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What administrators should_know_about_cyberspace_misconduct


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Hector Molina Presentation from the SLI '10

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What administrators should_know_about_cyberspace_misconduct

  1. 1. Presented by: Hector Molina
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. 3  74% of total population (251.7 million) are internet users  87% of youth, aged 12 to 17, are regularly online  61% of youth, aged 13 to 17, have a personal profile on a social networking site  53% of teens enter chat rooms  85% of teens use Instant Messaging  Approximately 4 out of 5 teens own a cell phone  Nearly 50% of minors, aged 8 to 12, own a cell phone
  5. 5. 5  Sending mean, hurtful or threatening messages or images about another person  Posting sensitive, private information about another person  Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad  Intentionally excluding someone from an online group
  6. 6. 6  Flaming (bashing)  Harassment  Cyberstalking  Denigration  Impersonation  Outing and Trickery  Exclusion
  7. 7. 7  54% (more than 13 million) of youth, aged 6 to 17, are or have been targets of cyberbullying  Victims usually turn into bullies themselves  Victims usually have thought of committing suicide at least once  Peaks in older grades  Girls are the primary offenders and victims  Used as a secondary playground to socialize
  8. 8. 8  Victimization can occur 24/7  There is no “safe place” to go to  Messages and images can be distributed worldwide and is often irretrievable  Can solicit the involvement/participation of others  Cyberbullies do not need to be “big and mean”  Cyberbullies can be anonymous, making it difficult to hold them responsible  More difficult to prevent or discipline  Long-term psychological harm may be greater
  9. 9. 9  Low academic performance  Loneliness  Humiliation  Insecurity; low self-esteem  Emotional and social adjustment issues  Fear of going to school  Transfer to another school  Extreme violent behavior, including murder and suicide
  10. 10. 10 They don’t want to…  Seem weak  Draw more attention to themselves  Let others know of their “failure” in school  Lose online and cell phone privileges
  11. 11. 11  Advise victim not to respond and to block the sender, but save messages as evidence  Report incident to law enforcement if it involves threats of violence, extortion, obscene messages, harassment, stalking or other unlawful acts and contact victim’s parent/guardian  Check if messages were sent through district’s Internet system  Inform Internet, e-mail or cell phone service provider about the content (Handout)  Provide counseling and/or other necessary mental health services for victim and family
  12. 12. 12  Informal sit-downs  Parent conferences  Behavior plans  Prohibition from extracurricular activities  Suspension/expulsion, or  Civil/criminal penalties
  13. 13. 13  Bullying generally – Unprovoked aggression, often directed repeatedly toward another individual or group of individuals  EC 48900.2 – Sexual Harassment  EC 48900.3 – Hate Violence  EC 48900.4 – Harassment, Threats, and Intimidation  Creation of hostile or offensive environments
  14. 14. 14  Schools may suspend or expel a student who engaged in an act of bullying, including bullying committed by means of an electronic act directed specifically toward a pupil or school personnel [EC 48900(r)]  Bullying means one or more acts by a pupil or group of pupils as defined in EC 48900.2, 48900.3, or 48900.4 [EC 32261(f)]  Electronic act means the transmission of a communication, including a message, text, sound, or image by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager[EC 32261(g)]
  15. 15. 15 Amends the federal criminal code to impose criminal penalties on anyone who transmits in interstate or foreign commerce a communication intended to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to another person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior. Chapter 41 of title 18, United States Code: Extortion and Threats
  16. 16. 16 13-year-old Megan Meier established an online relationship with a 16-year-old boy who suddenly turned against her, writing things like, “I don’t know if I want to be friends with you any longer because I hear you’re not nice to your friends.” Then followed with postings like, “Megan Meier is a slut. Megan Meier is fat.” Megan ended up committing suicide when he wrote to her saying that “the world would be a better place without her.” The boy was actually a couple of adults, one of which was a 47-year-old neighbor whose daughter was a former friend of Megan’s.
  17. 17. 17 SEXTING
  18. 18. 18 The act of sending sexually explicit messages, semi-nude or nude photos via cell phone cameras and messaging features, usually between young people.
  19. 19. 19  Starts as early as 4th grade, but occurs more among teens and young adults  20% of teens (13-19) and 33% of young adults (20-26) had sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves electronically  39% of teens and 59% of young adults have sent sexually explicit text messages  38% of youth under 18 years of age have received sexual images via text or email  Girls are usually doing the posting and the sending  It is becoming the #1 disciplinary issue on middle and high school campuses
  20. 20. 20  Social networking – more friends  Courtship…flirtation  Gift for the significant other  Peer pressure  “Safe sex”  No awkward physical or verbal interaction  No sex  No STD  No unwanted pregnancy
  21. 21. 21  Production/manufacturing = creating  Distribution/dissemination = sending or forwarding  Possession = keeping  Receiving is not an offence  The longer it remains, the more serious the offence
  22. 22. 22  Lifetime of embarrassment, leading to depression and/or suicide  Potential target of blackmail and harassment  Can be a “career killer”  Expulsion  Severe legal problems 5 to 20 years in prison (Federal)  Up to 3 years in prison and $2,500 fine (State)  Registered sex offender for a lifetime
  23. 23. 23  Florida. 18-year-old boy was sentenced to 5 years probation and required to register as a sex offender after he sent a naked photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend, a photo she had taken and sent him, to dozens of her friends and family after an argument.  Ohio. Two teenagers were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor, for sending or possessing nude photos on their cell phones of two 15-year-old classmates.  Vermont. An 18-year-old boy was sentenced up to 2 years in prison but will serve 90 days after pleading guilty to having directed two teenage girls to videotape or photograph themselves performing sex acts and send him the results.
  25. 25. 25  Schools often must balance competing interests (e.g. students’ free speech or right to privacy versus administrators’ need to implement education mission, control discipline, and provide a safe school environment  Schools have jurisdiction over acts that are related to school activity or school attendance while on or off campus  The majority of cyber misconducts occur off campus in students’ homes  Laws have not caught up with the technology; court decisions have been inconsistent
  26. 26. 26  Students may keep highly personal information on their cell phones, and can record their most private thoughts and conversations.  Minor students have Fourth Amendment rights, and rights under the California constitution’s privacy clause, but those rights are diminished in a school setting.  Courts look to balance the student’s expectation of privacy against the school’s need to maintain safety and order.  The activities of students on the school campus or at school sponsored events are considered private and should not be disclosed or shared with anyone but authorized persons. [FERPA; EC 49060]
  27. 27. 27  Student searches must be reasonable…  Was the action justified at its beginning?  Was the extent of the search as conducted reasonably related to the circumstances which justified the search in the first place?  Reasonable grounds must exist for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or school policy.
  28. 28. 28  Clear expectations  Use of influence versus authority  Appropriate and consistent response to incidents  Who is authorized to respond?  What perception does the school/ district want to create regarding responsibility for regulating cyberspace activity?
  29. 29. 29 Because off-campus student websites involve a fundamental right and because this area of law is evolving, it is recommended that districts consult with counsel prior to applying discipline and when developing policy.
  30. 30. 30 EDUCATION
  31. 31. 31  Make “real” friends  Don’t post pictures or identifiable information on the internet (i.e. full name, date of birth, address, school, detailed description of self)  Don’t share hobbies, habits and hangouts  Don’t be too trusting…nothing is private, and not everything is true  Block and ignore hate messages, but save messages as evidence  Stop and think of the consequences  Seek help
  32. 32. 32 Be involved in your children’s lives in and out of school…  Spend quality time with them  Enrich their lives; take them places  Model good habits/behaviors and ways to handle difficult situations  Build trust and open lines of communication  Let them know how to reach you any time of the day  Participate in school activities/events  Know who their friends are in school and online  Know what they are doing  Know when they are not acting their normal self
  33. 33. 33  Know the capabilities of all the technology that is accessible to your children  Set clear guidelines of computer and cell phone usage and consequences for any violations  Monitor and check the computer and cell phone on a random but consistent basis with your child present  Google your child’s name once in a while  Never allow your children to lock themselves in their bedrooms alone for long periods of time  Discuss the difference between private and public
  34. 34. 34  District policy and school rules  Enforcement of district policy and school rules  Proper search and seizure policy and procedures  Appropriate response on and off campus  Appropriate teacher-student communication via cell phones, e-mails, social networking sites, etc.
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. 36 Hector J. Molina 530-681-0279