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Cyber Bullying

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NEWS
April 25, 2012
As a pediatrician-in-training, I encounter too many teens who have fallen victim to school-based and cyber bullying. A particularly memorable encounter was with a young man in high school who was admitted to the hospital for severe pain. Several days later, when all of our tests and imaging couldn't find the cause, he finally admitted that he was the victim of severe and constant bullying at school and just couldn't bear to go back. The measures being taken by states across the country to limit bullying and the Safe Schools Improvement Act are necessary and a great first step in addressing this pervasive issue ("Schools, parents try to keep pace with cyber-bullying tactics," April 22)
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NEWS
By Sharon Sloane | March 31, 2014
America has crossed a few ominous thresholds that should give us pause. For one, poisonings are killing more people than car crashes in the United States, making them the leading cause of accidental death in the country for the first time. The vast majority of those deaths are from legal, prescription drugs. Second, more children report having been tormented and harassed online than in "real-life"; 43 percent of kids claim to be victims of such cyber-bullying. According to Yale University, victims of bullying are nearly 10 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2012
The Easter Sunday suicide of a Glenelg High School teen has raised long-standing concerns about cyber-bullying, as parents and teachers call on Howard County schools to do more to boost awareness and prevention. Chaun Hightower, president of the Howard County Council of PTAs, said she doesn't know enough about the circumstances surrounding 15-year-old Grace McComas' death to discuss it. But she believes that cyber-bullying is a pervasive issue and that the district's policy could be strengthened.
NEWS
Ruswv13@gmail.com | October 29, 2013
Recent tragic incidents of school violence continue to place the issues of bullying, cyber bullying and school safety at the top of nearly every education agenda around the country. Towson-area schools and organizations are establishing environments where kindness, wellness, and self-respect are pillars of their respective institutions. West Towson Elementary School has established a Character Crew comprising five fifth-grade students who work as a team to brainstorm and collaborate on ways to define and identify positive behavior traits and practices.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2012
Lauren Alaina, the 2011 "American Idol" runner-up, heard about the Easter Sunday suicide of Glenelg High School sophomore Grace McComas, 15, from a Twitter message. Alaina, 17, of Georgia, said Sunday that she was saddened to hear about Grace, whose parents said she took her life after being cyber-bullied. Alaina helped the hashtag "blue4grace" trend online when the singer sent a personal message to her nearly 300,000 followers. Blue was Grace's favorite color. "It is horrible," Alaina said of Grace's death.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2012
Katie Anger, a bright-eyed redhead from West Friendship, opened the door for cyber-bullying as a middle-schooler, when she installed the "Honesty Box" app on her Facebook page. Some teens used the now-defunct Facebook feature to criticize her anonymously, tell her that no one liked her and say things they would never have said to her face. "I felt like I almost had no one that would help me through it or be there for me," recalled Katie, 16, now a junior at Maryvale Preparatory School in Brooklandville.
NEWS
April 16, 2012
The childhood mantra, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," is no longer true. The words, once thought the weaker of the phrase, can now kill. This weekend, The Sun published a story about 15-year-old Howard County student Grace McComas,  who committed suicide, a tragedy her family attributed to relentless cyberbullying she experienced in school. Her death garnered national attention on social media sites, and among local celebrities, who helped spread the word about a memorial that encouraged the region to wear blue, her favorite color, on Friday.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer and Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2012
The mourners wore blue nail polish, blue-striped ties, blue jewelry and crisp blue dress shirts. Blue hoodies and blue hair bands. Blue was Grace McComas' favorite color, so that's what mourners at her visitation wore Friday in memory of the 15-year-old Glenelg High School sophomore who took her life recently to end the pain, her family said, of a cyber-bullying campaign against her. Meanwhile, a social media "event" — blue4grace — was begun...
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV | March 2, 2008
Twenty-five parents came to Hammond High School last week with a slew of questions prompted by the news that a student had contracted tuberculosis. Donna Heller, coordinator of health services for county schools, said the questions during the session, which lasted about an hour, included: How is the disease spread? What criteria are used to determine who had been exposed? When were the letters sent informing the people who were exposed? "It was really a very calm and professional group asking a lot of professional questions," Heller said about the meeting, which was held on Tuesday.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2013
Facebook and Maryland's school systems will pilot an initiative next year that should help make it easier to have offensive or hurtful language on the social media site taken down. The effort to combat cyber bullying was started by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who announced the new initiative, called the Educator Escalation Channel, at a meeting Thursday with school district superintendents. Under the initiative, Facebook will help educate school systems on better ways to combat cyber bullying and give them a channel to the social media giant to report offensive behavior.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2013
Facebook and Maryland's school systems will pilot an initiative next year that should help make it easier to have offensive or hurtful language on the social media site taken down. The effort to combat cyber bullying was started by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who announced the new initiative, called the Educator Escalation Channel, at a meeting Thursday with school district superintendents. Under the initiative, Facebook will help educate school systems on better ways to combat cyber bullying and give them a channel to the social media giant to report offensive behavior.
NEWS
April 5, 2013
State lawmakers pass budget The General Assembly gave its final approval Friday to a $36.9 billion state operating budget for next year that whittles down Maryland's long-term revenue shortfall without raising taxes. The House and Senate signed off on a compromise reached by a conference committee. Their approval of the budget bill, which does not require Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature, came with little drama — a stark contrast with last year's passage of a budget in the session's final hours.
NEWS
March 23, 2013
A bill inspired by the suicide of a teenage Howard County girl who was a victim of a harassment campaign over social media passed the House unanimously Saturday. The legislation now goes to the Senate. The measure seeks to outlaw the use of Internet-based sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the practice known as "cyber-bullying. " The bill is named "Grace's Law" after 15-year-old Grace McComas, whose family testified in support of the bill at its hearing this month. The Glenelg High School student took her life last Easter Sunday after months of malicious postings about her on social media sites.
NEWS
March 12, 2013
Maryland has little idea how much it owes a mother, a lawmaker and a football player. Christine McComas, Del. Jon Cardin and Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens are the driving forces behind the proposed cyber bullying bill that will save teenagers' lives. As the founder of the national crusade, The Monster March Against Bullying, I've written the tragic obituaries of more than 100 bullied American teens who in the last three years have committed suicide. Four of them, 14-year-old Kenny Wolf, 17-year-old Aiden Schaeff, 18-year-old Zoe Hauser and 15-year-old Grace McComas, are Maryland kids.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2013
The family of a Howard County girl who killed herself after months of harassment on social media sites asked Maryland lawmakers Thursday to pass a bill that would allow a jail term for a variety of acts known as "cyber-bullying. " Chris McComas, whose daughter Grace, 15, took her own life on Easter Sunday 2012, told the House Judiciary Committee that the Glenelg High School student had for months been the target of malicious postings on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The mother said the family turned to police and the courts but was told nothing could be done.
FEATURES
By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | March 6, 2013
Ravens running back Ray Rice, who has campaigned passionately against bullying, is throwing his weight behind a Maryland bill that would make cyber-bullying a minor crime. Rice alerted his online fan base Wednesday that he's supporting Baltimore County Del. Jon Cardin's proposal. While he won't be able to make Thursday's bill hearing in Annapolis, he has sent written testimony and he hopes his followers will show up in person. "I WOULD LIKE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO SHOW UP IN PERSON AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!"
NEWS
December 20, 2010
Never before have I been so sad. Baltimore has been known for some time as Charm City, but the recent controversy over the "Hon" trademark has brought out the less than charming side of many people ( "Demonstrators protest 'Hon' trademark," Dec. 20). Whether you agree or not about the subject, there should be outrage over the use of the social websites to demean and degrade another human being. Most of these people were not interested in facts, they just used the anonymity of their keyboard to pound out words of hate.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2012
With hopes of learning more about social media and better combating cyber-bullying, Howard County school administrators have turned to the County Council's new digital communications manager. Howard County schools have been grappling with how to curb digital bullying in the wake of the Easter Sunday suicide of Grace McComas, a Glenelg High School student whose parents say she had been harassed online. Schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan said the challenge is that schools want to curb cyber-bullying but don't want administrators to become "social media police.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2012
With hopes of learning more about social media and better combating cyber-bullying, Howard County school administrators have turned to the County Council's new digital communications manager. Howard County schools have been grappling with how to curb digital bullying in the wake of the Easter Sunday suicide of Grace McComas, a Glenelg High School student whose parents say she had been harassed online. Schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan said the challenge is that schools want to curb cyber-bullying but don't want administrators to become "social media police.
NEWS
April 25, 2012
As a pediatrician-in-training, I encounter too many teens who have fallen victim to school-based and cyber bullying. A particularly memorable encounter was with a young man in high school who was admitted to the hospital for severe pain. Several days later, when all of our tests and imaging couldn't find the cause, he finally admitted that he was the victim of severe and constant bullying at school and just couldn't bear to go back. The measures being taken by states across the country to limit bullying and the Safe Schools Improvement Act are necessary and a great first step in addressing this pervasive issue ("Schools, parents try to keep pace with cyber-bullying tactics," April 22)
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