Friday, July 27th, 2012
Three adults and two juveniles have been arrested for allegedly infiltrating a Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania and terrorizing campers and staff with hateful epithets and threats. CNN.com reports:
Authorities say Tyler Cole Spencer, 18, Mark Trail, 21, Cassandra Robertson, 18, and two juveniles intimidated Jewish campers and staff at Camp Bonim on three separate occasions on July 14 and 15.
Spencer allegedly drove a white Ford pickup truck “recklessly” through the camp, “narrowly missing several campers and staff” and damaging fields, yards, buildings and fences, the police criminal complaint said.
The group also allegedly used paintball guns to shoot Jewish campers and staff, hitting one 18-year-old camper leaving a synagogue, according to the complaint.
Authorities allege members of the group also shouted anti-Semitic slurs at campers and staff.
Image: Campsite, via Shutterstock.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Paris Jackson, the 14-year-old daughter of the late pop music star Michael Jackson, has told Oprah Winfrey she has faced cyber-bullying. ABC News reports:
The 14-year-old invited Winfrey into her home and her life, and in many ways, she’s like any other teenager. She’s switched from homeschooling to attend high school, hangs out with friends and reveals that she has even dealt with bullying.
“People have tried [to bully], but it doesn’t always work,” she said. “At school and some people try to cyber bully me. They try to get to me with words, but that doesn’t really work.”
When asked by Winfrey if she thought her peers were jealous, Paris said: “Maybe, I don’t know.”
Image: Paris Jackson, via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
An Indiana mother has sent her high school-aged son to school with a stun gun to enable him to fend off bullies who reportedly have harassed him because he is gay. Darnell “Dynasty” Young was bullied for months, he said, before his mother helped him take this latest measure, and the 17-year-old now faces expulsion. CNN.com reports:
[Chelisa] Grimes sent her son, Darnell “Dynasty” Young, to Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis with the stun gun after he said he was taunted and bullied for months.”I brought the stun gun ’cause I wasn’t safe,” the 17-year-old said.
After six other students surrounded him at school on April 16, calling him names and threatening to beat him up, Young pulled the stun gun from his backpack. He raised it in the air, setting off an electric charge, and sending the group scurrying, Young said.
Unlike a Taser, which fire barbs attached to long wires at a target, a stun gun has to be near or pressed against a person to shock them.
“I got kicked out of school for me bringing the weapon to school, but I honestly don’t think that that was fair,” Young said. “I didn’t use it on nobody. … All I did was raise it up in the air and went back to my class.”
School police officers arrested him a short time later and took him away in handcuffs, The Indianapolis Star reported. School officials are investigating the incident, but none of the students who allegedly surrounded Young has been positively identified.
Young is known as a flamboyant dresser and Larry Yarrell, the Tech principal, said school staff had been trying to get him to “tone down” his accessories.
“If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say,” Yarrell told The Star. “Because you want to be different and because you choose to wear female apparel, it may happen. In the idealistic society, it shouldn’t matter. People should be able to wear what they want to wear.”
Image: Stun gun, via Shutterstock.
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
After sending his 10-year-old son to school with a hidden recording device, a New Jersey man is alleging that teachers at his son’s elementary school shouted, insulted and otherwise “bullied” the child because he has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). CNN.com reports:
Stuart Chaifetz said he placed the recorder in the pocket of his 10-year-old son, Akian, in an attempt to find out why staffers at Horace Mann Elementary School had reported that the boy had been acting out and hitting his teachers.
What surfaced was more than six hours of recordings of what he says are teachers and aides apparently talking about alcohol and sex in front of the class, punctuated by yelling at his son to “shut your mouth.”
Chaifetz posted the recording online Monday, which has since led to disciplinary actions, including the removal of at least one teacher, school officials said.
Image: Blackboard, via Shutterstock.
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
A new study conducted by the Interactive Autism Network (part of the Kennedy Krieger Institute) looked closely at why bullying in school continues to be a serious problem faced by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The findings highlight two difficult truths – most autistic children have experienced bullying, and more than half feel they have been purposely provoked into fighting by bullies.
Almost two-thirds of autistic children had been bullied at some point in their lives, and they were three times more likely than neurotypical kids to be bullied in the past three months. This was even true for home-schooled autistic children, who were sometimes educated at home precisely because of the bullying issue. “After a horrible year in 3rd grade,” said one mother, “where he was clinically diagnosed as depressed (he has always been anxious), I pulled my son out of public school and am homeschooling him this year. He is doing much, much better without the constant name calling and being singled out for his ‘weird’ behaviors!”
The three most common types of bullying were verbal, or, in other words, psychological in nature: “being teased, picked on, or made fun of” (73%); “being ignored or left out of things on purpose” (51%), and “being called bad names” (47%). But almost a third of autistic children also experienced physical bullying – being shoved, pushed, slapped, hit, or kicked.
Even more disturbing was the fact that over half of the autistic children surveyed had experienced intentional triggering of meltdowns or had been “provoked into fighting back.” One mother said, “Often kids try to upset her because they find it funny when she gets upset and cries. She is overly emotional, and they seem to get a kick out of this.”
Bullying was most pronounced in regular public schools (43%), but better in special education public schools (30%), and lowest in regular private schools and special education private schools (28% and 18%, respectively).
Image: Clenched fists, via Shutterstock