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We are the Admiral Moorer Middle School Family. This environment is a safe place for learning and high expectations. We are motivated and we stretch ourselves. Our destination is graduation. No excuses…just results!
May 10, 2010
Volume 5, Issue 2
May's Article: Bullies on a Virtual Playground - Sticks
and Stones No Longer Needed
Imagine arriving home to find your child beaten at the hands
of a school yard bully. Cuts and bruises highlight the physical
abuse inflicted just beyond the watchful eyes of school
officials. Long before the bruises appeared, your child suffered
a far more destructive form of abuse. Text messages, YouTube
videos and a foray of abusive posts on MySpace broke your
child's confidence long before the bully's sticks and stones ever
Once viewed as harmless teasing, cyberbullying (bullying through the use of electronic devices)
now accounts for the majority of abusive behavior among teens. Taunts and threats formerly
confined to written notes and conversations in the halls now flows freely from one cell phone to
the next before finding their way online and into a chatroom or onto a MySpace page.
Nationwide, two-thirds of teens have had "mean, threatening or embarrassing things said about
them online," according to a survey commissioned by Fight Crime; Invest in Kids, a national
nonprofit organization of law enforcement, The survey results revealed another, equally startling
finding. The majority of cyberbullying cases are never reported. When asked about their
reluctance to report bullying, teens shared their fear of losing internet access or their cell phones
as a possible consequence if their parents became aware of the abuse.
"Being bullied is not just an unpleasant rite of passage through childhood," said Duane
Alexander, M.D., director of the NICHD. "It's a public health problem that merits attention.
People who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression and low self
esteem, well into adulthood, and the bullies themselves are more likely to engage in criminal
behavior later in life."
Left unchecked, online abuse can quickly escalate to abuse in the off-line world. The tragic
suicide of 13-year-old, Megan Meier, who took her own life after continued online abuse,
highlights the devastating effect that cyberbullying can have on the teenage psyche. As a result
of high profile cases like Megan's and our nation's grief in response to the Columbine massacre,
many states have enacted new legislation to extend the scope of anti-bullying policies to include
cyberbullying behavior. Although California amended their anti-bullying legislation in 2003 with
the passing of Senate Bill 719 (Bullying Prevention for School Safety and Crime Reduction Act),
the state still falls short in their attempt to define bullying and harassment as well as failing to
include legal protection for school districts who comply with the new policy. Support may not be
far away. The recent addition of Senate Bill 86 would extend a school's ability to suspend or
recommend expulsion for students who engage in bullying or cyberbullying. Currently the bill sits
among state assembly members after passing a senate vote. As more states begin adopting antibullying
policies, parents and teachers could see some relief from what has become a national
epidemic among the teen population.
The absence of legal muscle has given rise to watch dog sites like the Bully Police
org) and Wired Safety (www.wiredsafety.org) who track bullying incidents and
offer parents resources for identifying and reporting abuse. While parents and teachers can
partner to monitor the structured parts of a child's day, most kids face feel the effects of
cyberbullying in the afterschool hours when adult supervision is at a minimum. Looking for signs
of online abuse takes a keen eye. With the growing gap in internet awareness between teens and
parents, it's a rare parent that can decipher their child's online activity. Reviewing online
resources and attending parent education presentations will help to bridge the gap and raise the
level of awareness needed to identify and report abusive behavior.
Action steps for parents
1. Share observations. Sharing statements like, "You seem sad today" or "This seems like a
rough week for you" may open the door to a conversation with your child.
2. Investigate. Outside of weekday mornings and evenings, a parent's time with a child is often
limited to a few quick phone calls and weekend activities. Sharing a conversation with adults who
see your child on a regular weekly basis fills in the gaps of what you might be missing.
Connecting with teachers, coaches, and mentors can be an invaluable source of information
about a child's life. If concerns arise about your child's behavior, turn to this group of adults for
3. Make contact. A casual argument between friends doesn't call for a heated visit to the
school's front office; however, when arguments turn physical or include verbally abusive
statements don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with the school counselor. Bring the
evidence you have from your observations as well as any conversations with adults who regularly
interact with your child.
4. Avoid the Papparazzi. Coach your child to stay clear of impromptu cell phone camera shots.
An innocent shot, snapped quickly between classes can eventually find its way into a bully's
5. Report it. The moment you become aware of a threatening email, or see anything online
referencing your child in a negative way, report it to school administrators and law enforcement
officials. Collect any abuse communication (emails, instant messages or text messages) that
could be used to document bullying behavior.
Bringing bullying to an end takes a team effort. Schools and law enforcement agencies have risen
to meet the challenge of keeping kids safe, but the brunt of the burden still falls on the shoulders
of victims and their families. Through a continued effort to identify and report bullying incidents,
teens regain self confidence and move toward a happy and healthy future.
Additional reading on the topic of bullying:
Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where do your Rights end and Consequences begin
by Judge Tom Jacobs
Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write about Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy
Half Day on December 12th
On Wednesday, December 12, 2012, students of Eufaula City Schools will be
dismissed at 11:30 a.m. Breakfast and lunch will be served on December
12th, and buses will run the normal routes for this early dismissal.
Extended day and 21st century activities are cancelled.
All staff members will be involved in professional development training
for the duration of the day.
School will resume on Thursday, December 13th, as usual. Students will be
dismissed on Thursday, December 20th, at regular time for Christmas
Thank you for your continued support of our staff as we work to
improve the quality of classroom instruction. The window of time for
this half day of Professional Development is small. It would be a
tremendous benefit to our staff if students are picked up as soon as
possible after the 11:30 bell so staff can make full use of this
opportunity that has been approved by the State Department of Education.
Eufaula City Calendar
Equal Opportunity Employment
It is the official policy of Eufaula City Schools that no persons will, on the grounds of race, color, disability, sex, religion, national origin, age, or creed, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program, activity or employment.
Principal's letters of attestation regrading
individual teachers' highly qualified status are available upon request.