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This week's safe schools snippets

4 students’ phones seized in sexting investigation

PARKER – Accusations of the sharing of sexually explicit photos and text messages could lead to serious charges for some Chaparral High School students.

9Wants to Know has learned this is at least the second school sexting investigation in Douglas County in the last six months. Check out the 9NEWS report.

Colorado lawmakers revisit post-Columbine school discipline rules

DENVER — School discipline policies adopted after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings are getting a second look Thursday in Colorado.

Lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at giving educators more discretion over expulsions and police referrals. The goal is to eliminate zero-tolerance policies that lawmakers say have led to mandatory expulsions for bringing a fake gun to school or getting into a minor scuffle. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Colorado Senate passes Safe2Tell school safety bill

DENVER, CO– The Colorado Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass a bill that improves the way students can anonymously reach out to adults about dangerous, violent or criminal activities.

Senator Steve King’s Senate Bill 12-079, Concerning Revisions to the Safe2Tell Program Relating to Advances in Communications Technology, protects the confidentiality of information received through any method of transmission, including telephone call, email, web form, or texting. Read more from Yahoo Finance.

3 tips for parents to help their bullied kids

Kenton Raiford, who was bullied in middle school, now witnesses a lot of bullying in his senior year at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, Calif. While bullies get physical sometimes, he says, “It’s more about mental and emotional attacks.”

Bullies at his school ridicule low-income students for wearing hand-me-downs, harass lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students for their orientations, and tell immigrant students to “go back to their country,” Raiford says. To curb these negative comments, Raiford is setting up a Stop Bullying Campaign in his high school for May. Read more from U.S. New and World Report.

Sage Canyon Elementary students promote anti-bullying with flash mob

More than 200 Sage Canyon Elementary School students used a creative and trendy method to promote their message of friendship and kindness.

The kindergartners through sixth-graders surprised players and spectators at halftime of the Feb. 7 Douglas County High School basketball game with a flash mob. Students danced for three-and-a-half minutes to “Firework” by Katy Perry, while students in the stands held up anti-bullying, tolerance and acceptance-themed signs. Read more from the Denver Post.

Officials: Bullying debate in Minn. brought change

(AP) COON RAPIDS, Minn. — Leaders in Minnesota’s largest school district said the long debate over how teachers should handle discussions about sexual orientation probably had a bigger impact than a new policy will.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District replaced a policy requiring teachers to be neutral in discussions about sexual orientation with a new one requiring them to foster a respectful learning environment for all students. Read more from CBS News.

Bullying in 2012: Fighting fear with facts

You hear about it at the water cooler, read about it in the paper, and might have even experienced it in your own family. Concern over bullying is a growing trend that worries parents and educators alike, perhaps because today bullying happens not only at school but also anywhere that youth communicate online, even at home. But what do we do about it, and whose responsibility is it to protect children and teens? Read more from the Huffington Post.

Bullying and Suicide: The dangerous mistake we make

Tyler Clementi killed himself in 2010 after his roommate at Rutgers University filmed him kissing another man. Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old girl who moved to the U.S. from Ireland, killed herself the same year after being bullied by high school classmates in Massachusetts. Fifteen-year-old Amanda Cummings from Staten Island made headlines early this January when her family said that relentless bullying was to blame for her suicide.

Each of these tragedies mobilized a cultural army of anti-bullying advocates, celebrities, the media and policymakers who have said — or at least strongly implied — that bullying can lead to suicide. Read more from the Huffington 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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