31 December 2013

Bullying:It's not just kids

The following item from last Sunday's Mail is of interest as I have to deal, in my school teacher role, with bullying. In the end it hurts both the victim and the perpetrator. The one thing i find most confusing is that the kid who is bullied, given the opportunity to find their own victim, will in their turn bully them. As such I am lead to believe that these behaviors are both tolerated and taught by our  society. What made this article special is that Billy has been my student for 6 years; I have watched him develop and grow into a wonderful young man with empathy for all. Despite all the odds he has just completed his SACE and should be as proud of his achievement as students who gained merits as he has worked just as hard.
But bullying doesn't stop at school and it is rife throughout almost every organisation I have worked in, this includes Council. From time to time I receive emails from residents that can only be described as bullying and in committing this act I wonder what the resident was hoping to achieve? I'm not the sort of person that doesn't stand up for themselves, however, I have learned that a lot of arguments are won by knowing when not to respond.

Online hate in disguise Evil lurking behind
Sunday Mail Adelaide, Adelaide  29 Dec 2013

ADELAIDE teenagers are escalating their social media attacks by threatening violence against each other in the latest form of online bullying.

The attacks have been launched through a Facebook burn book page which was disguised to avoid detection from anti-bullying campaigners.

The page has led to warnings for parents to monitor their childrens online use.


ADELAIDE teenagers have escalated their social media attacks by threatening violence against others on a Facebook "burn book" that was camouflaged in an attempt to avoid anti-bullying campaigners.

The latest burn book, named Adelaide Elvis Book in a bid to avoid detection, was set up a fortnight ago and names and shames boys and girls, many of them in their early teens, by sharing sexually explicit rumours about them.

But the page, which has more than 350 friends, goes a step further. It also contains threatening posts that include gems such as "we will take you for a little boot ride" and "I will stab".

Like previous burn books a term that comes from the she said, warning parents to monitor teenage online use.

"Some teens I’ve seen who’ve been bullied in this way suffer a form of post-traumatic shock.

"They can’t sleep, think about it constantly, are scared to go to school, cry and can become very depressed and anxious." Police are urging anyone who has been threatened on Facebook’s Adelaide Elvis Book 2004 movie Mean Girls, in which girls used a hook to write rumours about fellow students this one urges people to send in anonymous gossip.

The Sunday Mail has previously repoited parents’ concerns that Facebook has not acted swiftly enough to shut down burn books.

Clinical psychologist Kirrilie Smout, who specialises in working with children and teenagers, said burn book pages created intense psychological pressure on young people.

"The people who are named on the page are often instantly identified they are sometimes tagged so that all of their Facebook friends immediately see the gossip, insults, slander, bullying, about that person," or similar sites to repoit them to a police station immediately.

Officers said those issuing online threats could he charged with making unlawful threats or using a carriage service to menace or harass.

A month ago anti-bullying campaigner and stroke survivor William Russell, 19, was targeted by another online page that appropriated and defaced his Facebook profile photo after he posted on the page about the dangers of cyber-bullying.

Mr Russell. who has been nominated by Unley Council for a Young Citizen of the Year Award, nins the Teen Suppoit Network website to help victims of harassment in schools, workplaces or at home.

"As burn books are open to the users of Facebook they do have effects on people, especially teenagers and their families, as rumours are open to the public users," he said.

"I strongly believe that Facebook and the other social networking sites need to improve their reporting procedures and the time span they take to ad on removing these kind of pages." Facebook Australia and New Zealand head of communi-cations Antonia Christie said the company was hying to enact anti-bullying policies globally. She had seen sites shut within minutes of them being repoited.

"Bullying is a violation of our terms and we remove all content that is repoited to us that violates our policies," she said. "Nothing is more impoitant to Facebook than the safety of those who use our site.

"Our statement of rights and responsibilites that users agree to outlines what conduct is permitted and we maintain a robust repoiting infrastructure that leverages over one billion people who use our site to keep an eye out for harmful or potentially dangerous content" FOR CRISIS SUPPORT CONTACT LIFELINE ON 131114

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