cyber-bullying

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It may soon be a misdemeanor in Michigan to post “revenge porn” on the Internet.

A half-dozen states already have laws on the books to punish people who post nude or sexually explicit photos to the Web without the person’s consent.

NCWD/youth

As social media has embedded itself into our lives, so too has the national conversation about bullying.

Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media have given bullies boundless opportunities to torture their victims. What used to be something that happened in school halls and classrooms now finds its way into every corner of the lives of our young people.

One of the voices that has joined this conversation about bullying is that of a Michigan filmmaker. Her newest film, shot in Oakland County, is called "The Bully Chronicles."

It brings us the story of teen bullying through the eyes of the bully, and she recently turned to the Huffington Post, where she wrote to the teens accused of bullying a 12-year-old Florida girl to the point where she committed suicide by jumping off a tower.

Her post was headlined "From One Bully To Another: An Open Letter to Rebecca Sedwick's Bullies."

Amy Weber joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Legislation proposed to criminalize bullying

May 28, 2013
NCWD/youth

Bullying could lead to jail time or a major fine in Michigan under legislation introduced Tuesday.

State Representative Dale Zorn says bullying someone, including cyber-bullying or calling someone a derogatory name, would be a criminal offense on a second occasion.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A couple hundred school counselors…mental health professionals and social workers are meeting today in Lansing.   They’re in town to discuss what can be done to reduce bullying in Michigan’s schools.

Paul Liabenow says people understand that bullying is not just about “mean girls being mean” or “bad boys will grow out of it”.

Liabenow is the executive director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association.

He says efforts in recent years to address bullying in schools are working.

Steven Polacco

Bullying, according to Michigan author Patricia Polacco, now follows children home.

Told through the eyes of Lyla Dean, Polacco’s new book Bully investigates the contemporary world of cliques and online bullying.

Because of social networking sites like Facebook, children are no longer able to evade bullying outside of school.

“Before, it was bad enough that you had to go to school and be teased. But at least you had the safety of your own home. Now with computers, they reach you at home,” says Polacco.

[F]oxymoron / flickr

Legislation to require school districts to monitor bullying over the Internet or cell phones is expected to be introduced next year.

“My fundamental interest comes from being a mom,” said one of the idea’s supporters, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer. “Everyone has known someone who has been bullied, if it’s not themself, and I think with the technology that’s available to kids today, the bullying does not stay on the program. It follows them 24/7.”

Other lawmakers have reservations about the idea.