Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mike Bogdanski

Mike Bogdanski: "Mike is America's ANTI Bully.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

50 Blog Posts On School Bullying That Every Teacher Should Read

From my friend Michael Erins

Bullying, once the subject of humorous cartoons and comic-book jokes, moved into the spotlight after the horrific incident that occurred at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. After Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out their suicidal plan to massacre their fellow students and teachers, many searched for answers. What would cause kids to turn so violent? One answer was that these two boys had been mercilessly bullied and teased throughout their school careers, and the mental damage had been tremendous.

Let’s face it. Nobody wants to be a victim, and nobody wants to be party to bullying, harassment, or hazing. However, in the hormonal crucible that is middle school and junior high, children can be extremely cruel to one another. More so, it seems, when they have access to the Internet and even more ways to terrorize each other, including sexual harassment. As educators, we have a responsibility to stop this behavior and equip kids with ways to protect themselves. Here are 50 excellent blog posts about bullying that every teacher should read:

Bullying Basics

What is bullying, anyway? These blog posts describe ways to tell whether someone may be a victim of bullying behavior.
    1. A Look at Bullying: What is Bullying? This post briefly describes bullying and gives a link to a website giving more detailed descriptions of bullying. There are also comments left about what readers think bullying means. 2. Definition of Bullying By General Statute This post is for anyone interested in the legal terms involving bullying. This is a good resource for teachers to be able to apprehend bullying before severe damage occurs. 3. Happy Slapping–A New Kind of Bullying? This post describes a specific bullying situation where bullies randomly hurt a stranger and film the incident. This incident is often posted online and shared between classmates. 4. Bullying is Subjective This post addresses in important problem blocking bullying confrontation: people have different definitions of bullying. Interpret it the way you want. 5. Is He a Bully? This is an interesting post about a mother being surprised that her son was considered a bully. Again, sometimes, it’s important to address the issues with both the victim and bullying person’s parents. 6. Bullying Clip (Second Entry) Mr. Bullyproof gives a good analysis of a YouTube video describing bullying behavior. He also raises an interesting question in the end that can be applied to other bullying cases.


These posts explore the growing problem of online bullying.
    7. Bullying Moves Online This post points out a new, rising form of bullying: cyberbullying. There are some helpful links to articles and a video to help you understand more. 8. Facebook Nips the Bullies Elizabeth Bennett encourages social networking users to stop cyberbullying online. She also gives tips on preventing it in the first place. 9. When Will Our Schools Take a Stand Against Cyberbullying? This post talks about a new law that is designed to help counter cyberbullying. Teachers should be very familiar with this law. 10. Bullying Online is Common Mike fills us in on the stats and nuts and bolts of bullying. Cyberbullying is scary and in some ways more damaging than physical violence. 11. Cyber Bullying This is another excellent post about the rise of cyberbullying. Contains some pretty intense stuff.

Specific Bullying Cases

These cases are well-known in most instances because the victim of bullying ended his or her life. This occurs so frequently that a new term, “bullycide,” has been coined.
    12. Teen Bully Convicted This post gives a link to a story about a few teens getting charged after a victim committed suicide. Readers share their opinions. 13. The Sociopaths and Phoebe Prince Elizabeth Bennett shares her thoughts about a recent suicide case in Massachusetts involving a bullied newcomer in a high school. Bennett talks about the exploration that bullies tend to do when bullying isn’t stopped. 14. What Can Forgiveness Do to You? This post is about how Phoebe Prince’s father focused on forgiving the students that drove his daughter to suicide. This is a good technique to encourage victims to do to ease their own suffering. 15. The Power of Forgiveness Similar to the case of Phoebe’s father, this girl’s parents forgave the girls that pressured the victim into suicide. This is an important thing to keep in mind. 16. Bullied Student Wins 800K Settlement Learn how schools and school districts may be held liable in cases of bullying.

Discussing The Bully’s Motives

These blog posts talk about the possible causes for bullying and ways these can be neutralized.
    17. Why Do Some People Bully This post briefly describes some motives for bullying, again providing a link to help readers explore reasons. There is also detailed input from readers about what they think causes people to bully. 18. Bullies and Victims This post gives a link and video to what maybe motivates a bully to keep bullying. Readers again share their thoughts. 19. What Motivates Bullying Behavior Mr. Bullyproof gives a typical scenario of what causes a bullying relationship to start. This is important to keep in mind to help both the bully and the victim confront their weaknesses. 20. Deprogramming Bullies This post links to an article on the TIME magazine website.

Bullying Prevention Strategies and Programs

These posts are devoted to solving the problem of bullying.
    21. Bully Branding Elizabeth Bennett brings up an interesting question about why we wait after the fact to solve a problem, leading to so many tragic cases involving bullies. This is a valid point instructors can benefit from. 22. Anti-bullying Series: Reactive or Preventive This post gives bullet points about what constitutes and doesn’t constitute a good anti-bully plan. Teachers should use this to formulate their own rules for bullying prevention. 23. Pit Bull Stops Bullying The author of this blog describes briefly how an incident with her dog inspired her to encourage others to educate and fight bullying. You may be touched. 24. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program This post contains a video and information about a recent program developed by Hazeldon and Clemson University. 25. Stop the Blame Game This post brings up a good point that both bullies and victims may have negative attitudes about themselves. This is a good point to consider to end the bullying chain. 26. To End Bullying, We Must Promote Confidence This post brings up a valid point that self-confidence is a method to end bullying. The author gives some tips to promoting a self-confident image. 27. Bullying is Part of a Much Bigger Picture Social worker Maryfrances Palmisano points out certain external factors that can be taken to prevent bullying. This includes education about exercise, healthy eating habits, and being open about problems. 28. Help Them Build Good Friendships Kathy Mangold, magazine editor, talks about how positive reinforcement can discourage bullying. She also emphasizes friendships. 29. News Coverage of Bullying Event This post contains a link about an event the Verbal Judo Institute did involving parents. Teachers can get some ideas about holding a similar event for their children. 30. Have the Talk with Your Children This is a good thing to encourage parents to do. 31. Can Dads Stop and Ask for Directions Often times when a parent confronts a teacher about bullying, it’s the Moms. Here are maybe some concerns that teachers can think about and address for the well-being of the kids. 32. This Summer, Break the Pattern of Bully Behavior This post gives a judicious warning about how parents should talk to their children about bullying before school resumes. This is a helpful message for teachers to pass on to parents. 33. MTV and a Thin Line Conquer Sexting This may be a topic of interest for teachers with older students. Sexting seems to have played a significant part in recent cases. 34. Film Documents Teen Bullying This post gives some brief info about a film made about bullying. Readers also share their thoughts about what impact the movie can make. 35. Building a Safe Place….for Themselves W. Lee Fjelstad brings up a very important point here: it is important that we build a safe place in a child’s mind and take time to listen and communicate with them to prevent mental damage later. 36. Step It Up, Teachers! Dr. George Thompson gives a video link and talks about how it is important for teachers to be on guard for bullying. He explains why teachers are the rescue team here. 37. Teachers, Consider Yourself Classroom Cops Robert Willis points out a good point that teachers and other school officials could be liable in bullying cases. This is a great point to keep in mind. 38. Affirmation Quote for Self Self-affirmation is an important strategy to prevent susceptibility to bullying.

Helping Victims of Bullying

You may wonder what to say or do when a child has been victim of bullying. Here are some helpful suggestions.
    39. Adult Recognition of Bullying Behavior This blog by a psychology researcher reviews studies related to the effects of bullying on children over the long term. 41. People’s Various Opinions on a Bullying Statement This post asks readers to describe the bullying scene at their school. There are a lot of thoughtful comments posted. 42. Message to Bullied Kids: Be Assertive, Not Aggressive This post from the vice president of the Verbal Judo Institute gives some good advice to victims of bullying. This is something teachers can share with their students. 43. Do You Want Them to Like You or Respect You? The author uses an example about bullying to illustrate the difference between being liked and being respected. 44. Solution to End Bullying Exists….So What’s Missing? Coach Bob Lindsey points out another point: bullying leaves signs. He warns us that when there is tragedy involving bullying, there has often been knowledge of its occurrence beforehand. 45. Bullies Do Devastating Damage Dr. George Thompson tells about how parents should educate kids to defend themselves and not pass on the bullying to feel better about themselves. Teachers should follow the same thing. 46. We Know the Problem, We Need the Answers Kathy Mangold gives some good tips on helping kids deal with destructive comments. This makes for some good conversation topics teachers can have with the students. 47. Violence Warning Signs This is what teachers should have heeded before the Columbine incident. These tips can be applied to both bullies and victims of bullying. 48. My Kid Fought Back-What Now! This post explains how to deal with the scenario in which the kid is not passive toward the bullying and fights back. This post implies how teachers should take these bullying messages seriously. 49. Violent Kids Dr. Helen posts this helpful information for kids and teens. Adults who work with kids should definitely read this. 50. Interesting Book on Bullying and Revenge Review of Todd Strasser’s book, Give a Boy a Gun. The blogger thinks that teachers and students alike should read this thought-provoking piece to better understand the roots of school violence.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Student Speaks

This week I visited Wisconsin for my ANTI bully message. The following day one of the principals forwarded a students email.  She was sending this to all her friends.
A POWerful message from our latest HERO!

"In the anti-bullying assembly we had today I learned a lot that I did not know.

Did you know that 160,000 kids stay home from school because they are afraid to go because of bullying?

To me that is awful! And to think that bullying happens right in our school! That's horrible!

So I have decided that I am going to pledge to myself that if I ever see anyone getting bullied I will stand up for them. Especially if they are my friends I will always be there for them because I love them and care for them!

If you agree with this put your name at the bottom of this list and promise to forward this to as many people as you can think of so they can put their names and soon our school will be full of love! ( That's me just dreaming! )"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are Your Kids Using Mindspring?

Extreme Cyberbullying Targets Local Teen

A new, popular social networking website that allows kids to post comments anonymously was used in an extreme case of cyberbullying that sent a local girl to the hospital for five days under a suicide watch.

A local 14-year-old girl was hounded on to such an extent she felt the only way to relieve the pain was suicide.

The teen's mother showed some of the transcripts, many of which are so graphic they cannot be reprinted here. Numerous times the anonymous writers encourage the girl to kill herself, and other posts say she is hated by everyone at school and how other students would love to see her strangled.

A teen living in Long Island encountered a similar scenario in March, but the taunting ended in tragedy. Alexis Pilkington, 17, was college-bound with a soccer scholarship when she was targeted by a whirlwind of Formspring posts, and eventually committed suicide.

"Teenage suicide. It is one of the most painful things you can go through," said Alexis' father, Thomas Pilkington.

"It's like a worldwide public bathroom wall," said Formspring user Tyler Gearing. "
According to the New York Times, Formspring has only been up since January but gets 24 million hits a month.

The local cyberbullying victim is now off suicide watch and has been released from the hospital. Her mom canceled her Formspring account and transferred her to another school district.

Are Your kids using mindspring?


What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber bullying is bullying through email, instant messaging (IMing), chat room exchanges, Web site posts, or digital messages or images send to a cellular phone or personal digital assistant (PDA). Cyber bullying, like traditional bullying, involves an imbalance of power, aggression, and a negative action that is often repeated.

Cyber bullying has some rather unique characteristics that are different from traditional bullying:

Anonymity: As bad as the "bully" on the playground may be, he or she can be readily identified and potentially avoided. On the other hand, the child who cyber bullies is often anonymous. The victim is left wondering who the cyber "bully" is, which can cause a great deal of stress.

Accessibility: Most children who use traditional ways of bullying terrorize their victim at school, on the bus, or walking to or from school. Although bullying can happen elsewhere in the community, there is usually a standard period of time during which these children have access to their victims. Children who cyber bully can wreak havoc any time of the day or night.

Punitive Fears: Victims of cyber bullying often do not report it because of: (1) fear of retribution from their tormentors, and (2) fear that their computer or phone privileges will be taken away. Often, adults' responses to cyber bullying are to remove the technology from a victim - which in their eyes can be seen as punishment.

Bystanders: Most traditional bullying episodes occur in the presence of other people who assume the role of bystanders or witnesses. The phenomenon of being a bystander in the cyber world is different in that they may receive and forward emails, view web pages, forward images sent to cell phones, etc. The number of bystanders in the cyber world can reach into the millions.

Disinhibition: The anonymity afforded by the Internet can lead children to engage in behaviors that they might not do face-to-face. Ironically, it is their very anonymity that allows some individuals to bully at all.
Common Forms of Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying can take many forms. However, there are six forms that are the most common.

Harassment: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages

Denigration: Distributing information about another that is derogatory and untrue through posting it on a Web page, sending it to others through email or instant messaging, or posting or sending digitally altered photos of someone

Flaming: Online "fighting" using electronic messages with angry, vulgar language

Impersonation: Breaking into an email or social networking account and using that person's online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others.

Outing and Trickery: Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information, or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information and forwarding it to others

Cyber Stalking: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety (depending on the content of the message, it may be illegal)
What are the Warning Signs of Cyber Bullying?

The warning signs of cyber bullying are similar to those for traditional bullying in terms of emotional effects; however, there are some differences. For example, a bruise or torn clothing is not expected as a sign that a child is being cyber bullied, but it is also important to keep in mind that some children who are cyber bullied may also be experiencing traditional bullying at school.

A child may be experiencing cyber bullying if he or she:

* appears sad, moody, or anxious
* avoids school
* withdraws from or shows a lack of interest in social activities
* experiences a drop in grades or decline in academic performance
* appears upset after using the computer or being online
* appears upset after viewing a text message on a cell phone

If a child shows any of these warning signs, it is important to talk with the child and investigate his or her online presence to determine whether cyber bullying is occurring and to offer help when needed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Have The Talk With Your Children!

Have The Talk With Your Children!
Not about the birds and the bees but about being online –safely!
We've come a long way since 60s' parenting scare tactic "It's 10:00 pm. Do you know where your children are?"
The reality is that you're probably quite trusting of your children if they have their own computer with the ability to post videos on YouTube or photos of the party they attended Saturday night on Facebook.
While the Internet has its obvious benefits of being educational and entertaining, there are also a lot of troublesome situations your children could encounter online.
Firstly, remind your children that anything they put up on the Internet is public and could have serious consequences in the near and far future, potentially costing them their dream job or an athletic sponsorship.
More and more employers are using social media profiles as part of their decision process when hiring (sites like Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin)." These sites are also a convenient gateway for online predators to communicate with children under a pseudonym.
A serious online concern is cyber bullying. Children have the opportunity to anonymously embarrass or threaten a classmate on the Internet. If you find out that your child is a victim of a cyber bully, tell him or her to keep a record of everything that was said, because it could be helpful when the child feels comfortable enough to speak to an adult about it.
Parents should also ensure that they "don't overreact if their children have a negative experience online (research has shown that youth often don't report being the victims of cyber bullying because they're afraid their parents will cut off their Internet access)," says Matthew Johnson, (Media Awareness Network).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Principal Speaks!

Dear Mike,

Your recent presentation on bullying to the teachers of the Ware School district has been characterized by many present as the most significant and timely that has taken place over the past decade. The next day the schools in our district buzzed with conversations about the ideas that you presented and how they could be shared with our students in order to improve their physical and emotional safety.

I personally found your presentation to be realistic, relevent and most of all, useful. As an educator of thirty eight years, I was gratified to be able to expand my "professional toolbox". The very next week I was able to guide and assist parents in distinguishing between aggression and assertiveness in resolving a bullying issue.

Thanks to the momentum generated by your presentation, plans are in the works to implement a peer support group to prevent bullying here at Ware Middle School. we may even name them "Bogdanski's Bully Busters! It is the overwhelming hopeof the teachers and administrators in our district that your visit to our schools will become an annual event.

Thanks So Much,

Robert K. Warren
Ware Middle School
Ware, MA

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Behavior Code

A California School Behavior code-WOW!

Students may not possess the following items: BB gun, cap gun, dart gun, pellet gun, spot marker gun, stun gun, model gun, toy gun, squirt gun, replica gun, A zip gun, a model rifle, taser, model semi-automatic weapon, toy semi-automatic weapon, knife, locking blade, switchblade knife, butterfly knife, pocket knife, Swiss Army knife, pen knife, key chain knife, kitchen knife, box knife, Exacto knife, dirk, dagger, ice pick, Razor blades, bombs, pipe bomb, time bomb, containers of inflammable fluids, clubs, billy club, blackjack, slingshot, nunchaku, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles, any metal plate with radiating points with one or more sharp edges, spiked jewelry & apparel, chains (including wallet chains), pepper spray or mace, anything that expels a projectile by force of air or explosion, fireworks or any incendiary devices, pressurized cartridges, and replica weapons, and the using or flashing of laser pointers. These dangerous objects may be recommended for expulsion as a quasi-mandatory.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Kid Fought Back- What Now?

My child was bullied as school for months and finally fought back, now he is being punished for standing up for himself

     A standard response of adults is "why don't you stand up for yourself? Many times kids get picked on because they are a little timid and lack appropriate responses to attacks. However, sometimes targets of bullying do stand up for themselves.

Point out politely but assertively to the teacher who is accusing your child, "My child was bullied for months which is a breach of the school's duty of care as a consequence of which my child was forced to take action him/herself. This is a situation that no child should ever be placed in. When bullies receive a taste of their own medicine they immediately feign victimhood in a manner which is convincing enough for some people to be fooled. I now ask you to cease victimizing my child immediately and instead deal with the bullies. No one has a right to hurt my child.”

Mike Bogdanski M.S.