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This week's safe schools snippets

New program uses art to fight bullying

The Cincinnati Police Department is teaming up with 15 local schools to launch a new anti-bullying campaign that uses an art contest to help get kids talking about the issue.

The “Step Up and Stop It” campaign is the latest example of efforts by Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig to partner more with city neighborhoods and schools to reach out to youth. Read more at

Children in carpools often go without booster seats

Parents often skip using booster seats when carpooling with preschoolers or young school-age children, increasing the risk of serious injury in a crash, a new study shows.

“I think it’s a complex issue of convenience, expectations, and peer pressure,” says researcher Michelle Macy, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan. Macy and her co-authors of the study say theirs is the first study to explore issues related to carpooling and booster seat use among parents of 4- to 8-year-olds. Read more at

Child bullied to leave school because he wasn’t ‘black enough’

The student stabbed Ryan in the back with a mechanical pencil and walked away. There was no explanation, no words exchanged at all. But Ryan knew why it happened. Scared to tell the teacher, all Ryan could do was to go to the bathroom to wash off the blood.

It was all because of the color of his skin, his mom, Gail Rodriguez said. He was often the only light-skinned student in his classes, which were predominantly black. Ryan, who is half white and half Puerto Rican, was called names like “stupid white cracker.” Read more at

FBI offers Web safety tips in wake of Abington teacher case

ABINGTON — Marked increase in Internet use. Online chat shifting to a cell phone. A normally open child being quiet and secretive.

If parents see this behavior, they should sit up and take notice, as their child might be falling victim to an online predator, an FBI expert on cyber criminals said on Monday. Read more in The Enterprise.

PHS ‘peeping Tom’ let in by students, officials say

A man suspected of sneaking into a girl’s restroom at Poudre High School Friday morning was allowed into the building by a group of students, according to Poudre School District.

Photos of the suspect, who is believed to be involved in a Jan. 13 “peeping Tom” incident in the Colorado State University campus recreation center, were captured on security cameras at the school at 10:34 a.m. Friday. Read more in The Coloradoan.

Psychologists debate social media role in suicide interventions

In her sophomore year at Lake Forest College, Sam Sekulich had reached a breaking point. On top of the pressure she felt from classes and student clubs, she was fighting with her parents and not consistently taking medication for her bipolar disorder. Feeling anxious and overwhelmed, she went to the one place where someone is always listening: Facebook. Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

Utah school bomb plot: from inspiration to prevention, Columbine had a part

An apparent school bombing plot foiled this week in Utah illustrates how much the Columbine massacre still resonates more than 10 years later.

One of the Utah suspects was so fascinated by the 1999 mass shootings at Colorado’s Columbine High School that he visited the school in December and interviewed the principal.

But the lessons of Columbine, including the importance of encouraging students to come forward about anything that might indicate a threat of school violence – also appear to have borne fruit in this case. Read more in the Christian Scientist Monitor.

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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