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SpeakOut Hotline 800.423.TIPS
800.423.TIPS
 
REASONS TO CONTACT SOH:
Have you seen the following in your community or on your school's campus?

- Guns
- Threats
- Sexual Misconduct
- Vandalism
- Knives
- Harassment
- Sexual Assaults
- Fire Starting
- Explosives
- Fighting
- Suicide Threats
- Animal Cruelty
- Gangs
- Planned fights
- Planned parties
- Ditching
- Bullying
- Assaults
- Drugs
- Dating Violence/Stalking
- Meanness
- Domestic Violence
- Alcohol
- School Threats/Hit Lists
- Teasing
- Child Abuse
- Stealing
- Cheating

 
Student Lounge at SpeakOut Hotline High School
X-Block (i-SAFE Inc.)
X-Block is a place for students to hang out, learn about cyber safety and share their online experiences with others. Click here to go to X-Block.
Cyberbullying

What is cyberbullying, exactly?

"Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyberstalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is NEVER called cyberbullying.

It isn't when adult are trying to lure children into offline meetings, that is called sexual exploitation or luring by a sexual predator. But sometimes when a minor starts a cyberbullying campaign it involves sexual predators who are intrigued by the sexual harassment or even ads posted by the cyberbullying offering up the victim for sex.

The methods used are limited only by the child's imagination and access to technology. And the cyberbully one moment may become the victim the next. The kids often change roles, going from victim to bully and back again.

Children have killed each other and committed suicide after having been involved in a cyberbullying incident.

Cyberbullying is usually not a one time communication, unless it involves a death threat or a credible threat of serious bodily harm. Kids usually know it when they see it, while parents may be more worried about the lewd language used by the kids than the hurtful effect of rude and embarrassing posts.

Cyberbullying may arise to the level of a misdemeanor cyberharassment charge, or if the child is young enough may result in the charge of juvenile delinquency. Most of the time the cyberbullying does not go that far, although parents often try and pursue criminal charges. It typically can result in a child losing their ISP or IM accounts as a terms of service violation. And in some cases, if hacking or password and identity theft is involved, can be a serious criminal matter under state and federal law.

For more Cyberbullying information click here.

Abuse

What Is Abuse?

Amy's finger was so swollen that she couldn't get her ring off. She didn't think her finger was broken because she could still bend it. It had been a week since her dad shoved her into the wall, but her finger still hurt a lot.

Amy hated the way her dad called her names and accused her of all sorts of things she didn't do, especially after he had been drinking. It was the worst feeling and she just kept hoping he would stop.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or a combination of any or all of those. Neglect ó when parents or guardians don't take care of the basic needs of the children who depend on them ó can also be a form of abuse.

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Physical abuse is often the most easily spotted form of abuse. It may be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or produce significant physical pain.

Sexual abuse is any type of sexual contact between an adult and anyone younger than 18, or between a significantly older child and a younger child. If a family member sexually abuses another family member, this is called incest.

Emotional abuse can be difficult to pin down because there may not be physical signs. Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents constantly criticize, threaten, or dismiss kids or teens until their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as physical abuse does.

Neglect is probably the hardest type of abuse to define. Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn't have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn't provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. But it's not neglect if a parent doesn't give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone.

Family violence can affect anyone. It can happen in any kind of family. Sometimes parents abuse each other, which can be hard for a child to witness. Some parents abuse their kids by using physical or verbal cruelty as a way of discipline.

Abuse doesn't just happen in families, of course. Bullying is a form of abusive behavior. Bullying someone through intimidation, threats, or humiliation can be just as abusive as beating someone up. People who bully others may have been abused themselves. This is also true of people who abuse someone they're dating. But being abused is no excuse for abusing someone else.

For more information on abuse please click here.

Safe Texting

Lexi bumped into someone at the mall. Curtis slammed into a parking meter. Ryan tripped over a bag at the airport. You've probably seen it, and maybe you've even laughed: People can end up in some pretty goofy situations when they text and walk at the same time.

Believe it or not, people can also get hurt.

The American College of Emergency Physicians is warning people about texting on the move. Reports of texting-related injuries are on the rise, and they don't just happen while driving. ER docs who treat people like Curtis (he cracked his ribs in his encounter with the parking meter) say that we need to be more cautious about when and where we text.

What's the Big Deal?

The problem is multitasking. No matter how young and agile we are, the human brain just isn't capable of doing several things at once and giving full attention to all of them. So you can get into some major danger if you try to text in situations that require your full focus.

When you text you're thinking about what to say, concentrating on what your thumbs are doing, and reading constantly incoming messages rather than paying attention to what you're doing or where you're going. And that significantly ups your risk of getting hurt or injuring others.

It doesn't matter if you can text without looking at the keypad. Even if texting feels like second nature, your brain is still trying to do two things at once ó and one of them is bound to get less attention.

Texting also prevents you from paying close attention to what's going on around you, something that's especially important in situations where you need to have your guard up, like walking home after dark. Your reaction time is also likely to be much slower if you're texting. If you're about to run into someone or something else, you may not have time to act before it's too late.

For more information on Safe Texting click here.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Angie overheard her parents talking about how her brother's ADHD medicine was making him less hungry. Because Angie was worried about her weight, she started sneaking one of her brother's pills every few days. To prevent her parents from finding out, she asked a friend to give her some of his ADHD medicine as well.

Todd found an old bottle of painkillers that had been left over from his dad's operation. He decided to try them. Because a doctor had prescribed the pills, Todd figured that meant they'd be OK to try.

Both Todd and Angie are taking risks, though. Prescription painkillers and other medications help lots of people live more productive lives, freeing them from the symptoms of medical conditions like depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But that's only when they're prescribed for a particular individual to treat a specific condition.

Taking prescription drugs in a way that hasn't been recommended by a doctor can be more dangerous than people think. In fact, it's drug abuse. And it's just as illegal as taking street drugs.

For more information on Prescription Drug Abuse click here.

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