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A Parents’ Guide to Teens and Technology gy Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law


This is not your Grandma’s assembly


What’s the deal?  Cyberbullying  Sexting  Ignoring Internet S f t Safety


Cyberbullying


Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying, v: the use of technology such as computers and cell phones to engage in i repeated, t d and dh hostile til b behavior h i byy an individual or group, g p that is intended to harm others. The term "cyberbullying" is used when the victim or bully is a child or teen. The term cyber harassment is used when the victim is an adult.


Common Cyberbullying Tactics  Stealing someone someone’ss online name and using it to write nasty rumors, comment, or spread gossip. i  Alteringg someone’s message g or doctoring photographs to say something different or make fun of a person.


Common Cyberbullying Tactics (con t) (con’t)

Secretly recording conversations using a cell phone, then playing the recording i back for f the person being i discussed. Posting damaging information on blogs or web sites sites. Creating or taking part in Internet polling or list-making


Cyberbullying y y g Example of cyberbullying b b ll i on iChat (Apple’s instant messaging) i )

Divagirl: Hey, loser, watch your back. t t323 What tmt323: Wh t r u talking about? Divagirl: Why don't you kill yourself while u r ahead? tmt323: Why can't you just leave me alone? Divagirl: Ugly girls like u need to be put in their place.


How Common is Cyberbullying? ďƒ˜ one in four students between the g of 11 and 19 have been the ages victim of cyberbullying. ďƒ˜ Approximately A i t l 65 percentt off kids kid know of someone who has been cyberbullied.


Not my Kids! 43% of teens are exposed to cyberbullying in one form or another yet only 1 in 10 kids told their parents, t according di to t a 2008 reportt from the U.S. National Crime Prevention Council


So what’s what s the big deal?


School-Related Consequences  Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-2,137  Definition: “ongoing ongoing pattern of physical, verbal or electronic abuse”  Consequences: ─ Loss of extracurricular privileges ─ Detentions D t ti ─Short and Long Term Suspension ─Expulsion E li ─Alternative School Assignment


Examples p  Seattle, WA.: Students who “liked” Facebook page bullying a classmate p all suspended  Memphis TN: Honors student suspended for 180 days for commenting on a friend’s status


Civil Consequences  Student and parents can be sued • Homeowners insurance often pays  Suit can be for: • Intentional infliction of emotional distress • Tortuous interference • Slander


Fulmer v. Swidler (Pa. 2003)  Middle school student created Teacher Sux” website Sux • • •

Compared math teacher to Hitler Had picture of her decapitated Asked for contributions toward hit man

 Teacher sued  Jury awarded $500,000  Similar suit by principal settled


D.C. v. R.S. (Cal. 2010)  High school student posted on victim’s website • • •

I want to rip out your f-ing heart and feed it to you. II've ve wanted to kill you you. If I ever see you I'm going to pound your head h d iin with ith an iice pick. i k

 Familyy sued; defendant de e d said s d jus just a jo jokee  Litigation allowed to continue


Criminal Consequences for Cyberbullying  Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-311.01  Terroristic Threats: “threatens to commit any crime of violence … • With the intent to terrorize another • In reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror  Class IV Felony punishable by: • Up to 5 years in prison and/or • $10,000 fine


In re Minor Child (Ala.)  High school students arrested at school for threatening classmate on y p MySpace • Threatened to beat him up • Said they would plant a bomb in his locker • Said he deserved to die

 Charged with making terroristic threats


United States v. Drew  Mom mad at daughter’s classmate • created t d ffake k M MySpace S profile fil ffor b boy • Friended victim, then dumped her • Girl hanged herself

 Charged with violating Computer Fraud and Abuse Act  Convicted; eventually overturned on jurisdictional and other grounds


Sexting? Sexting, v: (a combination of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually ll explicit li it messages or photos electronically, p y p primarily y between cell phones.


How Common is Sexting? g  Sexually suggestive photos sent: – 20% overall –22% girls –11% 11% young teen girls (ages 13 13-16) 16) –18 % boys


How Common is Sexting? g Sexually suggestive messages sent: –39% of all teens –37% girls –40% 40% boys 48% of teens say they have received sexting ti photos h t or messages.


Interpreting p g sexting g 22% of teens say technology makes them more forward and aggressive 38% say exchanging sexy content makes hooking up with others likely 29% believe those exchanging sexy content t t are ““expected” t d” tto h hook k up


Serious Consequences: Jessica Logan


Criminal Implications of Sexting  Law enforcement reports that Adults prosecuted for possession of child pornography, solicitation and child i abuse  Students Prosecuted as well


A.H. v. Florida  Boy and girl in romantic relationship  Took pics of themselves engaged in sexual acts  Boy e-mailed to girl  Both charged with producing and distributing child pornography


Iowa v. Canal  Boy and girl friends; not romantic • She asked him to send pic of penis • He complied • Both agreed g not erotic  Parents called the cops; boy charged  Jury trial; boy convicted  Appeal rejected by Iowa Supreme Court


Florida v. Alpert  Girlfriend sent pics  He forwarded pic to all contacts  Convicted of distribution of child pornography  On O sex offender ff d registry until he’s 43


Criminal Implications Under Nebraska Law  Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-813 et. seq.  Makes sexting (images) a class IV felony for offenders under 19  Class IIIA felony for 19 and up  Both punishable by: • Up to 5 years in prison and/or • $10,000 fine q sex offender registration g • Require


Criminal Implications Under Nebraska Law  Class IV felony to

─ knowingly solicit, coax, entice, or lure g or ─ a child sixteen yyears of age younger ─ by means of an electronic communication i i device d i ─ to post images that would qualify as child pornography under state law


Criminal Implications Under Nebraska Law  Affirmative Defense:

─ the picture is only of the defendant;

─ ─ ─ ─ ─ ─ ─

or defendant was younger than 19 picture i is i off someone at least l 15 picture was taken voluntarily picture was given voluntarily picture contains only one child defendant hasn’t shared the picture; AND d f d defendant did didn’t ’ coerce taking ki or sending di


Internet Safetyy


Wisconsin v. Stancl  High school student posed as a girl, tricked male classmates into sending p nude photos  Then blackmailed boys into sex acts • Thirty-one i victims i i • Then took photos of the physical encounters


5 Things Parents Can Do


1. Talk to your kids about this issue  Make sure they understand that nothing in cyberspace is private  Talk through possible consequences – both short and long term  Check up on them

- many cell carriers allow web retrieval t i l off all ll texts t t -My Mobile Watchdog/Mobile Spy


2. Know who your kids are communicating with  Via text messaging  Via social networking  In real life


3. Place limits on electronic communication  Don’t let them charge the phone in their bedrooms  Place computers in public parts of the house  Limit texting during meals, homework time time, etc etc.


4. Monitor your child’s public posting  Require them to “friend” you on Facebook  Monitor their Twitter, Twitter MySpace, MySpace etc.  Google your kids’ names


Nothing is truly anonymous


5. Set expectations and reiterate them  Discuss limits and reasons for them  You should live by them as well (at least in front of your kids)  Remind kids frequently of the limits


A Parents’ Guide to Teens and Technology gy Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law

Pender parents  

Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law This is not your Grandma’s assembly Cyberbullyi...

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