Monthly Archives: October 2015

9-R students create teacher-bashing tweets (CO)

durango_high_school_thumbCyberbullying on social media has been happening across the country, and now, after a couple of episodes at Durango High School involving students bullying students, it’s a case of students cyberbullying teachers.

A Twitter handle established in mid-October, which contains a profanity and uses both the term 9-R and the Demons’ copyrighted logo, has a feed full of obscenities, a religious slur, accusations of inappropriate actions with students and suggestions of domestic violence regarding teachers at Durango High School. Tweets like these can damage teachers’ careers and reputations.

“Those are some pretty heavy accusations,” said Lindsay Nyquist, social media and video coordinator for Fort Lewis College. “I do a lot of teaching of college students about social media and digital presence, and the one thing I stress is that this could be part of their permanent record. Even if they delete it later, even after a second, someone could have captured a screenshot, and it could affect their ability to be admitted to college or when they’re job hunting.”

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LGBTQ Students: More Than Victims of Bullying

For October, Anti-bullying Month, we are engaging several key sociologists who research gender and sexuality in education in conversations on LGBTQ bullying. This is the second of these posts.

Jessica Fields,Ph.D. is a Professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality and studies sexuality education in middle schools, high schools, jails, and universities.

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School Gets Lesson for Barring Lesbian T-Shirt

nobody-lesbianA Northern California high school that sent a girl home for wearing a “Nobody knows I’m a lesbian” T-shirt, claiming she was “promoting sex,” is facing a federal lawsuit for it.

Sixteen-year-old T.V. and her mother sued two assistant principals at Sierra High School in Manteca, a town of 72,000 just south of Stockton.  They claim assistant principal Dan Beukelman and vice principal Greg Leland violated the state and federal constitutions and the California Education Code by censoring her shirt with claims that it was “promoting sex” and “an open invitation to sex.”

Leland sent her home from school on Aug. 10 after she refused his order to change it. She says he told her “that she was not allowed to display her ‘sexuality’ on clothing.”

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(Graphic courtesy of Courthouse News Service)

StopIt app tries to prevent children from cyber bullying

BLOG-8-24-15-APPSBullying is a problem around the world. About 1 in 3 children say they’ve been bullied. While there have been strides made thanks to awareness of the problem, cyber-bullying is a growing problem which makes it harder than ever for victims. A new app adopted in schools across the U.S. is helping to make it easier to report cyber bullying.

The vast majority of bullying in America still happens in person in school. But a growing number of students are now being cyber bullied.“What we’re finding is that cyber bullying or online harassment isn’t more common than in-person bullying and harassment, but it exacerbates because it’s an additional form that people are experiencing. So if you’re bullied in school, you are also more likely to then get it online and that exacerbates what’s already going on because you can’t get away from it,” said Joe Kosciw, the chief research and strategy officer of GLSEN.

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Henry A. Giroux | Schools as Punishing Factories: The Handcuffing of Public Education

(NOTE:  This article is from early August, but I’m including it because of the recent episode in South Carolina in which Deputy Sheriff Ben Fields used excessive physical force against a female high school student.  The Sheriff appropriately fired Deputy Fields for his actions.  While I do not necessarily endorse all of the author’s opinions, this piece is certainly relevant to the current national discussion.  — Mike Tully)

The Nobel Prize-winning author Ngugi wa Thiong’o has insisted rightfully that “Children are the future of any society,” adding, “If you want to maim the future of any society, you simply maim the children.”

If one important measure of a democracy is how a society treats its children – especially children of color, poor and working-class youth, and those with disabilities – there can be little doubt that the United States is failing. Half of all public school children live in near poverty, 16 million children receive food stamps and 90 percent of Black children will be on food stamps at some point during childhood. Moreover, too many children are either incarcerated or homeless.

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FBI, Justice Department Open Civil Rights Probe of S.C. Student’s Arrest

(NOTE:  Deputy Ben Fields has been fired by the Richland County Sheriff for his actions against the student.  Teachers and school administrators deal with students like this on a frequent basis and the episodes are addressed professionally and without violence.  There was no need to physically assault the student.  The school should have called her parents and asked them to come get her and take her home.  The student should have been immediately suspended and a Goss v Lopez due process proceeding scheduled.  Finally, if that meant leaving the student in the classroom to avoid a physical confrontation, so be it.  I have heard commentators say that would send the wrong message to the other kids.  What about the message that was sent?  If the incident resulted in a suspension, that’s an appropriate message.  Another take on this incident:  there has been a paucity of research into bullying of school kids by adult staff members.  From what I’ve heard from researchers I stay in contact with, such bullying is more common than most believe.  More work needs to be done. — Mike Tully)

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina will investigate the recorded arrest of an African-American girl who was violently thrown from her seat by a school resource officer in front of her classmates on Monday.

“The Columbia FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a student at Spring Valley High School,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence in order to determine whether a federal law was violated. As this is an ongoing investigation, per Department of Justice policy we are unable to comment further at this time.”

It’s unclear how the student was behaving before her classmates started filming, but she does not appear to be loud or violent in the video. Multiple media outlets are reporting that a school administrator called the officer to the classroom after the student defied a teacher’s command that she put her cell phone away and then refused to follow the administrator to his office.

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About 25% of Dutch workers bullied, assaulted

DUTCH FLAGAbout a quarter of Dutch workers are being bullied at work. This involves verbal- and sometimes even physical attacks. Employers are not doing enough to protect their staff members.

This is according to a study done by TNO, AD reports. Sectors that are most affected by bullying include healthcare, housing and retail.

A total of 1.6 million employees have to deal with aggression and violence in the workplace at least once a year, according to TNO researcher Seth van den Bossche. This includes customers, passengers, patients or pupils attacking employees. This is done in a number of manners, including verbal attacks, spitting, kicking, assaulting or even attacking with a weapon.

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DIGITAL AGE LITERACIES – Findings and Recommendations

ASPEN INSTITUTE(Thanks to the Aspen Institute for this interesting and informative study from 2014.  While this is not a new study, it’s an important work and I wanted my visitors to have  access to it. – Mike Tully)


•One of the most effective ways of keeping young people safe online is to equip them with the knowledge and skills to understand and respond appropriately to the risks they may encounter on the Internet and mobile platforms.

•The same literacy skills that help keep young people safe online are also critical in enabling them to take full advantage of online learning opportunities.

•The literacies that young people need encompass media literacy, digital literacy and social-emotional literacy.

•Researchers have identified critical components of these literacies, and many schools now provide some training in these skills, but no widely accepted standards or curriculum exist for consistent teaching of these three literacies.

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Medical student offered good marks for sex (NZ)

NEW ZEALANDOne New Zealand doctor has been axed after offering a medical student good marks in return for sex.

“It was suggested that if she [the student] slept with him, he would make sure she got good marks, which, one, he was in the position to do, and, two, she did not want to and, three, she did not,” says the University of Otago School of Medicine programme director Dr Branko Sijnja.

Since then his District Health Board job has not been renewed and the Medical Council says he will be subject of a professional inquiry.

It has been revealed at least three experienced consultants have lost jobs for bullying and sexual harassment within the health sector, the New Zealand Herald reports.

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Reports of bullying in Kentucky schools increase, partly because of changed criteria

The number of reports of Kentucky public school students bullying, harassing or threatening others more than tripled from 2012 to 2015.

The preliminary results were in school safety data that the Office of Education Accountability staff presented last week to lawmakers on the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee.

The number of reported violations could be due to increased reporting requirements as well as increased violations, OEA acting director Karen Timmel told the Herald-Leader.

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