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Archive for March 2012

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Please Share Your Cyber Bullying Stories!

cyber bullying facts and statistics cyber bullying stories
Cyber Bullying Fact: More than 50% of all American teens have experienced cyber bullying.
Have you experienced cyber bullying? Have your children or students asked you questions about cyber bullying? We would love for you to share your cyber bullying stories with us. We believe that by creating a list of personal experiences related to cyber bullying we can learn from them and pass that learning on to younger generations.
If you were a victim, participant, or even the cyber bully we would like to hear your side. You can find the contact form on the right hand side of the page, or just click here to submit your cyber bullying story.
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Should You Let Your Kids Watch the New Weinstein Company Movie "Bully"?

cyber-bullying-facts-and-statistics-weinstein-company-bully-movie
Yes!
First allow me to clarify. I do not have kids so I will not pretend to know what is best for your children, but having been bullied throughout my formative years I cannot help but demonstrate a strong reaction to the subject.
I had a hard time believing the news after learning the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) refused to lower their R-rating of the Weinstein Company's new movie Bully. Then I learned something surprisingly horrifying:
Cyber Bullying Fact: The MPAA is nothing but an anonymous group of parents based in the Los Angeles area assigning movie ratings using applied "family values".
Why does that bother me so? Until yesterday I had naively believed the MPAA was a legitimate association who used some type of advanced algorithm to assign ratings based on a specific set of criteria. It scares me to think that this secretive group can determine what "family values" are for general American public.
Their decision to give the movie an R-rating effectively disenfranchised the youth who would stand to benefit from viewing it. The Weinstein Company has since decided to release the movie unrated but has struck up a deal with AMC to show the film at select theaters.
I do not expect a majority of teenagers to enter the theater with an open mind, in fact I think quite the opposite. Call me a pessimist (though I prefer realist) but I think a lot of teens would want to see this movie for a good laugh. The optimist in me though, however small it may be, also believes that at least a few of those same teens may choose to treat others differently after being exposed to both sides of the bullying.
I do hope you choose to allow your children or students to view and learn from this film. Please talk to your kids about bullying and make sure they know how their actions can affect others in ways many teens cannot comprehend without some quality guidance.

Watch the official Bully trailer below:

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Cyber Bullying Facts: Is My Child a Cyber Bully?

No parent wants to believe their child is a cyber bully. Who can blame them? The truth is that more than half of all American kids experience cyber bullying either as a participant, victim, or bully. If you believe your child may be a cyber bully there are some steps you can take to find out.
1) Look for Common Warning Signs of Cyber Bullying - The Illinois Attorney General's Office published a checklist of warning signs to look for if you think your child may be a cyber bully. Some of the most common warning signs include your child minimizing the computer screen whenever an adult enters the room, refusing to talk about their social interactions, owning multiple accounts, and altering someone else's photo.
2) Ask Your Child - Direct and simple. If you have been wondering "Is my kid a cyber bully?" one of the easiest ways to find out is to ask them directly. Hopefully they will tell you the truth, but if not it shouldn't be too tough to read their reaction to the question. Explain to your child what a cyber bully is and ask if they have ever participated in those types of actions.
3) Talk To Other Teachers and Parents - If you suspect that your child is involved in online bullying contact other parents or your child's teachers to ask if they are aware of any incidents involving bullying. Asking this question may seem a bit awkward or embarrassing at first but it is especially important that parents are proactive in regard to their child's online activities.
4) Log In to Your Child's Account (With Their Permission) - Unless you feel the need to take immediate drastic measures you could ask your son or daughter if he or she would feel comfortable letting you 'snoop' for a bit. If they agree, let them sit next to you while you browse their profiles, messages, and pictures. Not all kids will agree to this request (especially the older teens) so do not let their disapproval automatically make you believe they are guilty. Everyone values their privacy.
5) Install Internet Monitoring Software on Your Computer - Personally I am not a fan of Internet monitoring software but I know there are many valid reasons to use it. Parents and schools frequently use this type of software to monitor kids' Internet actions and social interactions. I have two good friends that both use Internet monitoring software called PC Tattletale and they're very happy with its results. I would probably use this method as a last-resort.
Hopefully we have provided you with some useful guidelines to find out if your child is a cyber bully. Take the time to talk to your child about cyber bullying and explain to him or her the effect that it has on their peers. Check out another of our useful articles 5 Ways to Prevent Cyber Bullying.
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