• Sixth-graders convince mayor to strengthen bullying law

    Date: 05.28.12 | by Judge Tom.

    Students at Ben Franklin Elementary School in Wisconsin put their heads together to do something about bullying in their community. Teacher, Claudia Pagelsdorf, introduced her students to Project Citizen, an international program that fosters civic-minded behavior. Her students focused on four causes as part of their project: cyberbullying, improving school lunches, reducing cheating through technology and childhood obesity.

    The students who took on the cyberbullying challenge lobbied the Franklin Common Council to amend the city’s ordinance about bullying. The law spoke of bullying but did not specifically mention “cyberbullying.” The mayor commented that he was moved to take action after talking with the students. They presented their research to him and convinced him of the need to add “cyberbullying” to the current law. Not even¬†Wisconsin state law mentions cyberbullying by name. Mayor Tom Taylor commented “How does a child overcome the damage once the damage has been online? It goes global, and it never can be recovered.”

    Photo by Pipe (Flickr)

    Jessica Stokes, Nick Tilley, Carla Smith and Victoria Cauliflower had to research their topic, identify what already exists to address the issue and come up with an action plan to combat the problem. Then they had to display their findings on a large poster board. They learned that 21% of kids nationwide had received mean or threatening emails, 8% had received messages by text, and 7% had rumors spread about them or been impersonated on the Internet.

    Nick commented that “You’re going to think before you’re going to put something on a computer. Everybody can see everything you write online.” A violation of the ordinance carries a fine from $1.00 to $2,500 per incident.

    We congratulate these students and encourage them to remain interested and involved in the world around you.

     

     

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Nate
      Mon, 28 May 2012 at 01:47

      Good for those students! Way to be proactive and do something about one of the current issues so many students face every day.

    • ALICIA
      Wed, 30 May 2012 at 10:39

      i need help bad my kid dose not want to go to school becaus she is not be safe there and the school dose not care for hersafe
      Dear Alicia: We suggest you speak with the principal of the school about this or the Superintendent of the school district. Under the laws in your state, public schools may be required to have bullying prevention programs in place if bullying is the issue here. You can also speak with the school’s counselor or nurse for assistance or the resource officer if one is assigned to this school. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>