Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles and across the country have been overwhelmed in recent months by a surge in tips about online child sex abuse, with social media platforms and other service providers flagging explicit content and suspicious interactions at an alarming rate.

With schools closed, youth activities canceled and kids spending more time online under stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, sexual predators have ramped up their efforts to solicit pictures and videos, officials say.  Click here to read more.

Every news outlet seems to be talking nonstop about the new coronavirus, which is causing an illness called COVID-19. Many parents understandably are sharing concerns, too — at least among friends and families. Even at school, children are hearing about this new virus and registering that some adults seem worried.

Given all the discussion about this coronavirus, your children might have heard about it and have questions for you. Below are some tips on how to respond to their questions. (A separate post will address tips for talking with teens about the questions they might have.)   Provide just enough information about the new coronavirus.  Try to strike a balance between answering questions well enough without fueling the flame of anxiety.  Click here to rea...

Before Robbie Gay was adopted, he was neglected and abused. Now that he's with his adopted family, he's determined to help senior dogs, because he can see himself in them.  This is a wonderful story of compassion and unconditional love for animals from a lil boy who was a foster child.  You will smile after watching this short video. Click here.

February 17, 2020

At a time when cyberbullying and unhealthy messaging are running rampant online, social networking sites are grappling with how to address it.    The latest social app to take a stab at helping users navigate distressing online situations is Snapchat, which announced a new tool called Here For You that connects users with mental health experts.   When users search for sensitive topics like anxiety, depression, suicide and bullying, self-help information will populate to help them get through whatever they're going through. Snapchat will also offer advice from local experts.  Click here to read more.

Checking Twitter in front of kids is not the same as blowing smoke in their faces. Smartphones and cigarettes do, however, have some things in common. Both are addictive and both became wildly popular before researchers learned about their addictive properties and health dangers.

On average, American adults touch their phones over 2,500 times a day. According to the American Psychiatric Association, that fits the definition of addiction: “a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.” While researchers continue to study the effects and extent of phone use, the scientific consensus is that phone a...

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about bullying prevention?

The most effective way to reduce bullying behaviors is to create a school environment where students feel safe and included.  

Positive interactions and caring relationships foster positive school climate and can be important protective factors from bullying and victimization. At the same time, it’s vital that hurtful behaviors are addressed immediately and appropriately as they occur.

Unfortunately, many bullying interventions are ineffective because they are reactive and do not take proactive steps to address the culture of the school, the beliefs and values of staff, and the norms within the community. Click here to learn more.

January 2, 2020

Security cameras, lights, new school classes and "safety coalitions" are all in the mayor's 

plan to address a spike in anti-Semitic crimes.

Hate crime awareness classes, "light towers," security cameras and safety coalitions will all accompany extra cops in Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to combat a spike in anti-Semitic crimes in Brooklyn, the mayor announced.

De Blasio joined NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and other officials to reveal the details of his new hate crime prevention plan Sunday, days after first announcing that more police would be stationed in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations as anti-Semitic crimes mounted in the borough.  Click here to read more

She may not have reached double digits in terms of age, but Adhara Pérez is well into the triple-digit IQ range.

The 8-year-old Mexico City native reportedly boasts an intelligence quotient of 162 — a score slightly higher than notable geniuses Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, who each had an estimated IQ of 160.

When she was 3, Pérez was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, according to the Yucatan Times. Included on the autism spectrum, the developmental disorder can cause difficulties with social interactions.  The girl told the outlet she was “made a mockery at school.” Other students would bully Pérez, calling her names like “weirdo” and “oddball.”

Click here to read more

After months of testing an option to hide likes in select international markets, Instagram is about to do the same for a number of users in the United States, a key market and the company's home turf.   Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (FB), has already been testing hiding likes in seven other countries, including Canada, Ireland and Australia.  For years, likes have been central to how celebrities, brands, politicians and everyday users experience Instagram, and Facebook. It's a way of measuring popularity and success.  Click here

November 3, 2019

Someone who witnesses bullying, either in person or online, is a bystander. Friends, students, peers, teachers, school staff, parents, coaches, and other youth-serving adults can be bystanders. With cyberbullying, even strangers can be bystanders.

Youth involved in bullying play many different roles. Witnessing bullying is upsetting and affects the bystander, too. Bystanders have the potential to make a positive difference in a bullying situation by becoming an upstander.

An upstander is someone who sees what happens and intervenes, interrupts, or speaks up to stop the bullying. Click here to learn more.

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