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New Hampshire Kids Against Bullying

I Feel Helpless: An Article for Bystanders

We all feel helpless sometimes.  That's why it is important to face those fears and stand up against a bully.  Bystanders can be just as much of a problem as "bullies" or should I say people acting in a bullying manner.  Standing up might not always be the best decision.  You have to stand back and think is this the best plan of action?  An option that will always be a possibility is to tell a responsible adult.  I say "responsible" because there are some adults who might not understand the situation or might not be of any help.  You can not forget however, the fact that keeping it to yourself is the worse possible decision.  Keeping it to yourself may result in a nagging guilt that can interfere with school, social, physical health.  Your decision will affect the victim, the bully and possibly other bystanders.  Watch how you phrase your words whether you are talking to the victim, bully, teacher, etc.  Do what you think is right, and everything will turn out okay. Do something. Help us take another step closer to the end of bullying.

Teenagers Tell Researchers It's a Cruel, Cruel World

"State legislatures across the country have passed or proposed laws against what they call cyberbullying. But how do young people parse bullying from being mean online? And when it happens, what do they do about it?

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and released Wednesday teases out these complex, often painful threads of teen life on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said people were “mostly kind” to each other on these networks, even as 88 percent said they had witnessed “people being mean or cruel.” One in five admitted to having joined in on the cruelty.

Notably, one in five teens surveyed said they had been “bullied,” but of those, the largest share said they had been bullied in person, not online. Indeed, online and offline sentiments often merge: one in four said an online squabble resulted in a face-to-face argument or worse.

What do they do when they see or feel the brunt of cruelty online?

The vast majority say they ignore it. Girls are more likely to seek advice than boys. And when they do seek advice, teenagers are more likely to turn to their peers than their parents. Parents are not entirely useless. The survey found that 86 percent of teens said parents advised them on “how to use the Internet responsibly and safely.”

Those surveyed expressed a certain savvy in manipulating their online profiles: Close to half lied about their age in order to access a site off limits to children under 13. Most said they tweaked their privacy settings so their posts were not widely visible.

The survey also revealed some of the new anxieties that parents experience. Three out of four parents said they “checked which Web sites their child visited.” Pew researchers said that could have been as simple as checking the browsing history on their computers. And among parents who have a Facebook account, 80 percent were on their children’s list of friends.

The survey was conducted by phone earlier this year on 799 children, aged 12 to 17, and their parents or guardians. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points. Nearly all kids in that age group are online, and among them, four out of five use a social network like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. The report aptly calls them 'spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.'"

 (Copyright @ http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/teenagers-tell-researchers-its-a-cruel-cruel-online-world/?ref=bullies)

Think about this article. Does it reflect the true world?

A Boy the Bullies Love to Beat Up, Repeatedly

"All lank and bone, the boy stands at the corner with his younger sister, waiting for the yellow bus that takes them to their respective schools. He is Billy Wolfe, high school sophomore, struggling.

Moments earlier he left the sanctuary that is his home, passing those framed photographs of himself as a carefree child, back when he was 5. And now he is at the bus stop, wearing a baseball cap, vulnerable at 15.

A car the color of a school bus pulls up with a boy who tells his brother beside him that he’s going to beat up Billy Wolfe. While one records the assault with a cellphone camera, the other walks up to the oblivious Billy and punches him hard enough to leave a fist-size welt on his forehead.

The video shows Billy staggering, then dropping his book bag to fight back, lanky arms flailing. But the screams of his sister stop things cold.

The aggressor heads to school, to show friends the video of his Billy moment, while Billy heads home, again. It’s not yet 8 in the morning.

Bullying is everywhere, including here in Fayetteville, a city of 60,000 with one of the country’s better school systems. A decade ago a Fayetteville student was mercilessly harassed and beaten for being gay. After a complaint was filed with the Office of Civil Rights, the district adopted procedures to promote tolerance and respect — none of which seems to have been of much comfort to Billy Wolfe.

It remains unclear why Billy became a target at age 12; schoolyard anthropology can be so nuanced. Maybe because he was so tall, or wore glasses then, or has a learning disability that affects his reading comprehension. Or maybe some kids were just bored. Or angry.

Whatever the reason, addressing the bullying of Billy has become a second job for his parents: Curt, a senior data analyst, and Penney, the owner of an office-supply company. They have binders of school records and police reports, along with photos documenting the bruises and black eyes. They are well known to school officials, perhaps even too well known, but they make no apologies for being vigilant. They also reject any suggestion that they should move out of the district because of this.

The many incidents seem to blur together into one protracted assault. When Billy attaches a bully’s name to one beating, his mother corrects him. “That was Benny, sweetie,” she says. “That was in the eighth grade.”

It began years ago when a boy called the house and asked Billy if he wanted to buy a certain sex toy, heh-heh. Billy told his mother, who informed the boy’s mother. The next day the boy showed Billy a list with the names of 20 boys who wanted to beat Billy up.

Ms. Wolfe says she and her husband knew it was coming. She says they tried to warn school officials — and then bam: the prank caller beat up Billy in the bathroom of McNair Middle School.

Not long after, a boy on the school bus pummeled Billy, but somehow Billy was the one suspended, despite his pleas that the bus’s security camera would prove his innocence. Days later, Ms. Wolfe recalls, the principal summoned her, presented a box of tissues, and played the bus video that clearly showed Billy was telling the truth.

Things got worse. At Woodland Junior High School, some boys in a wood shop class goaded a bigger boy into believing that Billy had been talking trash about his mother. Billy, busy building a miniature house, didn’t see it coming: the boy hit him so hard in the left cheek that he briefly lost consciousness.

Ms. Wolfe remembers the family dentist sewing up the inside of Billy’s cheek, and a school official refusing to call the police, saying it looked like Billy got what he deserved. Most of all, she remembers the sight of her son.

“He kept spitting blood out,” she says, the memory strong enough still to break her voice.

By now Billy feared school. Sometimes he was doubled over with stress, asking his parents why. But it kept on coming.

In ninth grade, a couple of the same boys started a Facebook page called “Every One That Hates Billy Wolfe.” It featured a photograph of Billy’s face superimposed over a likeness of Peter Pan, and provided this description of its purpose: “There is no reason anyone should like billy he’s a little bitch. And a homosexual that NO ONE LIKES.”

Heh-heh.

According to Alan Wilbourn, a spokesman for the school district, the principal notified the parents of the students involved after Ms. Wolfe complained, and the parents — whom he described as 'horrified' — took steps to have the page taken down.

Not long afterward, a student in Spanish class punched Billy so hard that when he came to, his braces were caught on the inside of his cheek.

So who is Billy Wolfe? Now 16, he likes the outdoors, racquetball and girls. For whatever reason — bullying, learning disabilities or lack of interest — his grades are poor. Some teachers think he’s a sweet kid; others think he is easily distracted, occasionally disruptive, even disrespectful. He has received a few suspensions for misbehavior, though none for bullying.

Judging by school records, at least one official seems to think Billy contributes to the trouble that swirls around him. For example, Billy and the boy who punched him at the bus stop had exchanged words and shoves a few days earlier.

But Ms. Wolfe scoffs at the notion that her son causes or deserves the beatings he receives. She wonders why Billy is the only one getting beaten up, and why school officials are so reluctant to punish bullies and report assaults to the police.

Mr. Wilbourn said federal law protected the privacy of students, so parents of a bullied child should not assume that disciplinary action had not been taken. He also said it was left to the discretion of staff members to determine if an incident required police notification.

The Wolfes are not satisfied. This month they sued one of the bullies “and other John Does,” and are considering another lawsuit against the Fayetteville School District. Their lawyer, D. Westbrook Doss Jr., said there was neither glee nor much monetary reward in suing teenagers, but a point had to be made: schoolchildren deserve to feel safe.

Billy Wolfe, for example, deserves to open his American history textbook and not find anti-Billy sentiments scrawled across the pages. But there they were, words so hurtful and foul.

The boy did what he could. 'I’d put white-out on them,' he says. 'And if the page didn’t have stuff to learn, I’d rip it out.'"

(Copyright @ The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/us/24land.html?pagewanted=all)

Take a moment. Think about that article. Think about what you would do if you were in Billy Wolfe's situation.

New Hampshire Bullying Law

TITLE XV
EDUCATION

CHAPTER 193-F
PUPIL SAFETY AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION

Section 193-F:1

193-F:1 Title. – This chapter shall be known, and may be cited as the ""Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000.''

Source. 2000, 190:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.

Section 193-F:2

193-F:2 Purpose and Intent. – The general court hereby finds that all pupils have the right to attend public schools that are safe, secure, and peaceful. One of the legislature's highest priorities must be to protect our children from violence by dealing with harassment, including ""bullying'', in our public schools.

Source. 2000, 190:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.

Section 193-F:3

193-F:3 Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention. –
I. (a) Each local school board shall adopt a pupil safety and violence prevention policy which addresses pupil harassment, also known as ""bullying'', and which is consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Such policy shall include language which details the action to be taken by the local school board to resolve and remediate occurrences of pupil harassment.
(b) At the beginning of each school year, school districts shall, in writing, inform the parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for the welfare of the pupil of the district's pupil safety and violence prevention policy and the appeals process available at the local and state levels.
II. (a) Any school employee, or employee of a company under contract with a school or school district, who has witnessed or has reliable information that a pupil has been subjected to insults, taunts, or challenges, whether verbal or physical in nature, which are likely to intimidate or provoke a violent or disorderly response that violates the school bullying policy shall report such incident to the principal, or designee, who shall in turn report the incident to the superintendent and the school board.
(b) The principal, or designee, shall by telephone and in writing by first-class mail, report the occurrence of any incident described in this paragraph to the parent or legal guardian of all pupils involved within 48 hours of the occurrence of such incident. The notice shall advise the individuals involved of their due process rights including the right to appeal to the state board of education. The superintendent may, within the 48 hour time period, grant the principal a waiver from the notification requirement if the superintendent deems such waiver to be in the best interest of the child. Any waiver granted shall be in writing.
III. The remedy required in paragraph I shall be defined by the local school board and the local school board shall, in writing, notify all parties involved of its decision. If the remedies outlined in the school board's policy are exhausted, the aggrieved party shall have the right to appeal the decision to the state board of education. The state board of education shall, in writing, notify all parties involved of its decision. The local school board may provide opportunities for educators to have the knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to acts covered by this chapter.
IV. A school employee, or employee of a company under contract with a school or school district, who has reported violations under this chapter to the principal or designee or who has intervened under paragraph II, shall be immune from any cause of action which may arise from the failure to remedy the reported incident.

Source. 2000, 190:1. 2004, 205:1, eff. June 11, 2004.

Section 193-F:4

193-F:4 Specific Curriculum Not Required. – Nothing in this chapter requires the inclusion of any curriculum, textbook, presentation, or other material in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution. The omission of any curriculum, textbook, presentation, or other material in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution is not a violation of this chapter.

Source. 2000, 190:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.

Section 193-F:5

193-F:5 Liability for Reporting. – Any public or private school employee or employee of a company under contract to a school or school district who in good faith has made a report under RSA 193-D or RSA 193-F shall not be subject to liability for making the report.

Source. 2002, 149:2, eff. July 14, 2002.

 

(Source for whole thing- http://www.nhbullywatch.org/currentlaw6.html)