Is Your Teen A Victim Of A Cyberbully? Would You Know?

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness day right around the corner on May 7th, 2015.  Bullying and cyberbullying can cause long term emotional scars.  Many times teens will hide these bruises from their parents – pretending to be brave – as if it isn’t cool to be sad or depressed.

Bullying has changed from the days of taking someone’s lunch money or giving them a swirly in the bathroom. Now, children are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying, or the use of electronic communication to bully a person. In fact, 20-30% of today’s children will be cyberbullied, and 10-20% of students will be cyberbullies.

However, it can be tricky for a parent to figure out if their child is experiencing cyberbullying; more than half of the children who experience cyberbullying do not tell their parents about it. And while around 55% of teens report having observed bullying behavior online, 95% report ignoring the behavior when it was observed.

There are a few tell-tale signs that can give clues that your child might be engaged in cyberbullying. For example long periods and odd hours of internet use, or changes in a child’s patterns of internet use, can signify cyberbullying. A child engaging in cyberbullying behavior might also become upset if their internet usage is confronted or cut off by their parents. Children with excessive social media accounts may be using them to follow and harass others.

Is Your Child A Cyberbully: Facts About Cyberbullying

Attribution – YellowBrick Program

Grownup Bullying: When Adults Act Badly

The 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute survey (PDF) was released.

37 million workers reported being subjected to “abusive conduct” and 65.5 million are affected by this behavior. Whether it was those abused or people that witnessed it, peer cruelty is happening in workplaces across our country.

We often discuss children when it comes to bullying and cyberbullying. Sadly adult bullying topics are rarely in the headlines.

This is not to diminish the fact that our youth are important, the fact they are killing themselves over words of hatred and learning to treat each other with such cruelty is despicable.

We have to take a moment to realize, does it start at the top?

Parents, teachers, coaches and all grownups, especially those in the workplace should be people that our children respect.

The recent PSA released by VH1 is a reminder that the very people may be making fun of today could end up being your bosses for later. Like with many ad-campaigns, it can be extreme. Sadly the fact that many kids are tormented and harassed is true.

Is the PSA tasteful? There are many opinions. The message is there, and that is what needs to be heard.

No one is immune to bullying. At any age it is not right. Kindness will always take you so much further in life.

The Bully Text: National Bullying Prevention Month

BullyText2013_Assets_facebook_cover‘The Bully Text’ utilizes SMS to educate young people on how to step up to bullying in their community

DoSomething.org and The Wireless Foundation announce the launch of The Bully Text, a unique mobile experience that allows young people to walk through a day at a virtual high school to explore the ways that they can step up to bullies in common bullying situations. With an estimated 160,000 kids skipping school each day to avoid being bullied[1],  DoSomething.org developed The Bully Text to educate students on how to stop bullying in their schools.

The Bully Text is a text messaging game set during an imaginary first day of school. In the game, participants experience different bullying situations and are given options on how they can react. Depending on how the participant reacts in the different situations, they walk down different paths that each offer unique endings. The SMS education experience is meant to emulate common bullying situations, show different ways to react and offer an example of the impact of their actions.

For the second year of The Bully Text, DoSomething.org found a natural partner in The Wireless Foundation and their mission: bringing organizations, people, and technology together so wireless innovations will continue to enhances lives in communities across the United States.  Last year over 68,000 young people took part in the campaign, and 89% of participants reported having a better idea of how to stop bullying in their school after playing the game. This year, young people who participate will be entered to win a $3,000 scholarship.

The Bully Text is part of DoSomething.org’s proprietary mobile gaming model – through which they built their mobile subscriber list to over 1.3 young people. With the average teen sending 3,339 texts a month and texts having a 99% open rate; SMS is a powerful tool to effectively engage young people on issues they care about.

“We all remember that moment, that feeling. You see something you don’t quite agree with in school, something you know is wrong. But do you act? It’s hard for young people to know how to deal with those situations first hand” said Greg Thomas, campaign manager at DoSomething.org. “Through The Bully Text, we’re providing young people with a chance to understand what it’s like to experience bullying through different roles, and reflect on how they can change their behavior to help them step up to bullying in their school.”

For full campaign details, visit www.dosomething.org/bullytext or text BULLY to 38383.

[1] National Association of School Psychologists (http://www.nasponline.org/)

Third Annual BLUE SHIRT DAY – World Day of Bullying Prevention

Love Our Children USA announced today the Third Annual BLUE SHIRT DAY™ – WORLD DAY OF BULLYING PREVENTION to kickoff  National Bullying Prevention Awareness month during October. The Blue Shirt Day™– World Day of Bullying Prevention is an initiative of STOMP Out Bullying™ to combat bullying and cyberbullying.

This time of year should be an exciting time for students returning to school …learning, seeing old friends and making new ones; but the reality for many is often very different. They’re the victims of bullying at school, on playgrounds and online. They’re afraid to go to school for fear of being bullied.

To signify the importance of National Bullying Prevention Awareness month, STOMP Out Bullying™, a signature program of Love Our Children USA™, created Blue Shirt Day™- World Day of Bullying Prevention which is observed on the first Monday of October. On this day, we ask kids and adults alike to make Monday, October 3rd, the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world by wearing a Blue Shirt in solidarity to STOMP Out Bullying.

With the new school year beginning, this is a call to action for students, schools and workplaces across the country. Hundreds of schools across the country have agreed to participate and many more are expected to join.

This year’s campaign not only offers a newly designed “limited edition” blue shirt, it will create an even greater awareness with a PSA. The PSA will air on major TV and cable networks, as well as online.

Ross Ellis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of STOMP Out Bullying™ said: “Kids who are intimidated, threatened, or harmed by bullies and cyberbullies often experience low self-esteem and depression. Some take their lives as an alternative. Many do not understand how extreme bullying can get. Parents, teachers and school administrators must use sensitivity in handling these issues. They must also work to make the victims more resilient, as well as working to help change the behavior of the bully. Schools can no longer sweep the issue under the rug.”

STOMP Out Bullying™ offers students a safe haven. From information and resources, to an online area where youths can talk about the issue, to getting involved in social media efforts, signing a petition, raising awareness, Blue Shirt Day and celebrity PSAs and a HelpChat Line for kids and teens who are bullied, cyberbullied and at-risk for suicide, and a soon to be launched area where students can upload videos about their experiences with bullying and why they want to end bullying.

We ask kids, teens and adults to participate BLUE SHIRT DAY™- WORLD DAY OF BULLYING PREVENTION by wearing the STOMP Out Bullying™ “limited edition” blue shirt or wear their own blue shirt.

And from September 29th – October 19th the biggest celebrities will participate in the Fourth Annual STOMP Out Bullying Auction on charitybuzz.com. Some of last year’s celebrities include: Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bill Joel, Bette Midler, Ellen Degeneres, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Dancing With the Stars and Tom Bergeron, American Idol and a host of other very notable stars.

Ellis said: “We are so grateful to all of our partners joining us in this fight to STOMP Out Bullying. Bullying can be so painful and clearly has played a role in recent suicides across the country. And cyberbullying is in full force with the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and other sites popular with kids and teens. This social online cruelty is used by individuals or groups intending to harm our youth. Bullying starts as early as kindergarten. We have to look at prevention as a community issue. It’s up to parents, schools, law enforcement and the students to work together to educate and prevent – putting an end to the violence and to the suicides.

The parents of Scott Walz, Sladjana Vidovic, Phoebe Prince, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, Jesse Logan, Hope Witsell (Florida), Ryan Halligan and all of the others who took their lives know only too well, because they their kids could no longer take the daily torment.

They might be here today if their schools had listened and taken a stand against all forms of bullying.Students should be educated about the harmful effects of bullying and cyberbullying. They can begin by observing and participating in National Bullying Prevention Awareness month and BLUE SHIRT DAY™- WORLD DAY OF BULLYING PREVENTION.

Recent Statistics Show:

  • 1 out of 4 kids is Bullied.
  • Approximately 160000 kids stay home from school each day due to the fear of being bullied
  • 43% of teens, 97% of middle schoolers and 47% of older teens 18-24 are cyberbullied
  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school

To learn more about hoe you can help your child handle bullying or if your child is a bully, visit www.stompoutbullying.org.

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Sue Scheff: STOMP Out Bullying Launches New Website in time for School Openings

Shortly school will be opening throughout our country, bullying is an expanding and explosive form of malicious attacks on kids and teens.  Whether you are being attacked verbally or online, bullying hurts! Bullying can leave long lasting emotional scars that people may not be able to see on the outside, but on the inside a child is hurting.

STOMP Out Bullying™ is an initiative of Love Our Children USA™ the National nonprofit leader that honors, respects and protects children. Its mission is to break the cycle of violence against children. Since 1999, it has paved the way in prevention and has become the ‘Go-To‘ prevention organization for all forms of violence and neglect against children in the U.S.

STOMP Out Bullying has proudly launched their new website as a new school year is about to begin.  This website offers a vast amount of educational and valuable information on bullying prevention, hotlines, and many fantastic celebrity videos and PSA’s.

For parents, educators, administers, daycare providers, STOMP Out Bullying new website also offers an adult page.  On this page you will find tip sheets to help you understand and prevent bullying and cyberbullying, as well as cell phones and mobile safety.

With school only a few weeks away, take the time to be prepared and educated on a very serious concern today, bullying.

Bullying hurts. Watch video are read more.

Sue Scheff: Bullying Causes 11 year-old to Commit Suicide

What prompts an 11 year-old fifth grader to commit suicide? What drives them to a closet with a belt to end their life? What could possibly be so bad that you cannot go on living? It comes back to that horrible world of bullying!

In Florida we have heard these bullying stories too often. In October 2009 Michael Brewer, 15 year-old, was nearly burned to death by other teens. In March of 2010 Josie Ratley, 15 years-old, was nearly beaten to death. In April 2010 Anthony Jones, 16 year-old, was shot and allegedly on a text hit list.

Now we have an 11 year old in Port St. Lucie, Florida, that felt life, just over a decade long, was too difficult to deal with. Celina Okwuone was found in her bedroom closet by her parents. Police say she used a belt to wrap around her neck and she had wrapped the belt around the metal shelving. Her father tried to lift her up and her mother tore the shelving from the wall.

According to reports, her parents later found her diary where she had written that she was being bullied by classmates at St. Anastasia Catholic School in Fort Pierce.

It is time to check your School Climate and BullyBust your communities! If you haven’t had the time to form or take part in an anti-bullying.

Watch video.  Many prayers and thoughts are with the Owuone family and friends.  Read more.

Sue Scheff: Bully Bust Your School and Community Today

Do we need to hear more acts of violence, bullying and vicious text rage?  Do we need to hear it escalating to text hit lists or teens making bombs?  In reality, this is not an exageration, it is happening. 

In Broward County we have the horrific stories of Josie Lou Ratley, an eight grader that was nearly beaten to death and Michael Brewer, a teen that was nearly burned to death.

In Brevard County we have Cameron Lee Kage, a teen that was accused of creating a deadly bomb with all the materials and instructions to potentially set it off at his school.

In Duval County there is Anthony Jones that was allegedly on a text hit list in his school and was shot.

We don’t need another incident to wake-up our state and our county the serious cry for help with our teens and kids today.

BullyBust is is an awareness campaign designed to reduce bullying in schools by teaching students and adults how to stand up to bullying and promote upstander behavior. An upstander is someone who witnesses bully behavior and does something about it. Use the resources on BullyBust.org to transform your school or community from one of passive bystanders to a community of positive upstanders. Together we can put an end to bullying!

Educators, get critical supports for your school and join a dedicated community of schools nationwide: Sign up for the Partner School Program today.

Join BullyBust on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Sign the BullyBust Stand UP Pledge today!

Read more.