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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anti-bullying & -cyberbullying reports, projects

So far this year there have been four suicides in the US because of bullying, writes Chicago mental health examiner Jerilyn Dufresne, marking the suicide of 11-year-old bullying victim Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover in The Examiner. His mother is asking her state government, Massachusetts, to investigate the school Carl attended, reports. The family of a 17-year-old bullying and suicide victim in Ohio is suing their school district for violating the boy's "civil right to safety, as well as the family's 14th Amendment rights to raise and educate Eric [Mohat] in a safe environment," the [northern Ohio] News-Herald reports. In the UK, counselors at BeatBullying, a nonprofit organization, have trained 700 teens to mentor bullying victims in both face-to-face meetings and through a new Web service called CyberMentors, reports. adds that "over the next two years, the new CyberMentors project will be brought to other schools across the country as part of the national peer mentoring pilot announced by the Government." The New York Times recently zoomed in on Scarsdale [N.Y.] Middle School's strong emphasis on empathy training to reduce bullying. It refers to the Character Education Partnership, a nonprofit group in Washington, saying that "18 states - including New York, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and California - require programs to foster core values such as empathy, respect, responsibility and integrity." Another such approach is the "CAPSULE" anti-bullying instruction program that has been tested in both US and UK schools (see my earlier post). And there's a new children's book out about cyberbullying, Don't Hit Send Just to Fit In. Here's background on US case law where cyberbullying and schools are concerned, from attorney and educator Kathleen Conn in Educational Leadership and London-based Childnet International's wonderful anti-cyberbullying resource (and moving video) at

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