Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray

Posted in: Child Protection&Online Safety at 28/06/2010 17:59

The girl's parents, wild with outrage and fear, showed the principal the text messages: a dozen shocking, sexually explicit threats, sent to their daughter the previous Saturday night from the cellphone of a 12-year-old boy. Both children were sixth graders at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J.

"I had a 45-year-old father crying in my office. He kept asking, 'Why would someone do this to my son?' " -- Tony Orsini, principal of Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J.

Punish him, insisted the parents.

"I said, 'This occurred out of school, on a weekend,' " recalled the principal, Tony Orsini. "We can't discipline him."

Had they contacted the boy's family, he asked.

Too awkward, they replied. The fathers coach sports together.

What about the police, Mr. Orsini asked.

A criminal investigation would be protracted, the parents had decided, its outcome uncertain. They wanted immediate action.

They pleaded: "Help us."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/style/28bully.html

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