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Five Social Media Warnings That Tell You Your Teen is in Trouble

Social media is the latest craze for teens. While social media allows our teens to talk and share with their friends, join groups that interest them, take part in online events and meet new people, it can also be a dangerous place.

Cyber bullying is an epidemic that is quickly spreading and has already taken the lives of so many individuals. Teens are also naive, and social media allows them to easily fall victim to bad influences.

As parents, it is our responsibility to monitor our child’s online activities and play and active role in their life. If our teen is in trouble, they will often feel like they can’t turn to their parents, but they will share it will hundreds of social media friends and followers. The following are five social media warnings that will tell you your teen is in trouble.

1. Depressing or irrational posts

If your teen is depressed, they may turn to social media to express their feelings. Maybe they posted a video to YouTube discussing how the world would be better without them. Maybe they’re always tweeting quotes about death.

If your child has been posting status updates that don’t make sense or seem completely irrational, it could be a sign that they’re abusing drugs or alcohol. If you notice posts that seem out of the ordinary, it may be time to take a closer look at the situation.

2. Significant decrease in friends/followers

If your child is depressed or being cyber bullied, they may unfriend or unfollow a large chunk of their network. If you notice that your child recently went from 800 Facebook friends to 120, you should try to figure out why. They could be cutting people out of their life that they don’t think care about them, or they could be blocking people who have been cyber bullying them.

3. Significant increase in new friends

If your child has recently accumulated a bunch of new friends, it may be an indicator that they’re hanging out with a new crowd. Maybe they switched groups because their old friends started bullying them or pressuring them to do something they didn’t want to do. Or maybe they started abusing drugs or alcohol and have made new friends from their new habit.

4. They’ve changed their social media habits

If your teen used to be obsessed with social media sites, and now they barely touch the computer, it could be a sign that something has happened or is happening on that has made your child disengage. Try to talk with your child to get to the root of the problem.

5. There’s a ton of inappropriate comments on their wall/feed

You can tell if your teen is in trouble by monitoring the comments left on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed. If you notice an increase in lewd or inappropriate comments, then there was obviously an even that occurred to spark the increase.

As a parent, the safety and well being of your child is the most important. No matter what warning signs you notice, it is always important to keep an open line of communication with your teen. Let them know that you are here for them, get them to open up to you, and solve their problem together.

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Father Files Restraining Order Against 9-Year-Old for Allegedly Bullying His Son

A California father whose son was reportedly bullied at school has filed a restraining order against the 9-year-old boy allegedly responsible for the abuse.

Stephan Feuder said he had no other option than to get the restraining order after the boy allegedly assaulted his own 9-year-old son on the grounds of the 700-student Rolling Hill Elementary School in Fairfield, Calif. The alleged assault happened on March 13 as his son was trying to protect another student from abuse, Feuder said.

"My son was protecting another little boy that was being bullied by the known school bully," Feuder told ABC News today. "My son stepped in between them and then my son was pushed, my son pushed him back and subsequently after that the little boy came up and punched my son in the face."

But school officials noted that an isolated incident does not necessarily constitute bullying, and furthermore, the district must act according to many rules and laws.
Feuder said he learned about the incident after his son called him from the school’s bathroom. The school district, according to Feuder, was unwilling to step in.
"They don’t want the school to look bad," Feuder said.

So, Feuder sought and obtained a temporary restraining order from a judge at Solano County Family Court, which stipulated that the alleged bully must remain 2 yards away from Feuder’s son at all times and have no contact with him whatsoever.

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Cyber-bullying bill inspired by Polk suicide advanced by Senate

computer keyboard Florida’s anti-bullying law could be extended beyond the boundaries of schools to online forums under a proposal sparked by a Polk County cyber-bullying case that drew a national media spotlight.

Florida already requires public schools to police bullying on their grounds. But the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice advanced a bill Wednesday (SB 548) making it a crime to do so off the school grounds or online.

“Today, with the click of a key a person can destroy the life of another person,” said the bill sponsor, Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs. “There are a group of people who can say anything or do anything on the Internet. They feel there are no limits.”

Prosecutors this winter dropped charges against two teen girls accused of cyber-bullying 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick of Lakeland until she committed suicide. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had arrested the girls accused of stalking and harassing Rebecca and their arrest was broadcast in front of news cameras.

Rebecca jumped to her death last September from a tower at an abandoned cement plant in Lakeland.

The bill would make it a second degree misdemeanor penalty for bullying and a first degree misdemeanor for aggravated bullying, with cyber-bullying falling under the definition.

Sen. Darren Soto, an Orlando Democrat questioned whether the bill was tough enough to have made a difference in the Sedwick case.

The concept of the bill is that activity where an individual “willfully, maliciously and repeatedly harasses or cyber-bullies” another, they could face up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine.

The full article available on The Orlando Sentinel

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Bullying Breakdown: 7 signs your child may be bullied

I was 12 years old, and none of the things I once loved appealed to me anymore. I didn’t want to go shopping. I didn’t want to open Christmas presents. I didn’t want to get out of bed. As a victim of day-in and day-out bullying, I was depressed and life no longer seemed worth living.

But as bad as my depression had become, it was not the worst bullying symptom.

I developed a “stress cough” from the anxiety of the bullying and coughed for three months without stop.

The scariest part was that I couldn’t breathe.

I became so anxious that my chest tightened, and I fainted several times throughout the day.

If your child is feeling anxious, depressed or withdrawn, do not pass it off as “teen syndrome.” These warning signs may indicate serious physical, emotional, or psychological distress. Pay attention to a change in your child’s behavior, and take immediate action if you suspect he is a victim of bullying. I’m not a medical doctor, and my advice should not be substituted for medical consultation. If you suspect that your child is being bullied, seek immediate professional help.

This article details several ways to detect that your child may be experiencing bullying including withdrawal, loss of appetite, emotional outbursts, truancy, defiance, falling grades and self-harm

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Child attempts suicide after being bullied at school for being a fan of My Little Pony

An 11-year-old boy is in the hospital after trying to commit suicide — the victim of bullying at school.

It’s not a new problem in North Carolina, but this puts a new face on the age-old problem as Michael Morones remains in WakeMed with a tube down his throat and potentially life-long brain damage.

Michael tried to kill himself, apparently because he could no longer take the torrent of bullying he was facing at school.

"He’s the kid that never walks. He dances everywhere," said Michael’s mother, Tiffany Morones-Suttle. "He’s so full of energy. He’s always on the move.

Michael’s parents say he was that way even in the face of daunting bullying at school. Michael likes the cartoon "My Little Pony." It turns out, the cartoon has a growing, and perhaps unlikely fan club — men and boys known as "Bronies."

Because of that, Michael was teased so much that ten days ago he decided to do something about it.

"He hung himself off the side of the bunk bed, off the railing," said Tiffany.

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Bullying And Cyberbullying: Things You Need To Know

English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...Bullying and cyberbullying are two side of the same coin; they are both diseases that stem from a desire to intimidate and control others. Bullies aren’t born; they become the way they are because of several factors. For example, if someone has an unhealthy home life where they are being abused in some fashion and are living in a highly stressful environment, it may lead them to take out their frustrations on someone else in order to feel powerful. It also may occur as a vehicle in order for a person to cozy up to a new group of people. Yet another reason is simply an insatiable thirst for control and power over others.

Can Bullying Be A Positive Thing?

People have been bullied for hundreds of years and to some, it is seen as a form of natural selection. That is to say, those proponents of this theory believe that bullying gets kids to become tougher and develop an interest in self defense. This view, understandably, is met with a lot of contention because many don’t understand how feeling powerless is a positive thing; it is proven that this type of longtime abuse can have damaging consequences.

Bullying In The Modern Age

Cyberbullying is the new way for bullies to exert power over their victims; mainly because of the anonymity that the Internet provides. Additionally, cyberbullying is emotionally based and is less obvious than physical forms of abuse. Because the bully and the victim are often acquainted, cyberbullying is more frightening because it occurs over the internet and in the victim’s real life.

Although bullying and cyberbullying share many of the same characteristics, the latter is harder to prosecute because of the Internet’s privacy laws which are protected by the Constitution. However, since the bullying phenomena have caught the media’s attention, many important changes are being made on a governmental level in order to bring about an end to bullying. Although this legislation is essential, parents must remember that the fight doesn’t end there. We (parents, teachers, students, and others) must take a stand against this severe form of abuse that is happening to our children.

Defending Your Children Against Bullying

The Internet provides parents with several preventative measures that can be taken to keep their children safe. For example, a very effective tactic is for parents to keep an eye on their kid’s Internet history. Additionally, parents should educate their children about the dangers of communicating with strangers online. For instance, one can make use of Facebook‘s privacy options or can even report the bully to them in order to reduce those types of problems on that particular site.

Bullying and cyberbullying can be hard to stop. Therefore, the victim must take some responsibility. If someone is being bullied, it is a good idea for them to report it so that something can be done to prevent it from happening again. It is important to note that the victim will need emotional support from their friends and family members once they report the abuse to help minimize any damaging effect of the abuse.

This article was written by Martha Warren, whose child has faced bullying and cybebullying, prompting her to speak against both and help find ways to combat them.

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How Your School Can Combat Cyberbullying

cyber-bullying There are too many stories about young adults who have been the victims of cyberbullying and decided to take their own lives to get the bullying to stop. Megan Meier and Tyler Clementi are two of the most popular, and recently, Amanda Todd has gained recognition for posting a YouTube video before taking her own life.

No parent wants their child to be the victim of cyberbullying, and no teacher wants their students to be a victim either. The only way that cyberbullying can be stopped is through education, and it’s important that schools use the following tips to help ensure it doesn’t become an epidemic at their school.

Listen.

Every member of your faculty needs to pay attention to what is being said around your school. Listen to what students are saying in the hallways and in class. You could learn a good amount of valuable information this way, such as who is being bullied, what social networks students are using. All of this information can help you notice red flags that need to be dealt with.

Monitor social networks.

If your school has its own social pages or networks, make sure that someone is constantly monitoring the activity. If you notice that a student is being bullied or hassled by other classmates, you need to step in and take appropriate action. Plus, if you notice it happening on your own pages, there’s a good chance that it’s happening on other networks too.

Talk about it with your students.

It’s hard to get through to young adults, but if you don’t try, you’ll be 100% unsuccessful. Hold an assembly once a year (or more), bring in keynote speakers who can give first-hand experiences about what is what like to be cyberbullied, what happened to a person accused of cyberbullying or a family member of a person who committed suicide after being cyberbullied. Real-life stories tend to resonate more with students than simply telling them not to do it.

You should also follow up your assemblies with in-class discussions or assignments. Doing this can allow students who have been victimized to reach out to an adult and let them know about what’s going on.

Teach your students what to do.

Have a plan in place for those students who may be cyberbullied. Tell them who to contact, and in case they’d be too embarrassed to tell a faculty member, give them phone numbers to hotlines or other resources that can help them.

Because of this plan, you also need to educate your staff on what to do if a student confides in them about being cyberbullied. With a detailed plan, everyone will be on the same page to seek help for the student.

Educate parents.

Parents often miss obvious signs from their children, and it’s important that you reach out to the parents of your children and teach them about signs to watch for and what to do if their child is being cyberbullied. By keeping an eye out at both school and home, children can be safer.

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Amanda Palmer and Emily Bazelon on bullying

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The Daylight Project

Maroon 5 has heart and a conscience. Adam Levine and the boys’ video for their hit single, "Daylight" brings together very brave fans from around the world who donate their image, their words, their hopes and their fears to the video for the track from the their latest album, Overexposed.

The video features the band’s music and footage submitted by fans from all walks of life who talk about their own personal struggles and what’s important to them. The video is a moving tribute to human spirit, experiences, difficulties and diversity we all face.

Check out the video and let us know if and how it touched your soul.