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Texting, Sexting, Cyberbullying Expert to Speak in RI

Friday, October 29, 2010

 

Student texting, sexting and cyberbullying is the topic of a public forum focusing on critical issues in education that will be presented next Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 6:30pm at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Newport campus. David Kane, Esq., will present the keynote address, exploring the responsibilities of schools, teachers and parents in, “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – The Impact of Technology on Our Children.” Kane says the forum is especially poignant with the national media spotlight recently focused on a rash of student suicides as a result of bullying.


“We have these national issues taking place, and with the increased development of technology, the timing is certainly ripe,” says Kane. An attorney and nationally recognized expert with more than 25 years experience in the field of education law, Kane founded the Center for Education Law, Policy and Practices located at the East Bay Educational Collaborative in Warren where he serves as Director and Chief Editor for that organization. He also practices law with the firm of Taylor Duane Barton & Gilman, LLP, in the firm’s education and labor divisions.

Rhode Island Protections

Children and teens bullying classmates is nothing new, conceded Kane; it’s the methods that are quickly evolving. “It's the wild west with respect to technology," he explained. “It’s happening almost faster than we can keep up with it.” Kane said Rhode Island’s Basic Education Program, passed by the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education in 2009 and put into effect July 1, 2010, includes a concentration on schools being a safe community and setting for students. Chapter 14, entitled, Safe, Healthy, and Supportive Learning Environment, “references the Rhode Island statute which establishes the right to attend a safe school, and the prevention of bullying, harassment, hazing, teen dating violence and sexual violence, and it requires school districts to prevent and respond to all incidents, and to promote non-violent conflict resolution and professional development surrounding that,” says Kane.

In his keynote address, Kane said he’ll outline some of the Rhode Island’s laws and discuss confidentiality and privacy issues that are related to the topic. For example, he said, if a student sends a text message that is sexual in nature (also known as “sexting”), and that student is a minor, that action can be prosecuted under child pornography laws. The action, he explained, could mean that under existing law, that person would be required to identify themselves as a registered sex offender for the rest of their life.

Salve Regina University faculty members Kathleen Nickerson and Deborah Curtis will serve as panel experts during a discussion following the keynote lecture. The forum, free and open to the public, is being presented by The Aquidneck Collaborative for Education, a partnership of local schools spearheaded and coordinated by Salve Regina University’s education department. No registration is necessary.
 

 

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