos from their boyfriend or girlfriend and distributing them to others is a growing cyber-bullying trend in high schools.

Aquinas College guidance counsellor Kristen Gilbert says the school is dealing with an average of two such cases a term, while nationally, Netsafe training and education specialist Lee Chisholm says parents have reported girls as young as nine sending and receiving nude photographs.

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North Carolina teens charged under child porn laws: What you need to know about teen sexting

selfie_1(Thanks to Larry Magid at  – Mike Tully)

The Washington Post and ABC News (video) are reporting that two North Carolina teens have been charged with manufacturing and possession of child pornography because they have naked pictures of each other on their phones. The teens are now 17 (they were 16 at the time) and they are old enough to be charged as adults. Had they been 18 it would not have been considered child porn and no charges would have been filed. Sixteen is also the age at which kids can have sex in North Carolina. As Dan Abrams said on ABC’s Good Morning America, they could look at each other naked but they can’t share pictures of each other in that state.

Because they are being charged as adults, some media outlets are disclosing their names. I’m not.

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