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Disclaimer

TeenFest Foundation does not provide medical advice or recommendations or endorse any specific violence reduction strategies.   Any information on this site is for informational purposes only. This information does not replace professional or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions regarding a medical condition or professional opinions, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional.

North Carolina “Anti Bullying Bill”

 

Understanding the School Violence Prevention Act

On July 30, 2009, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed the School Violence Prevention Act (also known as the “anti-bullying bill”). The new law requires K-12 public schools in the state to adopt strong, consistent policies to protect all students from bullying and harassment.

 

Who does the law affect?

The School Violence Prevention Act affects all students, faculty and staff at K-12 public schools in North Carolina. Those in schools that already have strong antibullying policies may not see much of a change if their policies already fit into the new guidelines.

 

When did the law take effect?

North Carolina School districts’ comprehensive anti-bullying policies should have been in place by December 31, 2009.

 

How will the new law be implemented?

Notice of the local policy will be printed in any school publication that lists comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct and in any student and school employee handbook. Information regarding the local policy against bullying or harassing behavior will also be incorporated into schools’ employee training programs. More information on implementation is available in the “Implementation of the Law” section.

 

Definition of bullying or harassing behavior

"Bullying or harassing behavior" is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus, and that:

i.  Places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; or

 

ii. Creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.

 

List of characteristics

Bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to, acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

 

Source: ACLU of North Carolina

http://www.acluofnorthcarolina.org/files/SVPAImplementationToolkit.pdf

 

What is Bullying?

Bullying among children is aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Typically, it is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting and/or punching (physical bullying); teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying); intimidation using gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or emotional bullying); and sending insulting messages by phone or computer e-mail (cyberbullying). Many children, particularly boys and older children, do not tell their parents or adults at school about being bullied. It is important that adults are vigilant to possible signs of bullying.

Read more...
 

ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS: How to Avoid Them

by Terry Miller Shannon of www.teenwire.com

 

Research has shown that 36 to 50 percent of American women will be abused in their lifetime. (Women and girls sometimes abuse men and boys, but nine out of 10 victims are girls or women).  People don't suddenly turn into abusers when they become adults. It's in their teen dating relationships. And violence doesn't

Read more...
 

CYBERBULLYING

 

In recent years, technology has given children and youth a new means of bullying each other. Cyberbullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, has been defined as an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself. 

 

Cyberbullying can involve:

    ·  Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images

    ·  Posting sensitive, private information and/or lies about another person

    ·  Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad

    ·  Intentionally excluding someone from an online group

 

Children and youth can cyberbully each other through:

    ·  Emails

    ·  Instant messaging

    ·  Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones

    ·  Social networking sites

    ·  Web pages

    ·  Blogs

    ·  Chat rooms or discussion groups

    ·  Other cyber technologies

Read more...
 

Youth Gangs:

Every large urban school district is affected by street gang activity; however, youth gangs are not simply a large city or inner city problem. Nor are they a problem of particular race or culture. Gang membership crosses all ethnic, racial and geographic boundaries. 

 

Identification:

No single warning sign indicates that a child is behaving in a manner that potentially places the youth at risk of gang involvement.

What is a gang?

A youth/street gang should be defined as a closely (or loosely) structured group of individuals who may express their identification by adopting certain dress attire, adoption of symbolic behavior to include nicknames of individuals, tattoos, hand signs, and the claiming of territory in a neighborhood. The activities of this group include criminal acts of violence, threats, and anti-social behavior.

 

A youth/street gang may be small or large in membership, with subdivisions determined many times by location of the gang or ages of the members. (Sometimes smaller gangs will be called "sets", "cliques", "posse", or "crews".)

Read more...
 

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