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Saturday, December 8, 2018

As "Fortnite" Blows Up, Parents Need to Up Their Game

A new survey confirms what most parents already know: Kids are going crazy for "Fortnite." Here are some practical tips to manage it. By Sierra Filucci 12/5/2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sexual harassment goes high tech with iPhone's AirDrop

Without the proper settings, iPhone users can receive lewd and threatening messages from strangers, which can be triggering for survivors of sexual assault.

By Avichai Scher
Abigail Mentzer was riding the New York City subway to a doctor’s appointment when she says an AirDrop request popped up on her iPhone. A preview image of the file showed a CD with the handwritten message, “Songs I’ll choke you out to while wrecking your uterus.”

Feeling disgusted and threatened, she looked around the train car, wondering who had sent it. Then, three more messages came through, including images of a woman’s bare behind and more offensive language.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Skinny on Screen Time: Common Sense Over Research (at least for now)

There has long been a fervent debate about the potential impacts of screen time on youth. When our son was born in 2010, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommended no screen time for children under the age of two. The guidelines have softened a bit in recent years, but the group still generally promotes less rather than more time in front of screens for toddlers and young children.

Read more:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cyberbullying Research Center Newsletter (September 2018)

Cyberbullying Research Center
Cyberbullying Research Center
Back to School - September 2018

Welcome to the Cyberbullying Research Center email newsletter! It's that time of the year again: Back to school! We're here to help you make it a great year. Below is an overview of what we've been up to over the last several months. We look forward to working alongside you in the new academic year and don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of assistance.
- Justin Patchin and Sameer Hinduja
Where We've Been Recently

It's been a busy travel season for us at the Cyberbullying Research Center. We continue to speak all around the world on these issues that we are so passionate about. Here are some examples of recent international trips:

•    Amman, Jordan. Justin did a series of presentations for the US State Department and US Embassy in Jordan.
•    Bergen, Norway. Sameer presented a keynote address at a conference for youth-serving organizations.
•    Bogota, Columbia. Sameer spoke at the "Women Working for the World" Conference.

And next month:

•    Auckland, New Zealand. Justin will speak at the "Online Safety on the Edge" conference co-sponsored by New Zealand's Netsafe and Australia's Office of the eSafety Commissioner. (more info)

In addition to these, we visited dozens of schools in 2017-2018 to talk with tens of thousands of students, educators, and parents about using technology with integrity. To see if we will be speaking near you sometime soon, or to bring us to your community, click here.
Standing up to Cyberbullying
New and Updated Resources

We recently updated many of our popular (and free!) fact sheets and resources. Check them out on our site under "Resources." We also wrote a brand new Top Ten list for teens called "Standing up to Cyberbullying: Top Ten Tips for Teens" with the goal of helping youth become upstanders when confronted with cyberbullying. You can download it here.
New Academic Papers

We recently published a few academic papers that you may be interested in:

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2018). Connecting Adolescent Suicide to the Severity of Bullying and Cyberbullying. Online First in the Journal of School Violence. (more info)

Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2018). Deterring teen bullying: Assessing the impact of perceived punishment from police, schools, and parents. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 16(2), 190-207. (more info)
Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2017). Digital self-harm among adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61, 761-766. (more info)
Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2017). Cultivating youth resilience to prevent bullying and cyberbullying victimization. Child Abuse & Neglect, 73, 51-62. (more info)

If you have trouble accessing any of these on the journal websites, no problem. Just shoot us an email ( and we'll send you a copy.
Student Experiences with
Reporting Cyberbullying

Most students who are bullied do not report their experiences to adults. This was true 30 years ago when I endured middle school and our research shows it largely continues to this day. I remember being surprised (though maybe I shouldn’t have been) to learn from our first pilot study undertaken 15 years ago that fewer than 15% of those who had been cyberbullied told an adult about it (10% informed a parent while 5% reported it to the school). This made me realize right away that there was a story that needed to be told. And that we needed to do something to improve reporting.

Read more on our blog.
Empower and Educate,
Don’t Just Create Panic

Last weekend a Facebook post by the Polk County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office went viral. As of this writing (less than a week later), the post had been shared more than 58,000 times (including by three of my personal Facebook friends, which is how I came to notice it). This wasn’t a post asking for the public’s help in locating a wanted fugitive or advising residents of the latest online phishing scam. Instead, it was a rant about youth and social media.

The message, while well-meaning, was misinformed and misguided.

Read more on our blog.
Most Teenagers Aren’t
Asking for Nude Photos

A recent New York Times headline caught my attention: “Teenagers, Stop Asking for Nude Photos.” Sage advice, I must admit, but I wondered where this was coming from. In the article, Psychologist Lisa Damour argues that we have long been warning children about the dangers (reputational and potential legal consequences) of sending sexually explicit images, but have largely failed to impress upon them the inappropriateness of asking for such images. “Most schools and many parents already tell teenagers not to send sexualized selfies,” she writes. “But why don’t we also tell adolescents to stop asking for nude photos from one another?”

Read more on our blog.
Resource of the Month
"Teen Sexting: A Brief Guide for Educators and Parents"

Newly updated! This research summary reviews what is currently known about teen sexting. Research from across the United States is discussed, along with practical solutions for parents, educators, and other adults to prevent and respond to teen sexting.

Download this free resource here.
Findings From our
Recent Survey

We surveyed 5,700 middle and high school students (12-17 year-olds) across the United States in August-October of 2016. Here are a few new quick facts from this study:

•    40% said they had a boyfriend/ girlfriend or romantic partner in the last year
•    11% said they had engaged in sexual intercourse
•    14% reported that they had been the target of dating violence
•    11% reported that they had been the target of online dating violence
•    10% admitted to participating in dating violence against their partner
•    7% said that it occurred using technology

We are currently working on an academic paper that will examine digital teen dating violence in more detail. Follow #CRCdata on Twitter for the latest updates!

Check out our books!

Bullying Today: Bullet Points and Best Practices (more info)

Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying (more info)

Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral (more info)

School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time (more info)

Cyberbullying Prevention and Response: Expert Perspectives (more info)
Mesa Arch - Utah - Photo by Justin W. Patchin
Copyright © 2018 Cyberbullying Research Center, All rights reserved.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences

Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences sheds light on teens' changing social media habits and why some kids are more deeply affected by -- and connected to -- their digital worlds. The report is a nationally representative survey of more than 1,000 kids age 13 to 17. And because it tracks changes from 2012 to today, we can see how teens' social media use continues to evolve. 

VR 101

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Embrace Civility Program for Schools

Reduce student hurtful behavior and increase helpful behavior by reinforcing positive social norms that the majority of students do not admire those who are hurtful and admire those who are kind and compassionate and step in to help.

Increase the resilience of students involved in hurtful incidents using Trauma Informed Care practices.

Increase the ability of students to independently resolve hurtful incidents when using social media or face-to-face by ensuring they gain the skills to effectively respond as a witness, the one targeted, or the one being  hurtful.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Quick-Guides for Parents & Educators from ConnectSafely

New Series!

Quick-Guides for Parents & Educators

Check out ConnectSafely's new series of short, clearly written guides for parents and educators on:
  • Cyberbullying
  • Instagram
  • Security
  • Secure Passwords
  • Teen Sexting
  • Safe Online Shopping
  • Creativity & Copyright

New Guide

The Educator's Guide to Creativity & Copyright

Now that our students are creating and remixing audio, video, text and images to “show what they know,” it is essential that they are doing all of this with a clear understanding of their own rights and the rights of other creators or owners of content.


The Parent's Guide to Instagram (Updated)

If your kids are using Instagram, the best way for you to learn about how it works is to ask them. Kids are often glad to teach their parents about their favorite tech tools and asking them about Instagram is not only a great way to learn about the app itself but also about how your children interact with their friends on social media. That’s very individual, which is why we suggest you ask them about it, but if you want a little general information about using and staying safe in Instagram...


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Apps Stirring Up Trouble in Schools

This year's hottest social media can fill the school day with drama and distraction.
By Caroline Knorr 8/9/2018
Apps Stirring Up Trouble in Schools
Ask any middle or high school teacher what their biggest classroom challenge is, and it's pretty much guaranteed they'll say "cellphones." Makes sense. Today, 95 percent of teens have access to a cellphone, and nearly half say they're on them "constantly." Putting aside for a moment the need to find solutions to this problem, inquiring minds want to know: What the heck is on kids' phones that they can't go an entire class without them?
See more:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Charging Station Dock & Organizer for Smartphones, Tablets & Other Gadgets

Too many kids texting under the sheets in the middle of the night and not getting enough sleep. How about a new house rule: all devices get docked at night. Check this one out on Amazon.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Video game addiction

The World Health Organization made it official. Video game addiction is a disease and should be classified the same as a gambling addiction.

Watch the video here:

Saturday, June 9, 2018

5 Tips for Dealing with Haters and Trolls

Haters and trolls are people who go online, often anonymously, and write mean comments, sometimes with the goal of getting a response. Chances are if your kids are online, they'll encounter both. Discover five ways to deal with haters and trolls.


Video: Positively Social

Positively Social is a video about digital citizenship and the positive impact that responsible technology use, and social media, have on youth. It is a production of the Maine-Endwell Central School District.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Sexting Handbook

Download the Sexting Handbook by clicking here

Cyber Safety Training for Parents, Staff, and Students

Even though many of my counseling and technology skills have come in handy over the years, parenting is still a tough challenge. Hands down, no doubt, technology has been one of the greatest challenges over the years as my wife and I have been raising our two boys, Matteo and Giuseppe, now 18 and 24 years old. When they were younger, it seems as if we were approached with questions and requests on a daily basis. From video games to social networks, from mobile devices to new gadgets, making informed decisions was tough. This is especially true because the technological landscape was changing and developing at a dizzying pace. As someone who straddles being a “Boomer” and “GenXer,” and as someone who is focused on helping counselors with their technological literacy, I’ve been keeping up with this crazy technology ride ever since it got good really good in the 1980’s.

One day a few years ago, my wife, Betty, quipped about how grateful she was that I was able to successfully negotiate technology with the kids based on what I knew according to the research (in technology, human development, and change) and best practice. I was already doing a significant amount of work helping kids to make responsible decisions for themselves regarding technology use. What Betty made me realize that day was that I also needed to help the people outfitting their kids with all this power — the parents/guardians. These days, when a school district or other organization calls about cyber training, I let them know that a comprehensive approach is best: getting kids, parents, and educators on the same page. I also let them know that, indeed, the key is education, especially with the end user, and that training should ongoing, not just an event.

Bring Knowledge to your School

If you are a school counselor, leader, or parent and are interested in cyber safety training, here is what you need to know:
The training includes three segments which, together, addresses staff, students, and parents. The goal of this workshop is to help students, parents/caretakers, and educators, better understand the nature of the risks that technology may pose among children as well as the tools and activities they can use to keep kids more safe.
A typical day includes conducting student assemblies in the morning, meeting with staff after school, and then working with parents in the evening.

For Staff

I take a comprehensive and multi-level approach to bullying/cyberbullying emphasizing a multi-tiered model that includes prevention, intervention, and postvention (see below). The workshop is designed as a “launching off point” or beginning for a year long process to help educate students about confronting cyberbullying, using technology responsibly, and being mindful of their digital reputation.
2015-07-30 13_03_24-multi tiered anti bullying handout - Microsoft PowerPoint
All school staff will receive a DVD-ROM including over 2.8 Gb of actual presentation files which includes everything they need to work with students – the PowerPoint, handouts, videos, and links – for months ahead.

For Students

In this one hour (or 75 minute) assembly, students will become more aware of cyberbullying, their digital reputations (public posting of personal/private information), and the “Rules of the Road.” This assembly is customized for either elementary students or middle/high school students. Remember, you can download and preview the actual presentations and accompanying material for review by visiting my GuardingKids website.

For Parents

2015-07-30 15_16_00-Sabella training catalog - Microsoft WordParents and caretakers need to understand how to make informative decisions about how their children use technology, how they monitor, supervise, and provide support.
This meeting will help them to understand the potential risks of technology and several ways to reduce that risk using both human and technological strategies. Click here to download and preview the presentation materials.

Past Workshops

Russ Sabella PhotoI encourage you to check out my comprehensive vita for an overview of my work, particularly the expansive range of topics I have delivered and the number of participants I’ve had the pleasure of working across the United States, and around the world.
To book one or more of these workshops, contact Dr. Sabella directly via email or by completing an online inquiry form.

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