Category Archives: Front page

Michigan hospital opens anti-bullying center

By Tony Briscoe and J.T. Bohland
Staff writers

Michigan was the 48th state to pass anti-bullying legislation, but it may be one of the first to develop clinical treatment for those affected by bullying.

William Beaumont Hospital, of Royal Oak, is expected to open a clinic to help victims of bullying, bullies, bystanders and families on May 4.

Kevin Epling, a major proponent of Michigan’s anti-bullying law, said the concept is on the cutting-edge of bullying therapy.

“I’ve not heard of anything like this taking place in a hospital,” said Epling. “Most of these are providers that parents would have to find such as counselors or someone at the general community health office.”

Dr. Marlene Seltzer, director of the No Bullying Live Empowered (NoBLE) Center, stumbled upon the idea while practicing gynecology through the years.

Next wave: anti-hazing laws

By Hayley Beitman
Staff writer

As states and universities adopt more anti-hazing laws, there is evidence that hazing is a legal issue around the world. The Philippines, for example, has a national anti-hazing law. In the United States, hazing is regulated at state and local levels.

Hazing laws vary by state, so one collective definition does not yet exist. Hazing as defined by Jacinda Boucher, author of Hazing and Higher Education, “encompasses an extensive range of behaviors and activities, ranging from seemingly innocuous activities such as blindfolding and scavenger hunts, to more dangerous and extreme physical punishments, including sleep deprivation and excessive exercise.”

Hank Nuwer, hazing author and public speaker, defines bullying as mean or dangerous behavior meant to exclude someone from a group; His contrasting definition of hazing is bringing someone into a group, even if it is silly or demeaning. The problem according to Nuwer is that hazing can also be bullying in such cases like a football team not wanting a member to join.

Glenn Stutzky, clinical social worker at Michigan State University, defines hazing as group bullying. Everyone’s definition is a little different which makes talking about the same thing difficult.

Military Hazing: Rite or Wrong?

By Tony Briscoe
Staff writer

When Sean Paul Brinston joined the Navy, he didn’t know that piling charred human feces would be how he would serve his country.

While in Afghanistan, Navy corpsman Brinston’s platoon was ordered by a sergeant to tidy up a burn pit — a landfill of garbage, thrown-out food and human defecation.

“All of the stuff down there is anything you can think of, and at night coyotes get down there,” said Brinston, who is based at a naval medical center in Portsmouth, Va.

The company reluctantly began the daunting task, an experience that Brinston now considers hazing.

“We used to burn the ‘wag bags’ (bags of feces) at night, but some of them weren’t burned that day because everyday bags get thrown down there,” he said. “It smelled horrible.”

The case for bullying legislation

Kevin Epling talked about some of the ways bullying has changed in recent years. Photo by Hayley Beitman



By Tony Briscoe, Nicholas Roddy and Dmitri Barvinok
Staff writers

If lockers and linoleum tiles could talk, they would tell an unpleasant tale of students around the United States.

Bullying has become an increasingly popular topic to a major research group that indicates 28 percent of all students between 12 to 18 years old are victims of maltreatment.

More than 47 percent of bullied students have reported that they have been victimized specifically in school hallways and stairwells, according to the U.S Department of Education’s National Center for Education statistics.

Another nine percent of victims said they were bullied in the bathroom or locker room while another six percent are harassed on the school bus.

This comes as no surprise to high school teacher Carman Smith. An English teacher at Wylie E. Groves High School in Beverly Hills, Mich., Smith said he has to intervene in bullying altercations at least once a day.

“A lot of times it happens in between classes in the hallways, it happens in the locker rooms, it happens in common areas, before school, after schools, on the bus, at the bus stop…I would say most happen outside of the classroom.”

While many students reported being bullied in transition, 33 percent of victims identified the classroom as a bullying focal point.

Smith said that Groves teachers are more than capable of handling bullying in the classroom. The school, roughly 1,400 students, has anti-bullying policies as well as prevention programs such as peer mediation.

“It is a part of our house rules that we report any type of hazing or bullying or someone being treated unfairly,” said Smith. “Each individual case is handled separately, so the actual consequences depend on the situation.”

The district also has had seminars where teachers undergo training on how to resolve bullying situations.

One of the biggest problems the group is struggling to manage now is cyberbullying. According to a 2011 Pew Internet report, eight percent of students have been bullied online in the last 12 months. Smith, who’s been teaching since 2002, said bullying has become unmanageable problem because issues online now spill into the classroom.

Girls’ bullying can be almost secret

By Samantha Schmitt
Staff writer

Bullying is becoming more prevalent in conversations and within schools, the media and government.

David P. Farrington, professor of psychological criminology at Cambridge University, and other researchers seem to have come to a consensus that females mostly bully each other verbally and psychologically. While this may have always been true, the introduction of the Internet and the use of it by children of younger and younger ages seems to have increased the aggressiveness of the attacks.

Even with more harm being caused, it is still not always as easy to recognize bullying when it occurs among girls.

“Cyberbullying”, a 2007 report by Amanda Lenhart for the Pew Internet and American Life Project, says that girls are more likely than boys to gossip online, making them more subject to being the topic of online rumors.

In “Teenage Girls’ Perceptions of the Functions of Relationally Aggressive Behaviors”, Bridget Reynolds and Rena Repetti wrote that girls are also more likely to be relationally aggressive with other girls than boys are to be with each other. Relational aggression is a subtle and indirect tactic used to attack relationships between friends and hurting self-esteem. It can include rumors, denying friendships, ignoring or social exclusion from a group of friends.

In “Bullying: What are the Differences between Boys and Girls?” Tanya Beran, professor of school psychology, wrote in an article that the secretive nature of this bullying may mean the attacker does not get caught. The attacks are then likely to become longer and more severe.

This kind of bullying is hard for adults to detect because indirectness allows the bully to avoid face-to-face confrontation. Since it is usually hidden from adults, there is no physical behavior to see.

Bullying between girls often happens within a group of friends, making it extremely difficult to not just see it as a typical conflict between teenage girl friends.

Bullies in video games: griefers

By Dmitri Barvinok
Staff writer

Andrew, 16 and in 10th grade, plays Minecraft at least an hour every day, usually after school. He spends his time building virtual castles and complex machinery in a game that combines the creative power of building blocks and the role-playing element of a video game. Most of the time, he and his friends play on servers where they are protected from griefers.

A griefer is a bully in the world of online games. Griefers don’t play by the rules and attempt to cause as much distress and discomfort for other players as possible.

In Minecraft, griefers go after the creations of other players.

“I’ve seen seven hours of work get completely destroyed,” Andrew said.

Though many servers have griefer protections in place, those protections sometimes get in the way of regular players, Andrew said. Sometimes, playing against a griefer can be fun, since it becomes a competition and the game suddenly has a villain. Other times, griefers trick their way into becoming administrators of a server and destroying everything the players have built, which could waste weeks of work.

Andrew admits to having griefed himself. It can be fun, he said.

Bullying statistics and facts

Girls exclude and mock another in a school cafeteria

Statistics on bullying inform, guide action

People need bullying facts and statistics to create effective anti-bullying programs.

Knowing the facts behind bullying and current bullying statistics are essential to accurately and knowledgeably discussing the subject and informing others. Relevant bullying facts can motivate others to join and create effective anti-bullying programs.

Bullying statistics build understanding and inform actions.

The issue could use more research. Although fresh bullying facts are hard to come by, and bullying statistics tell just part of the story, we have pulled together some of the most relevant bullying information to help you.

Cyberbullying facts and statistics, which were not tracked until recently, are essential to the bullying story.

This site provides bullying facts and statistics, as well as the stories that help describe new types of bullying that have emerged since the turn of the 21st century. These are links to bullying statistics:

*Statistics for Online Bullying

*What happens when bullies grow up

* Pew research study into cyberbullying

* U.S. Dept. of Education Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies, 2011

* Bullying in Schools: An Overview, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

*Statistics and accounts of Workplace Bullying

Hazing definitions: Legal, social, academic

One teen boy bullies another inside a school locker room.

Define hazing clearly to find a solution

The definition of hazing might have is as a tradition or ritual that social groups or teams display to show superiority or social hierarchy. Any hazing definition also includes issues of power, control and status. Hazing is sometimes called organized or group bullying.

The definition of hazing now varies by group or type of activity, but looking at a few examples of hazing, as this site does, will help lead to a hazing definition that is best suited to your situation.

For ideas about hazing and its definition, try these pages:

* New Wave: Anti-hazing laws

* Military Hazing: Rite or Wrong?

*Band Liaison: Hazing is never harmless

* Many universities have hazing definitions. Here is just one example, from Dartmouth.

* Delaware’s hazing definition is predicated on its creation as a law under the state’s education code.

* Utah law defines hazing in slightly different ways and carries harsher penalties.

* National Survey of Sports Teams gives statistics on hazing.

* Myths and facts about hazing from the University of Kansas.

What is the definition of cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying definition is 10 years old — and changing

Cyberbullying was defined – and the word coined – in 2001 by an educator concerned about bullying. The first cyberbullying definition was, “the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.”

That cyberbullying definition has been changing ever since. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter came along in rapid succession a few years after cyberbullying was first defined. Each one has affected how we define cyberbullying.

New technology has changed legal definitions of cyberbullying. Laws about national security and discussions about civil rights are changing the way cyberbullying is defined and treated, too.

For such a new definition, cyberbullying has seen a lot of change. And no wonder. Here’s where you can get a clearer picture:

Facebook fights Bullying

Teens’ online world can be mean

Girls Bullying can be almost no secret

Cyberbullying shares some of the classic characteristics of regular bullying, but is carried out in new ways.

The Crimes Against Children Research Center does ongoing research into cyberbullying.

A report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project details cyberbullying.

Social exclusion a form of bullying

Relational or social aggression are other names for it

Social exclusion is a powerful tactic used to isolate and control victims in and out of school.

Groups might socially exclude someone as a display of control or power.

Social exclusion goes beyond the violence and public teasing or ridicule often associated with bullying. Instead, victims of social exclusion are shunned or ignored.

Treated as if they don’t exist, or as if their very existence is the problem, victims of social exclusion are singled out by whispering campaigns, gossip and mocking laughter. Isolated from a group, alone at lunch, on the playground and on the bus, the isolation is real and painful. Social Exclusion is difficult to spot, hard to stop and leaves lasting, sometimes fatal, damage to the self-image and self-esteem of the victim.

Here is some of the latest thinking on social exclusion:

Adler School of Professional Psychology Institute on Social Exclusion