Sheldon Kennedy tells U.S. Senators more education needed to fight abuse

By Sheldon Alberts

Sheldon KennedyWASHINGTON — When Sheldon Kennedy learned the details of child sexual abuse allegations against former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky, they must have sounded all too painfully familiar.

A trusted authority figure. Vulnerable kids. Missed signals. And a sporting community, then a nation, stunned that it could go on so long.

Kennedy, a former NHL player who was sexually abused by disgraced junior coach Graham James, told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday it’s OK to be angry. But it’s also vital, he said, that government and sporting authorities take dramatic steps to educate adults in how to identify and prevent more abusers from finding new victims.

Testifying before a U.S. Senate committee, Kennedy urged sports groups and governments to require mandatory training for any adult who signs up to work with kids. Actions taken in Canada can serve as a model, Kennedy told a U.S. Senate subcommittee on children and families.

Full story at Vancouver Sun

Mark Curran, 7-Year-Old, Under Investigation For Sexual Harassment (VIDEO)

By Laura Hibbard

Mark Curran Sexual HarassmentA 7-year-old boy at South Boston’s Tynan Elementary School is under investigation for sexual harassment after he struck a boy in the groin, The Boston Globe reports.

The boy’s mother, Tasha Lynch, says her son, Mark Curran, was only defending himself after the other boy allegedly choked Curran on a school bus Nov. 22.

"I think my kid was right to fight back," Lynch toldThe Globe. "He wasn’t doing anything except protecting himself."

Lynch describes the alleged incident further to Boston’s WBZ.

"He just all of a sudden came up to him, choked him," Lynch said of the November 22 incident. "He wanted to take his gloves, and my son said, ‘I couldn’t breathe, so I kicked him in the testicles."

Full story at Huffington Post

Commentary: Address Sexual Harassment in Adolescence Before it Festers Unchecked in Adulthood

Newswire

Sexual Harassment In SchoolsSexual harassment and assault claims against people in leadership roles have topped media headlines this month; little attention, however, has been given to examining the issue of peer-to-peer sexual harassment in schools, even with a striking report that was recently released showing that nearly half of all seventh through twelfth graders experience this in school. Experts on teen dating violence, Nan Stein, Ed.D., senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, and Bruce Taylor, Ph.D., principal research scientist with NORC at the University of Chicago, were compelled to write a commentary that calls on schools to help address these problems before they fester unchecked in adulthood. They cite recent findings from their U.S. Department of Justice-funded research in New York City middle schools that can inform educators on ways to address these behaviors. The commentary follows.

"Sexual harassment in schools is still with us—its tenacity and persistence were evident in the results from a new national survey of nearly 2,000 students in grades 7-12 released recently by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). As previously documented in their surveys in 1993 and 2001 (eighth through eleventh graders), sexual harassment runs rampant in schools, too often seen by the students as no big deal, normalized through its continuing existence. Yet students are upset by the existence of sexual harassment and they document how it interferes with their concentration, attendance, achievement, course choices, and involvement in activities.

Full story at Digital Journal

SURPRISING NEW FACTS ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

By Benjamin Radford

Sexual Harassment in SchoolsA new report released yesterday states that nearly half of students in grades 7 through 12 experience sexual harassment in school. The report, “Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School,” was published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and based on an online survey of 1,965 students (1,002 girls and 963 boys).

The report has caused a furor. A New York Times headline reported, “Widespread Sexual Harassment of Students in Grades 7 to 12.” Other news outlets called sexual harassment in schools "prevalent," "rampant,""pervasive," and even an "epidemic."

Sexual harassment — in schools, in the workplace, and elsewhere — is a real problem, and if America’s students say they are being sexually harassed at such rates, there is something seriously wrong.

Full story at Discovery News

Officials struggle with anti-bully regulations

By Debra Winters

Anti-Bully RegulationsWAYNE – The state’s new anti-bullying law regulates students’ behavior on and off school property and school officials say it demands more time than they have to offer, leaving little or no time for anything else.

The law went into effect Sept. 1 and since then, school officials in Wayne have been working diligently, training over 2,000 employees from teachers to bus drivers, each requiring two hours of instruction.

"It’s difficult to arrange for training after school hours especially when many of our employees have second jobs they have to get to. So we’ve been trying to work the training into their daily schedules," said Interim Superintendent Michael Roth.

The new statute is recognized to be the toughest in the country.

Full story at North Jersey.com

Dealing with gay students, bullying in very different ways

By Chris Welch

Bullying Gay Students In SchoolMinneapolis (CNN) — Jared Pettingill’s parents wanted a safe place for their son to attend school where he wouldn’t be harassed for being gay.

They found that place in the Minneapolis Public School district.

“It’s just been really accepting in my experience,” says Jared, a high school junior. He says he’s “never really dealt with bullying issues” in middle school or high school.

“The amount of positive reaction to LGBT issues is really amazing.”

Minneapolis Public School administrators admit that by no means has bullying been eradicated from their schools. However, they firmly believe that they are leading the way in creating a safe environment for all students.

Full story at CNN