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Joseph Lesniak Assistant District Attorney (610) 891-4052 or

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  1. Joseph Lesniak Assistant District Attorney (610) 891-4052 or

  2. For Your Consideration… “Bullying poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child.” (Olweus)

  3. Subtle and Not-So-SubtleWays to Bully Subtle Intimidation or Overt Discrimination = loss or destruction of self-esteem Bullies rely on fear Bullies exert power

  4. Study of Children Who Bully: 60% of boys who bullied in middle school had at least one conviction by age 24. 40% had three or more (Olweus)

  5. Impact on the Victim Everyday ~160,000 students stay home from school due to the fear of being bullied (Vail, 1999) 15% - 25% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency (Nansel et al, 2001)

  6. Kids & Teens Use the Internet Daily Research, Read, Write Blog, Make Sites, Create Social Networks Search for Colleges & Jobs Share Photos & Videos Chat / Instant Message (IM) Play Games Download Music, Movies

  7. Internet Safety 101 Inappropriate content: • Pornography • Hateful, racist, and violent material • Details of illegal activity • Obtaining drugs, alcohol • How to make drugs, explosives • Gambling websites

  8. The Internet is Everywhere The Internet is accessible from almost any location and portable devices Kids need your help navigating the Internet to avoid its risks

  9. Your Child’s Online Life 33% of 13 to 17-year-olds reported that their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about what they do on the Internet. (Source: NCMEC & Cox Communications.) Communicate with your kids about online safety Educate yourself about the Internet and related technologies

  10. What’s Your IM IQ? MOS Mom Over Shoulder CD9 Code 9: Parents Nearby A/S/L? Age, sex, location? GNOC! Get Naked On Camera! MIRL Meet in real life

  11. You Can’t Take It Back! Online profiles and blogs can also be viewed by: • Parents, guardians, and relatives • Teachers and principals • Colleges and universities • Employers • ONLINE PREDATORS If it’s on the Internet, IT’S NOT PRIVATE.

  12. You Can’t Take It Back! Photos and videos should never be posted online if they show: • Backgrounds that reveal identifying information • Sexually provocative poses • Too much skin

  13. WHAT IS CYBER-BULLYING? • When a child is tormented, harassed, embarrassed, threatened, or humiliated repeatedly by another child or group of children • Occurs online or through another electronic device • Research indicates that at least half of middle and high school students have been bullied online at least once!

  14. CYBER-BULLY vs. PLAYGROUND BULLY • ANONYMOUS – Cyber-bullies can hide their identities online • NO SUPERVISION online – on the playground, adults are usually watching! • CONTINOUS VICTIMIZATION • Most kids have cell phones or Internet access constantly

  15. COMMON PLACES… • Instant Messaging • Email • Social Networking • Facebook, Myspace, MyYearbook, Stickam, YouTube • Cell Phones • Text Messages • Apps - iPhone’s “Ugly Meter”

  16. Cyber-Bullying Matters 19% of teens report being harassed or bullied online The incidence is higher among kids 16- and 17- year-olds at 23% 85% of incidents occur when youth are at home

  17. Information can be inadvertently revealed in pictures • Sexually provocative pictures can be used • for exploitation

  18. How to Create Safer Social Networking Make your own profile and add your children as friends Learn the site’s safety features Have children use privacy settings Teach kids to add only friends they know in real life Examine their list of friends and browse their friends’ pages

  19. Facebook Security Facebook allows it’s users to download a copy of their profile to a zip file that Facebook stores. This information can be provided to Law Enforcement in the event an incident occurs involving a Facebook Profile. Parents with access to their child's profile can download this information and provide a copy to LEA for their investigation. This includes photos, videos, posts, messages, friends lists, and other content shared with others.

  20. Download Profile Access “Account” from drop down menu in upper right corner Choose “Account Setting” At bottom of menu choose “Download Your Information, Learn More” Choose “Download”

  21. What is “sexting”? The sending or receiving of sexually-suggestive or explicit text or pictures via one’s cell phone, web cam or other electronic means.

  22. How widespread is this problem? The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy One in five teens (13-19 years) of age have sent/posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys sent these photos in hopes of dating or 'hooking up' with the person receiving the photos 51% of girls say they have felt pressure from a guy to send nude photos 33% of boys admit to having looked at nude or semi nude images - originally meant for someone else

  23. Real life imitates life online What teens are doing electronically seems to have an effect on what they do in real life: 22% admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive. 38% say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely. 29% believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.

  24. Tragic Consequences After his former girlfriend taunted him, Phillip Alpert remembered the nude photos she e-mailed to him while they were dating. He took revenge with an electronic blast — e-mailing the photos of the 16-year-old girl to more than 70 people, including her parents, grandparents and teachers.

  25. Teen committed suicide over ‘sexting’ Jesse Logan was taunted about photo she sent to boyfriend February 15, 1990 - July 3, 2008

  26. Cell Porn Scandal Hits Pa. High School ALLENTOWN, PA. January 24, 2008 (AP) “Police faced a difficult if not impossible task Thursday as they tried to stop the spread of pornographic video and photos of two high school girls, images that were transmitted by cell phone to dozens of the girls' classmates and then to the wider world.”

  27. Discussion Points Scenario 1 Boyfriend breaks up with the girl then sends the image to 20 of his friends who then send it to their friends. Charge Don’t charge

  28. Discussion Points Scenario 2 The original girl commits suicide as the result of her picture being shared all over the Internet. Charge Don’t charge

  29. What Can Parents & Schools Do? Set rules for Internet use: What sites can your child visit? Whom can they talk to online? How much time can they spend online? Keep the computer in a common room (not in secluded areas like a bedroom or basement)

  30. What You Can Do Consider safeguarding options: • Filtering applications restrict access to inappropriate material • Monitoring software records websites visited, chat conversations, and other content

  31. What You Can Do Tell your child not to respond to harassing messages Save the evidence Set up a new account for your child and lock them out of the old one If you believe your child is in immediate danger, contact your local law-enforcement agency.

  32. What You Can Do Communicate: Encourage your child to confide in you about anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused while online Prepare yourself beforehand for what they may tell you

  33. What We Do Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces Coordination with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) Coordination with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies

  34. Megan Meier The New York Times August 3, 2008 “Megan Meier, 13, began receiving nasty messages from a boy after a few weeks of an online flirtation with him, via her MySpace account, ending with one that suggested “the world would be a better place” without her. Megan, believing she had been rejected by "Josh," committed suicide in her home.”

  35. Megan Meier • 13 years old • The “Unattractive Girl” • Catholic School, MO • Committed Suicide on: • October 17, 2006 • A mother was Charged & Convicted (conviction was later overturned)

  36. Megan Meier • The “Bullies” used: • MySpace • (created a “hoax” account and used it to post “mean” comments)

  37. Phoebe Prince • 15 years old • The “New Girl” • South Hadley High School, Mass. • Committed Suicide on: • January 14, 2010 • 5 Students Charged

  38. Phoebe Prince • The “Bullies” used: • Facebook • Twitter • Craigs List • Springform

  39. Phoebe Prince You do not want to have to hold a vigil at your school

  40. RESOURCES Cyber-bullying Research Center – National Center for Bullying Prevention - STOP Cyberbullying – Netsmartz – National Center for Missing & Exploited Children -