Archive for the ‘Texting on Campus’ Category

Should Bullying Victim Have Been Punished?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Casey Heynes, a 16 year-old Australian, was repeatedly picked on by his peers at school for being overweight.  Last week he finally had enough.  He stood up to his bully, throwing him to the ground, which was caught on video and ignited a debate on the issue of bullying and how it is handled.  View the video at here Casey Haynes bodyslams bully richard gayle

The video demonstrates how Casey picked up his bully and slammed him to the ground.  Both Casey and the bully have been suspended from school.  Many people are outraged by the punishment Casey has received at his attempt to fight back and stand up to his bully.  An Anonymous message sent to the school read “We have had enough of this bigotry. They failed at providing a violence-free environment for their students, and when Casey took things in his own hands they bitchslapped him for defending himself.”

Is it right that both boys were suspended from school? Why didn’t bystanders try to stop the abuse? What can schools do to prevent this sort of situation?

I have the answer.  Every school needs to adapt a text-a-tip student support system.  The program allows students and community members to alert school administrators or campus police directly about bullying, drugs, drinking, or any other potentially dangerous situation or problem.

Have you ever been to a NFL game where you can report unruly behaviour?  That’s the exact technology, offered by GuestAssist, that’s starting to be used in our schools to report problems that are occurring – on campus or off.  The cost is $2,000 a year, and schools can have it up an running in 45 minutes.  It’s easy to use (I’ve seen it in action) and kids that have been offered this as a way to ask for help are using it!  Really?  Are kids are telling someone they are being bullied or that their best friend is doing drugs?

This system allows students to get help, before the situation gets out of control, or before it’s too late.

My daughter was bullied for months while she was at school.  A system like this would have helped her, but it wasnt available then.  But now that every school can offer this level of support to their students, it’s a must.

If this school offered their students a way to text in a request help, would Casey Heynes have reached out for help before he broke?


Shawn Marie Edgington is America’s leading Texpert, a cyberbullying prevention expert and your go-to cyber safety mom.  Shawn’s the author of Read Between the Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style, and the new book The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media, the creator of the One-Click Safety Series and the founder of The Social Media Academy.  She’s the CEO of a national insurance firm, where she provides risk management to clients across the country.

After a horrible, personal experience she had with her 16-year-old daughter being threatened by text and on Facebook, Shawn has made it her mission to show parents how to take the steps necessary to prevent their child’s social and mobile networking from turning into every parent’s one-click nightmare.

Shawn provided her expert advice in the upcoming documentary Submit: The Virtual Reality of Cyberbullying, on Fox Business, View from the Bay, KRON 4 News, The San Francisco Chronicle, CBS Radio, American Cheerleader Magazine, CNN Radio, NPR, and various media outlets across the country.

Meet Shawn or learn more about her new book and to get your free parent resources at:

Mobile Messaging Offers Student Support in Oakland California

Friday, January 21st, 2011

This week several schools in Oakland, California started a new “text-a-tip” program. The program allows students and community members to alert campus police directly about potential and dangerous problems with cell phone text messages using specialized technology from Guest Assist. If your child is ever caught in an emergency situation, text messaging is the technology you want them to have immediate access to. The technology associated with mobile messaging offers benefits to students and educators that phone calls can’t:

  •  A way to instantly report critical and life threatening information anonymously
  • Concerned friends and parents have a way to report issues about drinking, drugs or violence
  • Harassment by bullies (including cyberbullies) can be reported without concerns of retaliation

Why don’t more schools offer this service?  The cost runs about $2 per student on an annual basis.  For a school with 3000 students, we are talking about $6,000 a year to offer mobile messaging support for our students.  Kudos to Pete Sarna, the Chief of Police for Oakland Public Schools – serious forward thinking that will benefit everyone involved!

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