About Me

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A twenty something year old who teaches and coaches, but has been thrown a curve ball. I've been blessed with the surprise of the arrival of a little one in August. My hubby and I are thrilled, scared, excited, and nervous about the arrival.

Friday, April 17, 2009

When will it end...

When will someone step into the spotlight and demand that controls must be set online. They are set in every other aspect of our life: drinking, driving, smoking, to name a few. Last night, in class, we discussed the importance to involve parents in the understanding of what the internet is doing to their child's generation. At what point do we demand social networking sites to have an age limit and if their are age limits at what point do we require verification for ages? It is quite sad that children feel they can change their age online to appear cooler, or be a different person. Why are we teaching our future that it is okay to lie, to cheat, to be deceitful?

Thursday, April 16, 2009


A terrible story of an 11 year old boy who has just taken his life due to bullying.

Again regardless of whether it is online or in school, the horrors that confront Carl's family and friends based on the decisions of children who relentlessly bullied another, Carl. It is with great sadness that in this world of fight and war, even within our schools, where students should find hope and safety, there is a comparable war they too are fighting. It saddens me to hear of another death, another "bullicide" that could have and should have been prevented. My heart goes out to the Walker Family and I wish Carl the peace and happiness he deserves.

A Side Note:
This story was sent to me this morning after I had just finished by professional blog for my Technology for School Administrators course I am taking through Loyola College in Maryland. With all of the research and reading I have been doing on cyberbullying and whether or not schools should get involved, I am beginning to become extremely irritated with the incidents that have been occurring for the past two months. Within these last few months, I have read of at least 4 incidents similar to the one above. I guess society is recognizing that this is occuring more frequently and the national news is not highlighting these horrid stories. Something needs to be done.

One option I personally have been thinking about is that students and children under the age of 18 should have monitors of their accounts and pages. If we regulate driving ages, drinking ages, Rated R movie ages, then we certainly should be able to regulate webpage space ages...right? I am in the beginning stages of brainstorming how to fix this issue and how to carry out the idea of regulating behind a computer screen. The hidden identity of predators, whether a sexual predator or a harassing classmate predator, the same regulations need to be put into place. If children feel they are being monitored, things may start to change. Sexual predators online are getting tons of TV time with many different types of ways to catch them, as they should be, but we need this for bullies too. We need to clear the web space of rude, nasty, and sick children who think it is okay to hurt others through the computer screen.

I am strongly disgusted by the comments I have been reading on YouTube when I typed in "CyberBullying" to the search. There are even rude remarks about the videos submitted on kids who have committed suicide. Some saying about how "they [those who have committed suicide] are pathetic for letting something so silly ruin their whole life"...kids just don't get the severity. Adults need to teach them the severity. I understand the difficult situation that is caused with parents who are older than the tech generation and have a hard time adapting, but these are lives on the line. Get it together, and start making a difference!

More to come...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Issue

The Controversy: Should schools get involved in cyberbullying that occurs at home?


A boy Jeffery Johnson, a 15 year old boy who committed suicide after being the object of internet bullying for two years, was the motivation of the law: "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act" (Fla. Stat. section 1006.147), that now stands in the way of kids accused of bullying in the form of teasing, social exclusion, threat, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, theft, sexual or racial harassment, public humiliation, and/or destruction of property. These types of bulllying will not be tolerated in hopes to deter future culprits and future victims of the damage easy cyber-bullying can cause. Florida is one of the few states who have started to institute this type of Law and take a stand for what is happening in cyberspace.
Twiggy, a young teenage boy was nicknamed for his small frame at his school in Ohio. Eric Mohat, a smart kid who was called ignorant names and phrases by his peers. Eric committed suicide after telling his mother that he could not go on like this, and that there were nearly nine weeks of school left. His parents would prefer the school site the incident as a "bullicide" rather than suicide; they strongly believe their son was bullied to death. "'It shouldn't require legal action to get the school system to pay more attention to bullying than they do to their sports programs,' said his father. 'How many suicides is enough?'"


Schools have no jurisdiction at what happens off its campus. You can similarly compare it to what happens in another county or district can not be investigated by different cops from another county or district. It is also important to note the fact that schools cannot bring fault to internet photos that surface of underage drinking and that is a similar offense to bullying on the internet, although, not nearly as hurtful to another person. In the recent passing of the "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act" (Fla. Stat. section 1006.147) in Florida, "Elliot Zimmerman, a veteran Florida cyberlaw attorney, said schools should not be allowed to get involved in matters outside school grounds. If one student, for example, sues another over slander on MySpace, this is a matter between two individuals and their parents, not the school, he said."

My position:

This issue is especially close to my heart since I work with middle school aged students everyday. The thoughts of what some kids may say to other kids in the privacy of their own home, sitting behind a computer screen, completely anynomous or even blatantly recognized scares me. Too many students go home to empty homes or disengaged parents. The number is astounding when looking at the statistics: it is mind boggling that every day up to 77 % of America's kids can come home to an empty home. They are specifically defined as latchkey kids: who carry a key in their pocket most likely arriving home to let themselves in with their key. More detailed statistics show 14 % of them come home everyday by themselves. These children who are under the age of 12 are left at home, unsupervised for up to an hour after school.

I strongly feel, as an educator many parents are to blame for their children's bullying behavior on the internet. The internet is a privelege, definitely not a right, and students need to understand the purpose of the internet and what benefits it has in society and the disadvantages it can cause havic to all sorts of people: young and old. Parents, teachers, and students all need to be taught the importance of anti-bullying and cyberbullying. Parents should learn how to watch for the warning signs of their child being a victim of this recent fad or the culprit of ignorant harassment of another human being.
I think not only should students be punished through the school system for breaking Code's of Character, I do believe students who are cyber bullies should be taken very seriously and each incident needs to be handled immediately and to its fullest consequence to use the incidents as life lessons. It is unfortunate that teens brains to not process decisions as quickly and as well as the adult brain and although, everyone makes mistakes it is crucial that students understand there are always rewards and consequences to one's actions. I am extremely for schools getting involved with cyberbullying that occurs at home.

Additional Information:

It is interesting to note since I am based out of Maryland that in the article Bills to curb cyber-bullying raise free-speech concerns, from the student Press Law Center: "Nicholaus R. Kipke, a Republican delegate in Maryland, introduced a bill that would make cyber-bullying a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine — an approach that places responsibility on law enforcement rather than on schools, he said."

Backspace, Delete, Reverse, Undo....Oops

Cyberbullies threatened everyone, not just school aged kids

How many times have you accidentally sent the wrong message or wished you hadn't clicked send? After you sent, I think you realize you should have never sent the message, but it is always too late.

So, in this blog I will focus on a Social and Legal Issue intertwined that student threats, whether to students, teachers, or high school officials, are dangerous and the teen brain is not able to function quick enough to process the damage they can cause and the once "funny joke" can be turned into a lifetime of horror, if you send it to the wrong person. The impulsivity of teens is unbelievable.

Below are several stories that will enlighten you and motivate you that something needs to be done to help the impulsivity of students on the internet.

  • Although not on the internet, this first case is a wake up call to how easily it can be said online, if a student will threaten face to face. Police Investigate Threats by Student: Recently, a twelve year old girl was questioned by police on a call about threatening a teacher and assistant principal. The young girl explained later she really did not mean should would kill her assistant principal and that she never threatened the teacher, but she did say she "hoped she died".
  • Student in the doghouse after MySpace death threat: A new recent trend: internet threats. In 2006, a college student was being investigated after threatening a professor's life, the incident was handed over to the university's judicial system.
  • Students excorted from Barre school after threat: Just last week two students were escorted out of their school in which they threatened to "shoot up a school" while playing an online game, they disclosed this information to another online gamer. The threat is being taken very seriously by the superintendent and this is just one of the many recent online threats to schools and students.
  • Unrelated to schools, this article investigates criminals using the internet to Skype calls so they cannot be wiretapped. Italy police warn of Skype threat
Of all of the articles, I highly recommend this article. It is about the many threats that surface the Web and can be hurtful to others. Cyberbullying has become easy and of course all, adults and children alike are more willing to leave mean comments anonymously online because of course they are not face to face and will not face many reprocussions. It is at this time, I feel strongly feel we need to do something to stop the "Easy Way Out", it is time we force and end to the hatred online.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The New Trend

Do You Remember...

I can remember when I was in high school the trend at the time was AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and that was the beginning of the social networking which inhibits a wide range of cyber-bullying. This type of technology is fascinating to young teens and adults, alike. It is what we crave: being on the internet, surfing the web, communicating without using communication skills we have all learned to foster throughout our life. We crave the excitement of speaking to someone through a computer screen. We enjoy the fast clicks of the keyboard as we type our conversation. The anticipation of what that person will say, is thrilling. Although, this form of technology can be very dangerous if we do not teach our students, our children, our future how to properly entertain the idea of using the web. Unfortunately, what is said through the internet is irreversible on some sites and it may be able to be deleted, but probably not before a handful or hundreds of people view the post.

ABOUT web2point0

This blog will incorporate important Social, Ethical, & Legal Issues regarding web safety and cyber-bullying. As a school administrator, I will provide links for you to inform yourself and provide the information to your students or children. I encourage you to discuss this information with your child (if you are a parent) and I ask you to teach the web safety in all classes across our school in order to keep our students safe.


All statistics were retrieved from isafe.org.
    Cyber Bullying Statistics
  • 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
  • 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
  • 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
  • 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once.
  • 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.
  • 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

  • Based on 2004 i-SAFE survey of 1,500 students grades 4-8