Social media and bullying get face time at education summit

Ohio Department of Education officials spoke of changes in the common core curriculum, and Sandusky superintendent Dr. Eugene Sanders talked about the challenges and the future for the district.
Jessica Cuffman
Mar 17, 2013

At the six workshops, organized by the NAACP Education Committee and the Sandusky Area Education Coalition, participants delved deeply into the issues children face every day.

Chief among them: Bullying, a buzzword and real problem only enhanced today by advances in technology, namely social media websites where interaction between children may go unchecked and unmonitored.

Betty Maceo, a counselor at Sandusky schools and adjunct professor at Heidelberg University, led the discussion at the workshop addressing bullying and school climate.

The challenge in addressing it starts with its mere definition, she said.

Not all bad behavior between students constitutes bullying. It's when that behavior is repeated that it's linked to a deeper issue that has to be ferreted out and addressed.

And one of the greater problems is relational aggression, when children — or adults — use friendships and relationships to hurt others, a problem she most typically sees with female students.

"It's quieter, more insidious and harder to detect," she said.

But with social media an instant platform for gossip to hundreds of readers and competitiveness between school-age girls, the problem accelerates quickly when one friend turns on another and divulges secrets.

"Girls don't even know anymore how to be friends," she said.

To curb all types of bullying within schools, teachers must take immediate action when they see it happening, Maceo said.

While 71 percent of teachers believe they intervene when they see bullying happening, only 25 percent of students agree that they do.

"We have policies and procedures. We just have to implement them," she said.

In the end, it's about teaching students how to feel good about themselves — and how to respect themselves.

This was the third year for the education summit, a event open annually to the public

Comments

Phil Packer

Bullying? That's what guns are for.

Bluto

That's right , the NRA's answer to everything ; more guns . Hee-hee .

donutshopguy

"We are teaching girls how to feel good about themselves and respect themselves."

Do parents have any responsibility to provide these life lessons?

It's now the schools responsibility to teach morals, respect and personal value .

No wonder kids don't learn reading, writing and arithmetic. They spend all day with basic "life lessons" formerly provided by a family at home.

BW1's picture
BW1

Not only is it the parents' responsibility, it's their RIGHT. There's a word for "teaching [kids] how to feel good about themselves and respect themselves," it's called INDOCTRINATION, and it has no place in a government institution within a nation founded on principles like freedom of conscience. Teaching kids that they are special is no different from teaching them that Jesus or Allah or Krishna loves them.

Dont Worry Be Happy

Dsg...you have a point. It SHOULD NOT be up to the teachers to teach those life lessons. I get aggravated watching the way MANY kids talk and treat their parents and the worst part is the parents let it happen, makes me so angry. Its not just your less fortunate families having these problems its every walk of life. There is NO R-E-S-P-E-C-T for one another.

RMyer

I'm curious . . . but first, my following comments are not intended to be a lecture. . . Kids follow examples set by others. We can talk and talk, preach and preach, but they will imitate the behavior they see by others. So, on the one hand, adults are shocked and dismayed by the disrespect youngsters show each other and toward adults via social media and verbally. Yet, the public discourse in our local, state and national arenas carried on by adults shows young people that adults may not really value respectfulness toward others. We rarely civilly disagree anymore. We accuse, level unfounded and exaggerated allegations at each other, attack with misleading or inaccurate information, and demean the character or opinions of others on a constant basis. We try to influence by over-the-top raging versus informed debate; reasoned discussion is drowned out.

Case in point . . . what lesson should our young people take from reading comments that are posted on blogs such as these? Should the lesson be that adults are setting the bar high by respectfully debating issues based on facts and reasoned opinions and are willing to stand behind what we post? Or should the lesson learned be that it is acceptable to sign on anonymously and demean others, name call and insult, post misinformation, post inaccuracies, twist meanings and so on?

My own opinion is that parents, neighbors, religious leaders, community members, teachers, elected officials, business leaders, and even bloggers have a responsibility and role to play in modeling and teaching respectfulness toward others, even (and perhaps more so) when we disagree.

luvblues2

+1

donutshopguy

RMyer,

Public officials have been the center of this discourse . False and misleading information from the federal , state and local government officials fill our tv, papers and Internet. The news media clouds the situation more with their bias.

You, as a lecturer, are not lily white with your slanted posts. Thou should follow one advice prior to opening one's mouth.

The Big Dog's back

I agree dsg, get rid of Fox news.

oldpirate

I agree with RMyer. He has been more respectful than some posters deserve.Society has become intolerant of other opinions and people often lack skills to listen to what is said respectfully discuss different ideas