Friday, November 23, 2007

Cyber Bullying

Traditionally, bullying has involved physical bullying, verbal bullying, or social bullying. Today technology has given everyone a new means of bullying each other.

Cyber bullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, can involve:

  • Mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images
  • Posting sensitive, private information
  • Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad

Kids can cyberbully each other through:
  • E-mail
  • Instant messaging
  • Text message
  • Web sites
  • Blogs
  • Chat rooms
Cyberbullying Stats
  • 18% of students in grades 6-8 said they had been cyberbullied at least once in the last couple of months; and 6% said it had happened to them 2 or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005).
  • 11% of students in grades 6-8 said they had cyberbullied another person at least once in the last couple of months, and 2% said they had done it two or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005).
  • 19% of regular Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 reported being involved in online aggression; 15% had been aggressors, and 7% had been targets (3% were both aggressors and targets) (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004).
  • 17% of 6-11 year-olds and 36% of 12-17-year-olds reported that someone said threatening or embarrassing things about them through e-mail, instant messages, web sites, chat rooms, or text messages (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2006).
  • Cyber bullying has increased in recent years. In nationally representative surveys of 10-17 year-olds, twice as many children and youth indicated that they had been victims and perpetrators of online harassment in 2005 compared with 1999/2000 (Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2006).

Who are the victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying?

In a recent study of students in grades 6-8 (Kowalski et al., 2005):
  • Girls were about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
  • Of those students who had been cyberbullied relatively frequently (at least twice in the last couple of months):
    • 62% said that they had been cyberbullied by another student at school, and 46% had been cyberbullied by a friend.
    • 55% didn't know who had cyberbullied them.
  • Of those students who admitted cyber bullying others relatively frequently:
    • 60% had cyberbullied another student at school, and 56% had cyberbullied a friend.

What are the methods of cyber bullying?

In recent studies of middle and high school students, (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2006; Kowalski et al., 2005; Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2006) the most common way that children and youth reported being cyberbullied was through instant messaging. Somewhat less common ways involved the use of chat rooms, e-mails, and messages posted on web sites. A study of younger children (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2006) showed that they were most often bullied through e-mail, comments on a web site, or in a chat room.

Do children tell they are being cyber bullied?

According to one telephone survey of preteens and teens (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2006):
  • 51% of preteens but only 35% of teens who had been cyber bullied had told their parents about their experience;
  • 27% of preteens and only 9% of teens who had been cyber bullied had told a teacher;
  • 44% of preteens and 72% of teens who had been cyber bullied had told a friend;
  • 31% of preteens and 35% of teens who had been cyber bullied had told a brother or sister; and
  • 16% of preteens and teens who had been cyber bullied had told no one.

How does cyber bullying differ from other traditional forms of bullying?

Although there is little research yet on cyber bullying among children and youth, available research and experience suggest that cyber bullying may differ from more “traditional” forms of bullying in a number of ways (Willard, 2005), including:
  • Cyber bullying can occur any time of the day or night;
  • Cyber bullying messages and images can be distributed quickly to a very wide audience;
  • Children and youth can be anonymous when cyber bullying, which makes it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to trace them.

What can adults do to prevent cyber bullying?

Adults seldom are present in the online environments frequented by children and youth. Therefore, it is extremely important that adults pay close attention to the cyber bullying and the activities of children and youth when using these new technologies.

Suggestions for parents*

Tips to help prevent cyber bullying:
  • Keep your home computer(s) in easily viewable places , such as a family room or kitchen.
  • Talk regularly with your child about on-line activities he or she is involved in.
    • Talk specifically about cyber bullying and encourage your child to tell you immediately if he or she is the victim of cyber bullying, cyberstalking, or other illegal or troublesome on-line behavior.
    • Encourage your child to tell you if he or she is aware of others who may be the victims of such behavior.
    • Explain that cyber bullying is harmful and unacceptable behavior. Outline your expectations for responsible online behavior and make it clear that there will be consequences for inappropriate behavior.
  • Although adults must respect the privacy of children and youth, concerns for your child’s safety may sometimes override these privacy concerns. Tell your child that you may review his or her on-line communications if you think there is reason for concern.
  • Consider installing parental control filtering software and/or tracking programs, but don’t rely solely on these tools.

Tips for dealing with cyber bullying that your child has experienced:

Because cyber bullying can range from rude comments to lies, impersonations, and threats, your responses may depend on the nature and severity of the cyber bullying. Here are some actions that you may want to take after-the-fact.
  • Strongly encourage your child not to respond to the cyber bullying.
  • Do not erase the messages or pictures. Save these as evidence.
  • Try to identify the individual doing the cyber bullying. Even if the cyberbully is anonymous (e.g., is using a fake name or someone else’s identity) there may be a way to track them through your Internet Service Provider. If the cyber bullying is criminal (or if you suspect that it may be), contact the police and ask them to do the tracking.
  • Sending inappropriate language may violate the “Terms and Conditions” of e-mail services, Internet Service Providers, web sites, and cell phone companies. Consider contacting these providers and filing a complaint.
  • If the cyber bullying is coming through e-mail or a cell phone, it may be possible to block future contact from the cyberbully. Of course, the cyberbully may assume a different identity and continue the bullying.
  • Contact your school. If the cyber bullying is occurring through your school district’s Internet system, school administrators have an obligation to intervene. Even if the cyber bullying is occurring off campus, make your school administrators aware of the problem. They may be able to help you resolve the cyber bullying or be watchful for face-to-face bullying.
  • Consider contacting the cyberbully’s parents. These parents may be very concerned to learn that their child has been cyber bullying others, and they may effectively put a stop to the bullying. On the other hand, these parents may react very badly to your contacting them. So, proceed cautiously. If you decide to contact a cyberbully’s parents, communicate with them in writing — not face-to-face. Present proof of the cyber bullying (e.g., copies of an e-mail message) and ask them to make sure the cyber bullying stops.
  • Consider contacting an attorney in cases of serious cyber bullying. In some circumstances, civil law permits victims to sue a bully or his or her parents in order to recover damages.
  • Contact the police if cyber bullying involves acts such as:
    • Threats of violence
    • Extortion
    • Obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages
    • Harassment, stalking, or hate crimes
    • Child pornography
If you are uncertain if cyber bullying violates your jurisdiction’s criminal laws, contact your local police, who will advise you.

Suggestions for educators
  • Educate your students, teachers, and other staff members about cyber bullying, its dangers, and what to do if someone is cyberbullied.
  • Be sure that your school’s anti-bullying rules and policies address cyber bullying.
  • Closely monitor students’ use of computers at school.
  • Use filtering and tracking software on all computers, but don’t rely solely on this software to screen out cyber bullying and other problematic on-line behavior.
  • Investigate reports of cyber bullying immediately. If cyber bullying occurs through the school district’s Internet system, you are obligated to take action. If the cyber bullying occurs off-campus, consider what actions you might take to help address the bullying:
    • Notify parents of victims and parents of cyberbullies of known or suspected cyber bullying.
    • Notify the police if the known or suspected cyber bullying involves a threat.
    • Closely monitor the behavior of the affected students at school for possible bullying.
    • Talk with all students about the harms caused by cyber bullying. Remember — cyber bullying that occurs off-campus can travel like wildfire among your students and can affect how they behave and relate to each other at school.
    • Investigate to see if the victim(s) of cyber bullying could use some support from a school counselor or school-based mental health professional.
  • Contact the police immediately if known or suspected cyber bullying involves acts such as:
    • Threats of violence
    • Extortion
    • Obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages
    • Harassment, stalking, or hate crimes
    • Child pornography

Information from health resources and service admin

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Woman's Perspective

I wanted to pass on this story that has the female slant to bullying.

It's become the silent emotional killer among women. Women who are downright mean, malicious and disrespectful with each other. This trend is creating havoc in our relationships with each other, for it strikes the core of sisterhood. Real sisterhood can only exist when respect and trust stand unshakeable. In this particular, most men are quite opposite to us. For a man, a brother is a brother is a brother.

However, what is most disturbing about our malicious ways is that we are passing on a legacy of a broken sisterhood to our daughters. Girls that are mean and catty are usually this way because their understanding is that this is a normal part of femaleness. They grow up to become mean and catty women who perpetuate a diseased sisterhood.

To break this cycle we each need to make a conscious effort to validate all women. Be they our friends or not. Otherwise, we will continue to find ourselves moving within circles of female hostility, suspicion, and pain. Here is my list of the most detestable practices that we need to discontinue in order to heal our sisterhood:

Talking about each other - You are really not her friend if what you have to say about her is so bad you can't say it in front of her. If you are a real friend you should be able to tell her your concerns for her life to her face. If you have the need to tell others, but you haven't found the time to tell her – red lights should be flashing. Believe it or not, gossiping is not an intrinsic part of being female. Women who gossip do it not because it's a woman-thing, but because they want to elevate themselves and put other women in a place of inferiority. Gossiping is just another symptom of deeper insecurities.

2. Fighting for men
– One of the most undignified things that any woman can do is to fight, argue, or curse another woman over a man. It's a disgusting trend that used to be a school girl thing, but today adult women are doing it too. If both of you are in conflict - because his choice is not clear - then that means that he's really not into any of you. He's probably playing both of you. That man really does not deserve love or attention from either one of you. Let him go.

Joining female gangs – Women who make you feel unwelcome and unwanted within their circle of friends are not to be trusted. Women cliques have become common in the workplace, at church, in the neighborhood. Cliques are the dwelling place of insecure women. Women who join cliques are seeking refuge from their own lack of confidence by cocooning themselves within this circle of supposed exclusivity. Again, the need to belong to, or be part of a clique is also a sign of deeper insecurities. Beware, cliques are usually encouraged and thrive on a type of gang mentality.

Undermining each other – Beware of any woman who can never celebrate your accomplishments with you. It could be a new boyfriend, a promotion, an award, a new job, a new acquisition, weight loss. If she has nothing positive to say to you about it, does not show emotional support, or chooses to remain silent she is not a true friend. Real friends know how to recognize and genuinely rejoice for our successes with pride.

Competing against each other – You need to get this straight. There will always be another woman with nicer hair, a more caring husband or boyfriend, better behaved children, a better paying job, a bigger house, a more fashionable wardrobe – there will always be some woman with more of what you don't have. Consequently, the only person that you need to compete against is yourself. Strive to be the best that you can be - for you. Competing against other women to prove yourself superior is a financial and emotional drainer. Because of this mindless competition we become mean, envious and hypocritical. It is pointless.

Disrespecting boundaries – To survive peacefully every relationship and every friendship must have clear boundaries. Good relationships operate within margins of respect. Within this level of respect, privacy and intimacy are keywords. Yes, you are my friend, but that doesn't give me the right to walk into your bedroom or your kitchen, unbeknownst to you, and help myself to your stuff. I don't do this not because you won't allow me to, but because I respect your privacy and your things. Consequently, we both need to know and respect each other's levels of privacy and intimacy.

7. Crossing boundaries
– This is similar to the above, the only difference is that my respect of your boundaries should never depend on my friendship with you. We need to respect women for the simple fact that they are women. If she is a woman she is a sister. Period. Therefore, from that understanding I will have the utmost respect for her children, her man, her opinions, her choices, and for her as a person. It amazes me how women are quick to disrespect another sister's boundaries, but feel offended if another woman does to them the same exact thing. Honestly, that type of inconsistent behavior can only be credited to some form of mental illness.

8. Exploiting our friendships
– This is a major one. Why are you friends? Do you only remember her being around whenever she could get something from you? It doesn't even have to be material. It could just be your time or your positive energy. Does she happen to be always on the receiving side, with you dishing out ton loads of yourself or your stuff? Or is she your friend because of what you represent? It could be that your husband's position or yours, your possessions, your talent, whatever, represents some form of achievement. Is she a friend because that link to you places her on a higher platform? In a real friendship appreciation, support, and loyalty must be reciprocal

By Norka Blackman-Richards | Circle Sister

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Olweus Bully Criteria

Bullying is characterized by the following three criteria.

1. Is it aggressive behavior or intentional "harmdoing"
2. Is it carried out repeatedly and over time, and
3. It occurs within an interpersonal relationship characterized
by an imbalance of power.

Is Your Child A Victim?

How can I tell if my child is a victim of bullying?

Ideally, a child will tell an authority figure if he or she is in danger, but some children may be embarrassed or feel weak by admitting to being the victim of a bully. Also, the effects of bullying aren't always as obvious as a black eye. Some signs to look for include:

  • Avoiding school. A child may suddenly invent mysterious illnesses or stomach aches to avoid school.
  • Changing behavior. A child may react to being bullied in many ways. Some children become withdrawn or moody, while others become overly aggressive or violent.
  • Showing pain. Bruises and scratches may be a sign a child has been bullied, but these can be common in active youngsters. Parents and caregivers should pay close attention to a pattern of bruises that the child can't explain.
  • Losing possessions. If a child starts mysteriously misplacing his or her favorite toys, he or she could be the victim of a bullying. Bullies will sometimes intimidate their victims into handing over their belongings.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's Not Funny

Bullying Isn't Funny.

Somewhere, sometime in life, humiliation became a form of entertainment. You have watched reality TV, it's mainstream in our society. The misfortune of others has become the fortunes of the TV industry. We have lost our empathy and compassion and feel compelled to laugh along with everyone else.

Experts have shown our response to others suffering is a learned behavior. Watching television as an electronic medium is not just a source of entertainment. With technology everywhere, internet, cell phones, computers and other electronics kids have a window to the world and so do bullies.

Cyberbullying now includes not only emailed harassment, but also threats and abuse posts on popular websites like MySpace, FaceBook, and Friendster. One video of a recent bullying incident on Long Island was viewed on YouTube around the world.

These incidents can't be dismissed merely as evidence that "kids will be kids or boys will be boys." (Girls are bullies, too. The Long Island video recorded a beating of a girl, by three girls.) Bullying behavior, unchecked and with out the proper education invites disaster. Humiliation (bullying) has provoked suicides in its victims, and worse, like Columbine High School in Colorado, where two bullied outcasts killed themselves, but only after killing 12 other students and a teacher.

Bullying in any form has long term effects on bystanders, victims and bullies. I know because I was a victim of bulling.

Dedicated to reducing bullying everywhere,

Mike Bogdanski, M.S.

"America's ANTI Bully Solution"
Help Everyone Respect Others, an anti bully program that will touch the minds and hearts of your students.

Cyberbullying Is On The Rise

The internet is a great way to get connected but it allows room for dangerous situations.

Cyber bullying is the new bathroom wall.

Research indicates cyber bullying is happening more and more.

According to the Karmon Institute study;
-20% to 50% percent of junior high and high school students said they have been bullied online.
-In 2000 6% of students said they were bullied.
-Less than 20% told their parents about it.

Parents, teachers and friends need to teach kids to watch out online. Predators and bullies are using this as a tool to reach the world.

Dedicated to reducing bullying everywhere,

Mike Bogdanski, M.S.

"America's ANTI Bully Solution"
Help Everyone Respect Others, an anti bully program that will touch the minds and hearts of your students.
Toll free 1.877.208.6176
cell 860.315.0205

Back To School ANTI Bully Tips

"When Your Child Is Bullied"

(It's not a question of if, just when)

Help your child respond by:
1. Appearing confident (fake it til you make it)
Look the bully in the eye, stand tall and confident. Remember, true courage is not the absence of fear, but having fear and taking action anyway.

2. Stand calm. Inside the turmoil of a hurricane, there is calm.
3. Walk away.

Teach your child an assertive voice. Practice saying;
"Please do NOT talk to me like that."
Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
(Excuse me, I am scared. Can you help me?)
Encourage your child to ask friends for help.

Pick an activity that can challenge your child but that will give them
confidence by having success at it.
Notify school officials, ask them for help.
Make sure a teacher, trusted adult or trusted/mature older child can watch out for your child's safety when you cannot be there.

"When Your Child Is A Bystander"

The bystanders need to feel a moral obligation to come to the aid
of a person being bullied.
Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.

Help your child support and aid other children who may be bullied.
Encourage your child to include bullied children in play.
Most importantly, encourage your child to join others in telling bullies to stop.

Dedicated to reducing bullying everywhere,

Mike Bogdanski, M.S.

"America's ANTI Bully Solution"
Help Everyone Respect Others, an anti bully program that will touch the minds and hearts of your students.
Reproduction with credit.
Toll free 1.877.208.6176
cell 860.315.0205

Monday, October 1, 2007

Does Aggression Pay?

I know that being passive is like a lure to bullies, but I thought being aggressive was a turnoff for most people. Leading psychologists are now reporting that aggressive qualities make kids popular.

Research indicates that aggression is linked with being perceived as "popular." Psychologists used to simply ask students how much they liked other classmates. Recently, they also ask students which of their classmates are "popular"--and the two measures don't necessarily match up. It was found that seventh through ninth-graders perceived their relationally aggressive classmates to be more popular than meeker students. Is this leadership or just a mild form of bullying?

Relational aggression- the new buzzword of bullying.

Friday, August 3, 2007

From Victim To Victory- The Mike Bogdanski Story


Once a victim, Mike Bogdanski teaches others how to find hope again.

Putnam, CT -- Mike Bogdanski has a story to tell. With a bench press over 250 pounds and holding a seventh degree Black Belt in martial arts, you might not think that GETTING bullied would ever have been Mike's problem.

But it was.

When Mike was 16, he was terrorized by a neighborhood bully named "Bub". No matter how hard he tried to avoid Bub, he knew the day would come when Bub would track him down.That day occurred in May of Mike's 16th year. For five months, the trauma of that one event made Mike a prisoner of fear.

During those months, Mike would not leave the house except the go to school. Then Mike made a decision and took action.Rather than be defeated by this humiliating event, rather than let circumstances beat him, he decided to fight back. Mike enrolled in a karate class to help overcome the fear of another bullying attack. After a rocky start (he could only do one push up) he persisted and earned his Black Belt. His achievement was the highest in his class.

What happened next is Mike's real story.Mike grew up determined to help others like himself. Having been a victim of a brutal attack gave Mike a unique perspective, and a chance to make a difference. Mike could see how society was changing. He could see the gangs, the violence, the guns. He could see good kids drawn into bad groups having their lives ruined. He could see kids that were having a hard time coping with the divorce of their parents, the pressure of their peers and the hopelessness that surrounds too many teens today. He could see kids who had been bullied turning to crime, drugs and violence to gain some sense of power and control over their lives.He knew that kids would relate to his story. If he could persuade even one kid to turn from hate to hope his job would be done.

Once again, Mike made a decision and took action.

Using the skills he learned through martial arts, like perseverance and indomitable spirit, a bachelors degree in Psychology, and earning his Master's degree in School Counseling, Mike chose to learn a new skill...again.

Mike became a motivational speaker, dedicating his career to helping kids who have to live through the same kind of hell he endured. More than some canned inspirational message, Mike delivers a message with impact as kids relate to his experience. Mike travels the United States, sharing his overcoming message of hope. He shares with kids of all ages how they can go from victim to victory no matter the type of trauma they have suffered. It's a message that is well received everywhere he goes.

To hear Mike tell it "Kids today are being victimized by bullies at school and, too often, at home. They can turn to drugs and violence or make something of their lives with self-discipline, encouragement and love. I tell them they can go from hate to hope because I've been there. I've walked a mile in their shoes and know their pain. What they need is to hear someone they trust say "You can do anything if you try." That's my passion. Now, it's my mission."His audiences are comprised of kids, many on the edge. Some troubled, some deeply in trouble, Mike reaches his hand out to all equally. Mike teaches them to turn from hate toward hope. Hope that they can be healed, and the fear will stop. Hope that they can make a life and feel good again. Hope that what happened to Mike can happen to them too. Today, Mike owns a gym and martial arts school, but his true love is speaking to kids.

Kids that need help.
Kids that need hope.
Kids that need to hear what only Mike can tell them.

To contact Mike, call him at 860.974.3848 or email him at