Monthly Archives: September 2016

How Social Media Helps Teens Cope With Anxiety, Depression, and Self-Harm

(Thanks to the Cyberbullying Research Center. – Mike Tully)

It is easy for many adults – whether educators or parents – to focus on the negatives of social media in the lives of teens today. This is understandable, because they are the ones who have to deal with the fallout when adolescents make mistakes online (cyberbullying incidents, sexting cases, electronic dating violence, digital reputation drama, and similar forms of wrongdoing). Whether they are categorized as moments of youthful indiscretion or instances of intentional harm towards others, they do happen. And we are left to help those teens pick up the pieces and ideally find a redemptive silver lining in it all.

However, it is worth pointing out and highlighting the fact that the vast majority of kids are doing the right things when it comes to social media. For example, our recent research based on national data from Summer 2016 from found that only 12% of middle and high school students have cyberbullied others. That of course means that 88% have not! Most youth are interacting responsibly, productively, and in meaningful ways. They are meeting the social and relational needs that all individuals have, and some of it is actually keeping them going.

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The Parent’s Guide to After School

(Thanks to Connect Safely.  – Mike Tully)

After School is an app for both Apple (iOS) and Android devices that lets high school students interact with other students at their school. Because it’s limited to fellow students at their school, it’s essentially a private network. No one other than fellow students can see what students post. Based in San Francisco, After School was founded in 2014 by Michael Callahan and Cory Levy “as a place for teens who want to be themselves, make new connections, and participate in positive activities – both online and offline,” according to its founders.


‘Workplace bullying remains a significant issue for the nursing profession’

It is over three years since the publication of the Francis report, which highlighted a culture of workplace bullying and fear, and demonstrated the consequences to patients and staff. Yet workplace bullying remains a significant issue for the nursing profession worldwide, and not only involves managers bullying their staff but also nurses bullying each other. Evidence from the US suggests 60% of all new nurses quit their first job within the first year due to workplace behaviour issues and 48% of graduating nurses are concerned they will become the target of workplace bullying.

This reminded me of an excellent article in our archive that explores the research into bullying and its causes, as well as different types of bullying and its impact on victims. You will find the section on combating, preventing and dealing with the problem particularly useful.

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Labour minister considers new laws to combat sexual harassment and bullying in the RCMP

OTTAWA — The federal labour minister is looking at whether Canada Labour Code reforms are needed to address harassment issues within the RCMP after hearing from a disgruntled female Mountie.

MaryAnn Mihychuk asked for a briefing from Public Safety officials after receiving a message from an RCMP member who alleged the Mounties had failed to “adequately address her complaints” of sexual harassment through internal procedures, an internal government memo reveals.

Mihychuk and her officials wanted to know more about the RCMP’s policies, procedures and guidelines to gauge the need for possible amendments to Part 2 of the Canada Labour Code, intended to protect employees from violence in the workplace.

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Family says 9-year-old boy ‘bullied to death

UPDATE:The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office released more information concerning the death of 9-year-old Jackson Grubb.

Deputies arrived at a residence in the Soak Creek area around 2:35 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. The call came in as a hanging.

“Based upon the examination of the scene and interview of various witnesses and neighbors foul play is not suspected,” according to the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office. The injuries appear to be self-inflicted. Grubb’s body was sent the the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office for examination.

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Ninth Circuit panel rules Oregon district did not violate student’s free speech rights when it disciplined him for off-campus sexually harassing speech

(Editor’s Note:  This case is interesting, because it focuses on the second prong of Tinker v Des Moines.  Most cases that cite Tinker cite the first prong, “substantial disruption” of the educational process.  In other words, situations that cause disruption to adults.  Rarely is the case, like this one, that cites the second prong, the right of students to be secure in the educational environment.  Far too many courts, when deciding cyberbullying cases, focus on the first prong and ignore the second.  So, this case is a breath of fresh air in that regard.  However, the speech was not necessary “off campus.”  The students were walking home from school.  That is merely an extension of the in-school jurisdiction since the activities took place in proximity to the school.  In fact, in Arizona, school districts can explicitly discipline students for “disorderly conduct on the way to and from school.”  A.R.S. § 15-341.A.13.  I don’t read this case as extending discipline jurisdiction to off-campus, but it is important because of the way the Court cited Tinker. — Mike Tully)

Abstract: A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit three-judge panel has ruled that a school district did not violate a student’s free speech rights when it disciplined him for engaging in off-campus, sexually harassing speech towards two other students. It also rejected his procedural and substantive due process claims.

The panel concluded that the school district had the authority to regulate off-campus student speech, and that its discipline of the student passed constitutional muster under Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

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Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week

(Editor’s Note:  Thanks to the Workplace Bullying Institute and the pioneering work they do. — Mike Tully)

Bullying is a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved. Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence. Because it is abusive it causes both emotional and stress-related physical harm.

Freedom from Bullies Week is a chance to break through the shame and silence surrounding bullying. It is a week to be daring and bold.


The Senior’s Guide to Online Safety

(Thanks to ConnectSafely.  — Mike Tully)

Most American seniors are now online. As of 2014, nearly 60% of Americans over 65 were Internet users, according to a Pew Research Center survey. That number is getting bigger all the time, and for good reason. The Internet is a great way to read the latest news, stay in touch with family, get medical information and manage appointments, renew prescriptions, and access medical records. It’s how many of us shop and bank without leaving our homes. For an increasing number of seniors, it’s a way to stay in the workforce and even launch a new career or business. And some seniors are going online to make new friends and to find romantic partners through online dating.

The reasons seniors go online are as varied as the users themselves and include:

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The effects of bullying

(Editor’s Note:  The research article referenced in this article can be accessed here.  — Mike Tully)

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless surrendered.”

– Michael J. Fox

Tommy was very often teased, mocked, and bullied in school and the neighborhood where he lived.

He was short in stature, and was being raised by a single mother in poverty conditions.

He only had two changes of clothes to go to school in.

The other children in his classes would laugh at him because he did not have a father, because of his dress, because he was considered a “nerd,” and most especially because he was smaller than his male classmates. Tommy was a subject of bullying.

Other students, teachers, nor other adults never once intervened.

Bullying is a most prolific in our society; our schools and communities, even today.

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Civics, the Election, and the Library: A Perfect Match

In July, we librarians and teachers are rarely thinking about school except in the manner that we always are: looking for interesting resources and thinking up new activities for the next school year. But this July brings us presidential conventions, and what happens there will impact us in schools into November and beyond. Teaching with and about the election process has always been a no-brainer; we hold debates and mock elections and tease out the issues while looking back in history to see how previous generations held their elections.

But this year seems different. A different tone, a different attitude, and a different trajectory toward that high office of President. Historically, discourse between candidates has not always been polite, but today we are currently seeing rhetoric that is also not always civil and feelings are running high all around.

I’ve heard many concerns about how to bring this election into the classroom and library with some teachers asking if they shouldn’t just underplay it and possibly not directly speak of it at all.

Advice from the Southern Poverty Law Center helps us to bring it back into perspective: “What’s at stake in the 2016 election is not simply who will be our 45th president or how the parties might realign, but how well we are preparing young people for their most important job: the job of being a citizen. If schools avoid the election – or fail to find ways to help students discuss it productively – it’s akin to taking civics out of the curriculum.”

So… what’s a school librarian to do?

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