Monthly Archives: January 2016

WA State re-introduces the HWB in 2016

Eleven Washington State House Representatives have sponsored the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill (HB 2894). Another 11 state Senators of both parties are sponsoring the Senate companion bill (SB 6532). The HWB defines health-harming abusive conduct and makes it unlawful for employers to allow it to happen.

This marks the return of the legislation to Washington, absent since 2012. Washington was the 4th state to ever introduce the legislation.

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Dr. Patricia Agatston Named President of the International Bullying Prevention Association

Dr. Patricia Agatston
Dr. Patricia Agatston (from LinkedIn)

Dr. Patricia Agatston has been announced the new president of the International Bullying Prevention Association, a nonprofit aimed at preventing bullying.

The International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) strives to make schooling systems a safer place for children by creating a safe learning environment that is free from all bullying behaviors. The organization does this through research based bullying prevention training, practices, and support.

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Unfriended Redefines Cyberbullying

(NOTE:  If anybody who reads this has seen this film, I’d be interested in your reaction.  I hadn’t heard about it until I read this post.  — Mike Tully, Editor)

There is a film that was released in 2015 that combines the elements of a horror film with the everyday activity of skyping one’s friends. The film is called “Unfriended” and there are a few things about this film that makes it slightly different from most horror films. For one thing, the entire movie shows a teenage girl’s laptop screen as she skypes her friends and does some things with the internet. There is a backstory behind the film: there is a video of a girl named Laura Barns that was posted on the internet. The video shows her behaving in a rather strange behavior as she attends a party where she is under the pretense that she is drunk; this causes Laura to ultimately commit suicide, 3 months after the video’s release.

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How to Stop Bullying (AU)

In spite of countless advocacies, bullying remains rampant. A new research reveals a multi-tiered approach and recommendations for peers, parents, schools and new media platforms to stop bullying.

Published in the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the study has taken into account more than 20 years of bullying research. According to study author Amy Bellmore, bullying is not a harmless rite of passage for children. It is destructive to youth, schools and the general public, so stakeholders must take these suggestions seriously.

Peers Higher levels of bullying happen when victims are not defended by their peers in their classrooms than in classrooms where pupils try to stop the bullying. Bellmore encourages students to share their emotional reactions, offer support and come up with peaceful alternatives to protect the victims.

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Only 46% of Students Feel Valued in Their School

What is your aspiration as a teacher?

What about as a leader? Do you have one?

What if a student walked up to you and asked if you knew their aspiration…would you know it?

As a teacher I’m not so sure I knew the aspirations of all of my students. Who has the time for all of that? We have so much curriculum to get to, tests to score, and grades to give. Unfortunately, the more we try to shove at them, the more they believe we don’t understand them at all. Students want to know their teachers and leaders understand them.

In a student voice survey (Quaglia & Corso) of more than 66,000 students in grades 6 through 12, some pretty eye-opening information was provided.

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Workplace Bullies Are Bad, Really

By now you’re probably tired of hearing about workplace bullying, or bullying in general.

First it was labeled a schoolyard problem, then a big issue throughout schools and colleges. Then bullying was discovered in the workplace. First it was over-bearing owners and managers, then we discovered that it was also possible for employees to bully other employees.

Don’t misunderstand me; these are serious and ongoing problems. Bullying in one of its many forms can destroy lives. Yet it’s important to realize this didn’t start yesterday or this morning. Ultimately, human nature is the problem and it hasn’t changed dramatically in many, many years. I don’t expect that to change soon.

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Safer Internet Day 2016: Play Your Part for a Better Internet invites you to celebrate Safer Internet Day 2016! In recognition of the day, now celebrated around the world in more than 100 countries, we’ll bring together youth leaders, educators, policy makers, parents, Internet safety experts and executives from the leading tech companies to focus not just on problems but solutions for a better Internet. Can’t make it to the event? Watch the livestream!

Event highlights

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How Empowering Influential Kids Can Change School Culture For the Better

Want to change your school’s culture? Start with the right students.

A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals some important clues on how to change a school’s mores. The gist of the findings? To change school norms, the most well-connected students have to lead the way.

Scholars Elizabeth Paluck, Hana Shepherd and Peter Aronow, who conducted the yearlong project in 56 New Jersey middle schools during the 2012-13 academic year, sought to discover the impact of student-led anti-conflict programs on kids’ behavior. When it was over, they found that groups led by influential students were most successful in changing the way fellow students treated one another. Indeed, in those schools where an average number of  well-connected kids took part in the campaign, reports of student conflict dropped by 30 percent.

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Kind is the New Cool

(Thanks to Charles Eisenstein — Mike Tully, Editor)

When I was in high school, I remember social banter consisting of a lot of subtle put-downs and one-upsmanship. The popular kids were generally not very nice, certainly not to us unpopular kids but not even to each other. I remember a few popular kids being nice to me on the sly, but in group settings even those nice ones would join in the dominating behavior, or, at best, surreptitiously divert attention away from the victims. If they were overtly kind, they risked being grouped in with the losers. Social status came from winning, from dominating. Kindness was a recessive gene in the social DNA.

Until recently, I thought this is just how teenagehood is in our culture. Not that kids are inherently cruel, but that deeply entrenched social conditions cast the majority into a state of insecurity from which bullying behavior inevitably arises. But over the last few years I am seeing more and more evidence of a profound sea-change in youth culture.

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‘It put me on antidepressants’: welcome to GOMI, the cruel site for female snark

Jenna Andersen is a 30-year-old ex-Mormon photographer who lives in San Francisco’s suburbs. She writes the blog That Wife, where she posts diary-style entries about enrolling in developer bootcamp, breastfeeding her children, and baking zucchini cupcakes.

This month, Andersen is up for her third Lifetime Failchievment Award from the website GOMI for contributing “the most WTF content” in a year.

“Her very existence has proven to me that there’s no God,” wrote one commenter nominating her for the Failchievement last year. Another, Gail, agreed: “There is no worse person (or blogger) on the planet.” A third, from Susan C: “She does not sound deserving of any child now, or in the future.”

Welcome to GOMI, short for Get Off My Internets, a website devoted to chronicling the chronicles of the internet famous. Stylistically, it borrows Gawker’s snark and Reddit’s threads, tackling fashion, food, lifestyle and motherhood blogs with a gimlet eye. If lifestyle blogs are a picnic of optimistic, well-styled, sarcasm-free conversations about kids and mason jar crafts, GOMI is the crowd in the corner predicting the hostess’s imminent divorce.

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