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Johanna Mustacchi has written an article called “R U Safe?” in the magazine Educational Leadership.
In it, we find that the 150 8th grade students at Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School in Croton-on-Hudson collaborated to write these definitions of aggressive communication practices in cyberspace, as well as some tips for handling each one.
- FLAMING — When someone insults someone else, usually by email, instant message, or text message: To prevent flaming, do not respond. Save the messages so you can show a trusted adult. Don’t worry if the message is from someone you don’t know or recognize; there are ways to track the person down.
- PHISHING — An attempt to get your personal information by pretending to be a site you are familiar with or trust: Always be sure you know where your emails come from. Don’t give information over the Internet to sites that don’t look valid. [If you’re not sure, check with someone who can tell the difference.]
- CYBERBULLYING — A child bullying another child on the Internet: Bullying involves repeated put-downs, insults, and threats, with the emphasis on repeated. If you get bullied, tell an adult that you trust. To avoid this situation, do NOT talk to people on the Internet whom you don’t know.
- CYBERHARASSMENT — Harassment through the Internet that involves an adult: An adult can harass a child, a child can harass an adult, and an adult can harass another adult.
- CYBERBULLYING or HARASSMENT “BY PROXY” — (1) When cyberbullies get someone else — or several people — to do their dirty work, or (2) When a bully intentionally provokes a victim to lash back — to get the victim into trouble: If this happens to you, don’t lash back. Contact your Internet service provider (ISP), talk to an adult, or talk to your friends about it.
- ONLINE GROOMING — When a predator builds an online relationship with a child by giving compliments or a “shoulder to lean on,” or sends gifts until the child trusts the predator: Typical grooming lines include “Where are the computers in your house?”, “Are your parents around much?”, “You can always talk to me,” “I’m always here for you,” “You don’t deserve how they treat you,” “You have a great personality,” “You’re beautiful; you should be a model.” To protect yourself from a groomer, (1) always know whom you are talking to online, (2) don’t give out personal information, (3) don’t post seductive or inappropriate pictures of yourself or other online, (4) never meet up in person with anyone you meet online, and (5) talk with your parents if you feel suspicious about something online.
8th Graders’ Top Ten Tips:
- Don’t give out personal information.
- Don’t talk to anybody you don’t know.
- Use a secure password.
- Don’t give your password to anybody.
- Be careful about what you post online.
- Don’t put pictures of yourself online.
- Tell someone if you get cyberbullied.
- Be honest.
- Don’t click on pop-ups.
- Only go to sites you know are safe.
sole source: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) publication “Educational Leadership” article by Johanna Mustacchi/March Issue. www.ascd.org
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