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This week's safe schools snippets

Schools that stonewall: What to do if your child is being bullied and the school is unresponsive

If you’re the parent of a bullied child who’s frustrated with a lack of responsiveness from your son’s or daughter’s school, if you’ve tried everything from meeting with the counselor to talking to the principal, perhaps even contacting the superintendent, and your child is still coming home in tears every day, don’t lose hope. Read more at takes stand against bullying

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A high school student in Chattanooga is taking a stand against bullies.

Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Scruggs told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that she is holding an event later this month to raise awareness that bullying is a problem and to raise money to combat it. The event on Feb. 25 will include local youths performing poetry, dance and songs that address bullying. Read more from USA Today.

Kids and Internet Safety: 5 Lessons to Consider

We started our undercover work in search of online predators back in 1999, when the web was hardly as social — and hardly as dangerous — a place as it is today.

Chatrooms were our major focus at that point, because they weren’t monitored, and because adult subject matter was easily accessible.

Whenever we ventured into the dark and seamy realm of the chat world, we always seemed to find someone breaking the law and taking advantage of a child, or what they thought was a child. And we found the perpetrators in a matter of minutes. Read more at

Student set on fire, parent concerned about safety

NEW PORT RICHEY, Florida — A Pasco County mother is upset after she heard what happened at her son’s school on Friday. Authorities said one student set a special education student on fire at Gulf Middle School in New Port Richey.

Michelle Craig said her son was visibly shaken about the incident. “He was upset. He was very upset. I could see it in his eyes,” she said.

According to New Port Richey police, the incident happened in a boy’s bathroom. The police report states one student “took a can of Old Spice body spray and lit the spray stream on fire.” He then “directed the fire stream at fellow student.” The victim’s pants briefly caught on fire and the hair on his arm was singed. Read more from Channel 10 news at

Common school program reduces signs of bullying

(Reuters Health) – A widely implemented school program aimed at improving kids’ behavior helps to slow the increase in bullying during the elementary grades, according to a new study.

Researchers found that teachers at schools with the behavior program reported fewer displays of aggression, teasing and rejection among their students. Read more from Reuters.

In D.C. schools, early lessons in gay tolerance

In the national push to prevent bullying, more elementary schools are introducing lessons about gay tolerance. Some lessons begin before the first day of kindergarten.

One fall day at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in Northwest Washington, Scarlette Garnier and her pre-kindergarten classmates drew pictures of their families and talked about their similarities and differences. Read more in the Washington Post.

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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