Teachsafety

parent and teach safe kids

WHAT IS LIFE WORTH?

It is very important to have the discussion with your children about the value of human life.
Teach empathy. Model empathy. If a child can truly put themselves into the shoes of another
human being, you will have a great start on a child who will not bully but become a champion,
A defender, and that is a good and noble thing.
A boy I did not defend, in my neighborhood hung himself, back in the early sixties….I was young,
and no one had ever asked me if I had witnessed bullying…..no one had ever had a dinner conversation with me about what to do if I witnessed bullying….I didn’t do it, but I didn’t help either.
I am not sure I ever discussed it with my mom after….she was a single mom and had to struggle and get work and food on the table, a good mom, but just never thought of discussing this subject!

With the explosion of bad behavior on the Internet, we have this thrown up into our faces where it can no longer take a back seat. Bad children, are generally not being brought up in a framework.
As a teacher, I used to tell parents, that the child was the picture, but they were responsible for the frame.
So teaching safety, which I struggle to understand, has not reached importance.
Hence,
we have this generation growing up, exposed to so much at school, on television, and on the web, that must be handled, thoughtfully by parents, so that a child can navigate through. They need to see the positives, and the negatives and keep a set of values concurrent with those of parents who want to raise healthy, happy, and productive adults.

If you have not kept up with the news, you need to hear about the horrible, bullying that happened in Florida and then think, how you can use this story, and others like it, to have a discussion, with your children.

20131018-060121.jpgGirls, 12 and 14, arrested in death of bullied Florida girl who killed herself
Published October 15, 2013FoxNews.com

Rebecca Sedwick was “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts, authorities say. (MYFOXTAMPABAY.COM)
WINTER HAVEN, FLA – Two girls have been arrested in the death of a 12-year-old central Florida girl who authorities say committed suicide after being bullied online by several girls for nearly a year, a sheriff said Tuesday.

A Facebook post from one of the girls saying she didn’t care about the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick led police to the arrests, according to Sheriff Grady Judd. The suspects, ages 12 and 14, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

“We decided, look, we can’t leave her out there,” Judd said. “Who else is she going to torment? Who else is she going to harass? Who is the next person she verbally and mentally abuses and attacks?”

“The parents were not doing what parents are supposed to do”
– Sheriff Grady Judd

Judd held a press conference on Tuesday morning and said authorities acted fast because even though the accused girls’ parents were contacted by police about Sedwick’s death, the parents did not cooperate with police and the girls were still able to use their social media accounts.

“The parents were not doing what parents are supposed to do,” Judd said. “My goodness, wake up, girl.”

He said police moved in and made the arrests because it was unclear if the girls would pick a new victim.

Judd said Sedwick was “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts. Some of the girls’ computers and cellphones were seized in the investigation. He said the two girls arrested were the major culprits. One of the suspects had been dating Sedwick’s former boyfriend. The two had gone to the same school where, at one point, there was a physical confrontation between the girls.

The girl who had been dating Sedwick’s former boyfriend went to friends around the school and tried to have them turn on Sedwick, Judd said. The girl posted comments on the Internet saying Sedwick should “drink bleach and die,” Judd said. The second girl arrested was a former best friend of Sedwick’s who was influenced by the other girl to turn on her, Judd said.

A man who answered the phone at the 14-year-old’s Lakeland home identified himself as her father. He told The Associated Press that his daughter was “a good girl” and he was “100 percent sure that whatever they’re saying about my daughter is not true.”

Judd said the girls face felony charges because of Sedwick’s age. Though Florida has adopted a bullying law, Judd said the sheriff’s office was not likely pursuing any other charges against the girls.

Judd said he released the names and pictures of the girls who were arrested because they’re accused felons. Fox News is not releasing their names or pictures because they are minors.

A 12-year-old girl was also arrested in the case. A message left at her Lakeland home was not immediately returned.

Sedwick’s mother removed her from the school after the 2012 school year, but the bullying continued on the girl’s cellphone via social media, Judd said. On Sept. 9, Sedwick climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant and jumped to her death, authorities said.

After the suicide, police looked at the girl’s computer and found search queries for topics including “what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl,” “how to get blades out of razors” and “how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die.” One of her screensavers also showed Sedwick with her head resting on a railroad track.

Florida has a bullying law named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. Amended July 1 to cover cyberbullying, the law leaves punishment to schools, though law enforcement also can seek more traditional charges.

Both girls were charged as juveniles with third-degree felony aggravated stalking. If convicted, it’s not clear how much time, if any at all, the girls would spend in juvenile detention because they did not have any previous criminal history, the sheriff said.

“Time may not be the best trainer here. We’ve got the change this behavior of these children,” Judd said.

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month

National Safe Place

For Youth…Someplace To Go. Someone To Help.

nationalsafeplace.org

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

National Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying is a common experience for many young people. Bullying behavior can be verbal, physical or cyber and can leave many youth feeling damaged. Those who are bullied experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have even chosen to attempt suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.

Bullying Prevention and Awareness Facts:
More than 160,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day from fear of being bullied.
Students who are bullied report more physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, than other students.
Bullying affects witnesses as well as targets. Witnesses often report feeling unsafe, helpless, and afraid they will be the next target.
Depending on the environment, some groups – such as LGBTQ youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth – may be at an increased rise of being bullied.
Students can be especially effective in bullying prevention. More than 55 percent of bullying situations will stop when a peer intervenes. Student education about how to address bullying for peers is critical, as is the support of adults.
How can a young person stop bullying once it starts?
Avoid bullies when possible
Walk to school and eat lunch with friends
Project confidence
Stay near an adult
Go to a Safe Place
How can youth stop cyberbullying once it starts?
Don’t respond to and forward cyberbullying messages
Keep evidence of cyberbullying – record dates, times, and descriptions of instances
Save and print screenshots, emails, text messages
Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone providers, parents, and law enforcement
Block the cyberbully
No matter what type of bullying occurs, it’s important to respond in a positive and accepting manner. Let children know it’s not their fault and that they did the right thing by speaking up.

Things you can do during National Bullying Prevention Month:
Shelter: Have a group discussion about bullying and talk about how harmful it can be to a person’s self esteem. Let youth know it is right to stand up for someone who is being bullied. Discuss appropriate responses to bullying and be sure to mention Safe Place as a helpful resource.
Outreach: Be sure youth are aware that Safe Place can be an option for bully victims when they feel they have nowhere else to turn.
Transitional Living Program: Establish an action plan, which can include Safe Place for youth in case they are ever subjected to bullying. A clear plan will help youth respond appropriately and create feelings of safety.
Helpful Links

stopbullying.gov

stompoutbullying.org

pacer.org

Text “SAFE” and your current location (address/city/state) to 69866 for immediate help.

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