Have students sign hand cards and scotch tape them to the banner on the wall.
The recent phenomenon of "cyber-stalking" is the use of the Internet as a tool to exploit victims. These predators, usually male, go on-line to harass, stalk, and eventually assault their victims. With the Internet, the possibilities for cyber-stalking are endless. In 1993 there were 5000 websites on the Internet. Today there are over 2.5 billion, with more than 25,000 websites devoted exclusively to pornography and 12,000 websites run by pedophiles. Chat rooms are frequented by a variety of people, including children who are restless and women who are looking for companionship. Both are easy targets for the cyber-predator.
In many cases, child molesters enter chat rooms pretending to be children. These molesters have perfected the art of cyber-stalking: they even write like 12-year olds, spelling mistakes and all, in order to exploit their prey. They set up a meeting, and before the child realizes it, he is abducted.
The Internet allows predators to deceive others and pretend they are something they're not. Since image is everything on the Internet, people on chat rooms can live in a fantasy world, where the line between fantasy and reality is often blurred.
Source: Dr. Eric Hickey
Cyberstalking is best viewed as a method of stalking employed by either domestic or stranger stalkers. Typically, we find that most cyberstalking appears to be committed by strangers given the vast number of sexual predator, celebrity, and nuisance stalkers currently using the Internet. The stalking landscape will continue to fluctuate as more individuals from all socioeconomic statuses, ethnic/racial backgrounds, political persuasions, and religious belief systems embrace the ether world. For example, the fastest growing group of persons now gaining access to the Internet is that earning a wage of under $25,000 per year.
The greatest focus surrounding those who cyberstalk and their victims involves sexual predators. Most commonly noted are pedophiles and child molesters.
Differentiating between pedophiles and child molesters is not an easy task because they are not mutually exclusive in their fantasies and behaviors.
Pedophiles prefer the company of children both socially and emotionally.
Although many pedophiles work in adult settings, they always prefer the company of children. They usually are not married and live alone or with a relative. Their fantasies involve being emotionally attached and, if possible, physically involved with a child. They appear on a continuum from reclusive and self-gratified (where the pedophile does not actually seek out children but instead uses movies, props, photographs, etc., to fulfill fantasies and sexual desires) to the aggressive pedophile who seeks out children for sexual purposes, including murder. The child molester also prefers children but is more likely to be married and have a family. The key distinguishing factor is sexual contact with children. Once the pedophile begins to approach children, he is no longer in a benign status engaged in only sexual fantasies involving children. Pedophiles and child molesters can be found affiliated with NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association), Free Spirits, the Renee Guyon Society, Pedophile Liberation Front and other organizations of similar ilk.
The Internet has become a labyrinth in which such predators lurk. Internet chat rooms, especially those designed for younger persons, have become virtual playgrounds for sexual predators. Pedophiles who may have kept their fantasies to themselves now have a forum to discuss their thoughts with other pedophiles as well as daily opportunities to visit chat rooms and begin relationships with unsuspecting victims. In California, a 60-year-old opthamologist contacted a 13-year-old girl and after a few e-mail exchanges began sending her sexually explicit photographs. Eventually the doctor asked to meet the girl and she agreed. The girl turned out to be a police officer working Internet sex crime cases. The doctor felt that law enforcement was overreacting because there was no proof of intent to harm the child. In his words "I only sent her a couple of photos and asked to meet her." The Internet now provides the predator with a plethora of tools and options to use in the process of stalking children. Photographs, drawings, e-mail, online chats, chat rooms, videos, and music are some of the devices now available via the Internet that allow predators to connect with children. Potential rapists can use the same tools in hunting victims. From a criminal's perspective, barrooms have been places of gathering for men seeking women to rape.
The advent of the Internet now provides a forum for would-be rapists to stalk women. Unfortunately people find themselves more willing to talk openly about personal topics on the Internet than if they were face-to-face with a stranger. The computer provides a false sense of anonymity and security that leads potential victims into sharing too much information.
In one case the predator used his computer to lure victims to his home for sexual activities or promises of employment. Thus far the bodies of eight of these women have been located after the predator raped, tortured, and murdered them.
Source: Dr. Eric Hickey
"It's important that people understand that cyberstalking is more prevalent than they can imagine. The lack of all communications cues which normally might tip off someone as to a person's intent are absent, and aid the stalker in furthering his desires. People need to be aware of the information that can be obtained about THEM online, often for free, and need to understand that they can avoid becoming a victim in many instances, and what to do should it happen despite their efforts. The series helps in alerting the public to many of the issues in today's society."
Source: Associate Professor Christopher Malinowski
Program Director/Graduate Programs
Computer Science Department
It took a long time to find any sort of healing. I finally went to see a psychotherapist for almost a year. She helped me put everything in perspective, encouraged me to do more media interviews and get the word out and was my "cheerleader" whenever something good happened on my case. As a stranger, she was removed from the situation, which helped me more than any of my family or friends could do, including my husband. I learned how to focus, let negative comments pretty much not bother me and to never give up.
Tips for Staying Safe Online
by J. A. Hitchcock, author of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors
Recent federal law has addressed cyberstalking as well. The Violence Against Women Act, passed in 2000, made cyberstalking a part of the federal interstate stalking statute. Other federal legislation that addresses cyberstalking has been introduced recently, but no such measures have yet been enacted. Consequently, there remains a lack of legislation at the federal level to specifically address cyberstalking, leaving the majority of legislative prohibitions against cyberstalking at the state level (Wiredpatrol.org).
It's important to remember that factors for academic success are statistically based, which means some children will be academically successful despite being at high risk for academic failure. We have all heard stirring and motivational stories of people who rose from poverty, abuse, cultures of violence, and other terrible circumstances to great heights through continued trying and sheer gumption. Such self-motivated individuals may be helped along the way by teachers, perhaps the only resource, in some cases, to achieve their dreams. These kids who succeed are wonderful, but tend to be exceptional in ability to self-motivate, something that may be stripped of other children in similar circumstances.
Probably one of the greatest determining factors in academic success is parental involvement and parental motivation. About 70-90% of children who get As or Bs in schools report they are encouraged by parents to do well in school. This alone may help children understand that school is important. Such parents may also be around to help with homework, occasionally volunteer at school, and they attend any conferences or meetings with teachers. In contrast, children who earn Cs or lower, at least in one study, report at about 49% that parents do not encourage them. Schools also regularly report that better performance and academic success is more likely when parents are actively involved in their child's education.
Socio-economic indicators for academic success in children tend to exclude the children — about 19% in the US — who live in poverty. Middle class and upper class children tend by in large to get better grades, while children from poorer families, especially the poorest, are more likely to repeat grades. Traumatic events, abusive parenting, the impact of violence, and being parented by a single parent frequently correlates to lower grades. In the last instance, what seems to most determine academic success is the degree to which a single parent has time to share with children, since the single parent in most cases must work at least full time to support his or her family. It is clearly the case that many single parents do very well with this, and are able to balance the needs of work and family and be extraordinary parents.
Quality childcare and early childhood education, especially of a caliber that helps children develop socially, mentally, and emotionally, tends to be a positive factor in academic success. Conversely, childcare in crowded institutions that are the only choices for parents on a budget may not give children the skills they need to do well in school. Programs for children like early intervention pre-schools and Head Start do tend to make a difference.
Getting adequate nutrition can't be underestimated. Many studies have shown that students perform better on standardized tests when given breakfast the day of the test. While this is great knowledge to have, many parents wonder why students aren't then fed every day, since grades are usually not determined by standardized test performance. When schools can offer free or reduced lunch programs these may positively affect academics, but many argue these programs are not far reaching enough and cover only the most impoverished children.
Regular school attendance tends to produce more successful students. Frequent absences, due to illness, disruptive home life, or chronic conditions negatively affects academic success. Peer relationships, especially when instances of bullying occur, can affect both attendance and academic success, so both parents and educators must be vigilant to potential bullying or abusive situations in the school setting.
This short list is only part of the factors that create academic success. There are clearly many things that will affect student performance, and it takes fine teachers, great schools, and good parents to help each child progress.
Now that you have skipped a few years after graduating from high school, you might be a bit nervous about going back to college. Nonetheless, there are a number of reasons why you should go to college, no matter how scary the thought may be.
1. Go to College to Secure Your Future
One reason you should go to college is to secure your future. Many employers higher only college grads. This is particularly true of higher paying jobs that come with benefits.
2. Go to College for a Better Lifestyle
Making more money = a more luxurious lifestyle. College graduates make substantially more money than those that graduate only from high school.
3. Go to College So You Can Lead Your Family to Greatness
College graduates tend to live healthier lives with a better value system. This will make it possible for you to be a better parent and leader to your family.
4. Go to College and Become a More Rounded Individual
Aside from the monetary benefits of going to college, the education you receive and the experience you gain from going to college will make you a more well-rounded person. With the knowledge you gain combined with your improved communication skills, you will be exposed to a whole new world.
5. Go to College to Enhance Your Personal Interests
What can be better than making a living doing something you love? Going to college allows you to learn more about something that interests you and qualifies you to actually make money doing it.
6. Go to College and Gain New Confidence
Experts have stated that going to college improves one's self confidence and actually makes them more emotionally secure.
7. Go to College and Expand Your Opportunities
When you go to college, you gain new career opportunities. You also gain the opportunity to teach those around you about the things you have learned.
8. Go to College and Learn a Sense of Fairness
When you go to college, you learn more about the world around you. As a result, you gain a greater sense of the difference between right and wrong.
9. Go to College and Get a Great Return
No investment wields as great of a financial return as going to college. The money you invest in going to college will come back in multiples when you land a higher paying job.
10. Go to College and Continue the American Dream
When you go to college, you continue the path to the American Dream that was established years ago.
With so many reasons to go to college, the only real question is: What took you so long? So, get out there, get past your fears, and begin making the world yours!