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Without A Trace Investigations
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Private Investigation and Consulting Specializing in Cyber Crimes and Children
Private Investigation and Consulting Specializing in Cyber Crimes and Children

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Snap Chat has become a craze among teenagers.  Senders of these short photos and videos should be aware of the privacy issues.  http://www.withoutatraceinvestigations.com/my-blog/  

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Most people think bullying behavior is easy to recognize.  We all imagine an intimidating boy or girl verbally or physically abusing a smaller or introverted classmate.  While that type of bullying still takes place, bullying behaviors are much more varied and complex than the traditional stereotype.
In the online age, we have quickly become aware of harmful online bullying that can occur less obviously and covertly on the internet.  These acts cause emotional damage, are quickly widespread, and have long lasting digital footprints.

Bullying Definitions 

Behavior that hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them, and struggle to defend themselves.
There is often an imbalance of power, whether physically, emotionally, or socially.
Physical behaviors include fighting, hitting and name calling.
Emotional behaviors include gossiping,  teasing and ostracizing.
Intent is not necessary for behavior to be considered bullying.
The bottom line is, if a behavior of an individual hurt or harms another, emotionally or physically, it is bullying.

Bullying at School

Bullying at school has always been the most common for several reasons.  Large amounts of children tend to break off into groups or cliques, which can cause anxiety, jealousy and misbehavior.   Children have less of a sense of the consequences of their behavior than adults,  thus are more likely to engage in bullying behavior.  Additionally, there is more opportunity at school since that is where large groups of children are interacting.
It is all schools legal responsibility to provide staff training, student education, support and guidelines to combat bullying.  Without A Trace Investigations provides Bullying Consulting and Presentations  for schools and communities.

Online Bullying

Online bullying is the newer version of bullying, but potentially more potent for many reasons.  It’s easier to type a post then confront someone directly. Between facebook, twitter, instagram, texting, and the amount of time kids spend on these networks, there is a lot of opportunity to do damage. Additionally, gossip is spread at lightening speed online, offering huge opportunities for embarrassment and harm.

Workplace Bullying

With so much talk of bullying, some have been shining a light on a less talked about area of concern, which is workplace bullying.  While less common, there are situations where bullying takes place on the job.  Examples of this could be a coworker ostracizing a team member while working on a project or a manger taking credit for their employees work.   In these cases the harm could be emotional, or career-related.  The person suffering may have a hard time expressing their problem or doing much about it without worsening the situation.
The good news is, we as a nation are doing something to change the status quo.  Children are learning these behaviors are unacceptable, just as they have been learned not to do drugs or smoke.  WIthin the structure of our communities, and help from professionals like guidance counselors and consultants, we will continue to make our towns, schools & workplaces better places to grow, work & live.

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Providing bullying help is every adults responsibility.  As the effects of bullying become more widespread and publicized, it’s important for all citizens to be aware of what to do during or after a bullying situation.
According to StopBullying.gov the following is a list of do’s and don’ts when intervening a potential bullying incident.
Do:
Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
Separate the kids involved.
Make sure everyone is safe.
Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Don’t:
Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
Get police help or medical attention immediately if:
A weapon is involved.
There are threats of serious physical injury.
There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
There is serious bodily harm.
There is sexual abuse.
Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.
Learn more about training school staff to stop bullying.

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There are three common steps that should be followed when responding to a bullying incident.  In order for adults to provide bullying help to the children in their care, they should do the following:
Stop it Immediately -  Consistently stopping bullying on the spot drives an important point:  Bullying of any kind is unnacceptable.  As it is said, if you see something, say something!
Learn more about how to stop a bullying incident.
Asses the Situation - Facts need to be sorted through and a determination needs to be made whether the situation is bullying.  Using common sense, gather the facts from multiple sources, seperately, and listen without blaming or labeling.
It’s helpful to review the definition of bullying as well as current laws and policies
Provide Support to Kids Involved
All kids involved with the incident, not only the person bullied, needs to be addressed.  Some important things to do:
Work towards resolving the situation and protecting the child
Assure the child bullying is not their fault and give them advice as to what to do.
Refer them for additional and ongoing counseling and follow-up to avoid repeated behaviours
Get more details about how to provide support kids who are bullied at www.stopbullying.gov
Learn more about how to train and support your school staff.

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The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights went into effect in September 2011. Considered by many as the toughest anti-bullying legislation on bullying in the nation, it demands all public schools enforce anti-bullying policies. With the first year of school completed under this new law, what has happened since and where do we go from here?
Unfortunately, the demanding policies have not kept bullying and tragedies from continuing to plague our children. The most notable case in the news this year was Morristown freshman Lennon Baldwin who committed suicide after being bullied by classmates. The teens were charge with robbery & terroristic threats, among other similar charges. “The anti-bullying statue carries no criminal penalties but sets procedures for schools to deal with incidents and report criminal activities to law enforcement,” reported NJ.com. It’s up to the judge in each individual case to decree punishment.
In March 2012 Governor Christie signed legislation to create a $1M anti-bullying fund to financially support the states anti-bullying school requirements. Schools must first seek out free anti-bullying support before seeking grants. Other changes in cybercrime law was the reclassification of juvenile “sexting” as an educational issue, rather than a crime. To read details of the law click here.
The ongoing challenge for school systems is to provide training for school administrators in defining & identifying bullying behavior, as well as providing expectations and procedures for intervention. Companies like Without A Trace Investigations  provides the comprehensive training needed by schools to remain compliant and protect the children in their care.
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