Directed at policy makers, legislators, educators, parents, the legal community, and anyone concerned about current public policy responses to sexting and cyberbullying, this book examines the lines between online joking and legal consequences. It offers an analysis of reactive versus preventive legal and educational responses to these issues using evidence-based research with digitally empowered kids. Shaheen Shariff highlights the influence of popular and 'rape' culture on the behavior of adolescents who establish sexual identities and social relationships through sexting. She argues that we need to move away from criminalizing children and toward engaging them in the policy development process, and she observes that important lessons can be learned from constitutional and human rights frameworks. She also draws attention to the value of children's literature in helping the legal community better understand children's moral development and in helping children clarify the lines between harmless jokes and harmful postings that could land them in jail.
Shaheen Shariff is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. She is the 2012 winner of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for scholarship and service to Canada. Shariff is a frequent commentator and researcher who has written extensively on the intersecting influences and the impact of legal, social, political, religious, cultural, and organizational systems and of news media on education in a rapidly evolving digital society. She is the author of Confronting Cyberbullying: What Schools Need to Know to Control Misconduct and Avoid Legal Consequences (Cambridge, 2009) and Cyberbullying: Issues and Solutions for the School, the Classroom and the Home (2008).
1. Confronting cyberbullying - are we any further ahead?; 2. Sexism defines the lines between 'fun' and power; 3. The irony of charging children with distribution of child pornography; 4. Keeping kids out of court: jokes, defamation, and duty to protect; 5. From Lord of the Flies to Harry Potter: lessons we can all learn.