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April
Last month I had the opportunity to attend a three-day conference on Bullying sponsored by the School Safety Advocacy Council. There were many different presentations offered, but the ones I chose to focus on centered on Digital Literacy.

Clayton Cranford, a sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Santa Ana, California, presented a workshop entitled “Parent’s Guide to Online Safety.” The premise of his workshop was that, “Cyber bullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about or to another person.”

According to this Parent’s Guide, there are seven different types of cyber bullying:
Gossip: posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family and acquaintances.
Exclusion: deliberately excluding someone from an online group.
Impersonation: breaking into someone’s email or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others.
Harassment: repeated posting or sending offensive, rude and insulting messages.
Flaming: online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums or blogs.
Outing and Trickery: tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information which is then shared online.
Cyberthreats: remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies.

What can you do if your child has been cyber bullied?

• Tell the bully only once that you do not want any contact from that person and you deem the material harassing or threatening. If there is another incident, report it to the police.
• Capture a screen shot of the display.
• Take video of the posted video.
• Note the date, time, site of the posting.
• Save all text messages, emails, voice mail messages. Don’t delete them from the device.
• Contact the police department


Facts we do know about cyber bullying

• Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. One in four has had it happen more than once.
• About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online.
• Cyber bullying has increased in recent years. In a study of 10-17 year olds, twice as many children indicated they have been victims and perpetrators than in previous years.

How can you be proactive?
• Use Parental Controls to block unsafe webpages from being accessed.
• Know all of your child’s usernames and passwords. Periodically check what apps are installed on their devices. Review their text messages, and Internet history.
• Place the computer that your child uses in a central location.
• Don’t allow your child to keep their electronic online devices in their rooms in the evening, when it is time to sleep.

I hope this brief tutorial as informative to you as it was to me. We all want to keep children safe and with the cyber opportunities now available to them it makes our task as parents that much more challenging.

School Security Drills
NJ State Law requires schools to conduct school security drills of some variety once per month.  This is in addition to the fire drills, we have been practicing each month for a number of years now. A school security drill is defined as an exercise to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or shelter situation. We will holding school security drills monthly throughout the school year.  If you observe these drills taking place, please do not be alarmed.  In the event of an actual emergency, we will notify you through our Honeywell, reverse 911 system.
 
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
Managing Behavior
Click here for an excellent article on "Strategies for Managing Your Child's Resistant Behavior" by John W. Maag.
Files
 Byrd School Parent Handbook
Please take some time to read! There have been additions and changes to the prior handbook.
 Empowerment Tools
This folder contains strategies that you can help your child adopt when dealing with others who aren't nice to them.
 Executive Functioning
Excellent article sent by the Community School in Paramus
 HIB Reporting Forms
Use these forms to report an alleged incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying
 New Jersey ASK Aggregate Scores 2012
The aggregated scores for the 2012 NJ ASK test for your review.
 Talking to your Child About Bullying
A brief article from Allan L. Beane, Ph.D. that might be of interest to you.
 Olweus Bully doc0001.pdf
Similarities and Differences between Rough-and-Tumble Play, Real Fighting, and Bullying
Contacts
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