When you make a gift to the Tyler Clementi Foundation on Giving Tuesday, it will help support the Tyler Clementi Institute for Internet Safety at New York Law School. The Institute includes the first ever pro bono clinic representing victims of cyberbullying and online harassment.
Founded by TCF Board Member and law professor Ari Ezra Waldman, the Institute for Internet Safety at New York Law School includes the first-of-its-kind pro bono clinic that will provide free lawyers to victims of cyberharassment. Learn more about the Institute here:
With your help, the Institute will:
1. Represent victims of harassment for free
2. Train practicing lawyers how to council victims of all forms of cyberharassment
3. Educate judges, policymakers, and the public through data-driven research and symposia
Help make the Tyler Clementi Institute for Internet Safety a permanent and effective resource for thousands of people with your financial support. This year on Giving Tuesday, make a donation to the Tyler Clementi Foundation that will positively impact the lives of cyberbullying victims throughout the United States. You can make a gift here today.
Recent Press on the First Annual Tyler Clementi Internet Safety Conference:
A social studies teacher at a middle school in Conway Springs, Kansas may lose his job Monday, because some community members complained about an anti-bullying video he showed in class. Instead of rewarding his leadership, he is being punished because the video he used was pro-LGBT and forced kids to see the world from someone else's perspective. Tom Leahy showed his students a YouTube video called “Love is All You Need,” because some of his students wanted to exclude gays from a class simulation.
This Monday night the Conway Springs School Board will determine Mr. Leahy's fate.
View the video here:
The video he showed was intended to do good and to reinforce values of empathy and compassion. It is outrageous that a man's career could be destroyed over a positive gesture. Let's tell the school board not to punish Tom, but instead to use this controversy as a way to raise awareness about bullying and intolerance.
Add your name to this petition and let's show the School Board of Conway Springs how many people support Tom Leahy! We must do everything we can to save his job.306 signatures
The latest blog from college student Shane Messmer explores the need to create Upstanders by changing people's hearts and minds, and not just through legislation.
In 2010, New York state signed into law the Dignity for All Students Act. In an effort to help reduce bullying, the law relies on school officials to keep track and report all bullying incidents, including those that happen online. Unfortunately, a recent analysis of the reports gathered from New York schools shows that this is not capturing the full scope of the problem.
According to a Times Union analysis of the data, 75 percent of New York State schools reported that there were zero cyberbullying incidents. Senator Carl Marcellino, the chairman of the State Education Committee, stated that “to believe so few districts have experienced these types of incidents would be foolish.”
While it is fortunate that New York state officials are trying to make changes to the Act to make it more effective, I believe it highlights why state and national laws are not enough to address the issues of bullying, harassment and humiliation. According to a recent national survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), over a quarter of schools in states with anti-bullying laws have no bullying policy in place. In schools where there are bullying policies, 38.7% do not specify protections for students based on real or perceived sexual orientation. This leaves a huge amount of students left feeling like they do not have the support of their schools if they are the victims of bullying.
For these reasons, I believe the issue needs to be addressed on multiple fronts, not just the legislative level. Students, parents, and educators need to work together to make sure that everyone knows what type of behavior is unacceptable and that their communities can support them. That is why the programs created by the Tyler Clementi Foundation aim to fill a gap in the sector by providing a range of interventions and approaches.
Programs like the Upstander Speaker Series and #Day1 Campaign make conversations around bullying much more local and personal. Having a speaker like Jane Clementi come into a community to share her story, or using the #Day1 program on the first day of school helps confront the issues in the environments where they actually occur. To make sure these programs are as effective as possible, TCF also created the Tyler Clementi Institute for Internet Safety at New York Law School to conduct research, and provide analysis of bullying prevention. TCF does realize the importance of bullying policy which is why the Foundation supports passage of the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, to encourage college campuses to have stronger anti-bullying policies.
While each of these programs have their strengths, it is when they are used in tandem that real progress can be made.
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