Dr. Sameer Hinduja, Professor in the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking research on the impact of the virtual world and social media on violence and student safety. He recently shared his expertise with the Federal Commission on School Safety headed by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C.
The Cyber & Classroom Connection
Hinduja kicked off the meeting by sharing findings that there is significant overlap between students who experience cyberbullying online and those who experience bullying at school.
“In our most recent study of a nationally-representative sample of approximately 5,700 middle and high-school students across America, 34% say that they have been cyber-bullied during their lifetime,” Hinduja said. “In addition, 12% revealed that they had cyberbullied others during their lifetime. So that’s one-third of youth across America indicating they’ve been bullied online, and about one in ten stating they have bullied others online. We also know that more than 80% of those being cyberbullied are also being bullied at school, indicating a strong overlap.”
Four Recommendations for Long-Term Change
After sharing that the ad-hoc strategies schools often employ are lacking in terms of lasting impact, Hinduja shared his four recommendations to the Federal Government for comprehensive and systemic change:
- Create a positive school climate of connectedness.
- Modify social norms to reward responsible social media behavior.
- Tap into students’ knowledge to help set achievable standards.
- Implement resilience programming for empowerment.
In closing, Dr. Hinduja recommended that the Federal Government provide more personnel and funding to schools, add funding for research to make sure initiatives are optimized, seek better ways to get best practices into the hands of those who need them, and finally, promote accountability at the school, state, and federal levels.
“This will help ensure that adequate resources are provided so that our students can thrive, and our communities can flourish,” Hinduja said.
Click below to watch Dr. Hinduja make his recommendations to the Federal Commission on School Safety.
Congratulations to Dr. Lincoln Sloas, Assistant Professor in the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, for being named the 2018 FAU Faculty Mentor of the Year – a completely student-nominated and student-elected award through FAU’s Mentoring Project.
College often means new experiences, responsibilities, demands, and decisions. For many students, it’s not always easy to navigate their new world and balance challenging course loads. Mentorship can make all the difference in a student’s success.
“Having someone to talk about classes, but also life in general, is very important,” Sloas said. “Sometimes students don’t have that outlet, so having someone like me can help them progress in their college career and in their life. I find great value in taking stock in students’ lives at FAU and post-graduation, and then keeping track so I can watch their careers flourish.”
Ms. Hanna Cedillo, a second-semester freshman, was named Mentee of the Year. Cedillo and Sloas have been working together as mentor and mentee throughout the 2017-18 academic year.
“His mentees know he bends over backwards to provide them with information, opportunities, and resources,” said Dr. John Smykla, School Director and Professor. “He also encourages them to produce quality work, and he does it with humility. Dr. Sloas is open to learning from students, rather than always looking for opportunities to advance his own work, and his award is well-deserved.”