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This week's safe schools snippets

Sexting among teenagers not as common as thought

Despite perceptions, sexting among teenagers and adolescents may not be quite as common as many people believe.

So says a large new study published today in the journal Pediatrics, which found that about one in 10 minors between the ages of 10 and 17 have used a cell phone in the past year to send or receive nude suggestive images. Read more in this New York Times blog.

Lady Gaga and Obama staffer meet on bullying

Lady Gaga is a source of strength for many young people who feel isolated and scared at their schools. Today, I had the opportunity to welcome her to the White House, where we discussed ways we could work together to make sure that no child comes under attack, regardless of his or her race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other factor. Read more in this White House blog.

Internet security experts warn of social media dangers this holiday season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) ‘Tis the season for sharing, but when it comes to social networking, some people may share too much about their whereabouts and the gifts they’ll give.

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin has a status update on social media safety for the Christmas and gift-giving season. Check out this local CBS report.

Are school zero-tolerance policies too harsh?

SHREVEPORT, La. — Lindsey Tanner was a typical 14-year-old who enjoyed hanging out with friends and shopping. In May 2007, the eighth-grade honor student was making plans for the summer and excited to soon be a high school freshman. Read more in USA Today.

Driver’s ed, for parents

CHESTER, N.J.—School was in session at West Morris High School one recent weekday night, but many of the hundreds of students crammed into the auditorium had receding hairlines and wedding rings.

This was the suburban school’s annual “Share the Keys” driver’s education program, a requirement not just for novice motorists: Juniors can’t get a school parking permit until they take the 90-minute class—along with their parents. Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Adult bullying at schools a rising concern

The school bully you thought you knew now has company. It’s the principal, the teacher, and even parents who are making life miserable for others and threatening student achievement.

Although student bullying remains a regular threat, cases of adult-to-adult or workplace bullying in schools are increasing in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and across the nation, according to teacher unions. Read more in the Sun-Sentinel.

Transportation key element of state anti-bullying laws

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) issued guidance this month that transportation is a key component of both school district policy as well as state legislation aimed to combat student bullying.

The analysis of state bullying laws and policies defines what behaviors constitute bullying and outlines how bullying can adversely affect student learning, safety and the school environment. The study further points out that DOE guidance dictates that school district policies and state laws should include school-provided transportation under the scope of where school bullying can occur and when school districts should be responding to and investigating incidents. Currently, only three states, Kentucky, Oregon and Tennessee, specifically cite school-sponsored transportation in state law. Read more in School Transportation News.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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