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Virginia Journal of Education

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Trouble Online:
Standing Up to Cyberbullies

Can you imagine what it would be like if someone posted a website that masqueraded as your personal site, and used it to embarrass and humiliate you? Or posted your phone number and address somewhere online where a predator might see it?

Those are just two examples of how the bullies of today can use new tools—the computer and the cell phone—to harass their victims. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, almost half (43 percent) of teenagers from 13-18 have been the victim of cyberbullying in the last year. That means that some 7 or 8 million teens have been affected. When pre-teens and “tweens” are counted, the number reaches 13 million.

Add to those statistics the fact that the National Cybersecurity Alliance found that only 22 percent of teachers are comfortable teaching about cyberbullying, and we’ve got a significant problem.

To address it, the Qwest Foundation has created a curriculum called “How to Prevent Cyberbullying: From the Home to the Homeroom,” and made it available to educators as a free download. The curriculum examines typical cyberbullying behaviors, how the problem has developed and become so widespread, and steps that can be taken to make students safer online.

For more information, and to download the curriculum, go to

EPA Blog Connects
Concerned Students

In “Greenversations,” the official blog of the Environmental Protection Agency, students can find themselves asking and answering questions such as, Do you understand the power of public transportation?, How do you pack a waste-free lunch? or What do you think about conserving water?

Young people today are keenly aware of environmental issues, and the EPA wants Greenversations to be a tool for them to learn more about energy conservation and to share their thoughts and ideas with others. The blog is geared for students in grades 4-12. Each week, a new topic will be presented, and tools for further exploration will be included.

Access the blog at

Catch Your Students
With a Good Book

Research shows (and educators know) that the more children read and are read to, the better off they’ll be intellectually.
“Get Caught Reading” can help reinforce this for students and educators, and encourage both to cultivate a lifelong habit of reading. Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to spend time with a good book, magazine or other forms of the written word. May is Get Caught Reading month, and you can find information on how to celebrate it with your students by going to At the website, you’ll find a special section for teachers and librarians.



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