I want a poster of this for my classroom.

24 04 2013

481964_570686296285719_1222779627_n





‘Cool’ kids in middle school bully more, UCLA psychologists report

29 01 2013

My seventh-grade self would love to jump forward in time just so he can sarcastically shout, “Noooooo!” While I can’t say that all of my scrapes, bruises, broken glasses, and emotional scars came exclusively from the “cool crowd,” I’d say that roughly 90% did. And the other 10% came from those trying to elevate their status and impress the guardians of popularity. Frankly, that’s where all the bullying I participated in came from… trying to “be cool.”

Part of me feels somewhat vindicated by this study, but it’s also sort of silly that they had to do one in the first place. They could’ve asked any of us geeks who it was that did the bulk of the tormenting, and we’d all have answered the same. The only problem is, nobody ever cared to believe us.

– dEV

#     #     #

ucla‘Cool’ kids in middle school bully more, UCLA psychologists report

Study of seventh and eighth graders finds no difference between boys, girls

By Stuart Wolpert January 24, 2013

Bullying, whether it’s physical aggression or spreading rumors, boosts the social status and popularity of middle school students, according to a new UCLA psychology study that has implications for programs aimed at combatting school bullying. In addition, students already considered popular engage in these forms of bullying, the researchers found.
The psychologists studied 1,895 ethnically diverse students from 99 classes at 11 Los Angeles middle schools. They conducted surveys at three points: during the spring of seventh grade, the fall of eighth grade and the spring of eighth grade. Each time, students were asked to name the students who were considered the “coolest,” the students who “start fights or push other kids around” and the ones who “spread nasty rumors about other kids.”
Those students who were named the coolest at one time were largely named the most aggressive the next time, and those considered the most aggressive were significantly more likely to be named the coolest the next time. The results indicate that both physical aggression and spreading rumors are rewarded by middle school peers.
“The ones who are cool bully more, and the ones who bully more are seen as cool,” said Jaana Juvonen, a UCLA professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “What was particularly interesting was that the form of aggression, whether highly visible and clearly confrontational or not, did not matter. Pushing or shoving and gossiping worked the same for boys and girls.
“The impetus for the study was to figure out whether aggression promotes social status, or whether those who are perceived as popular abuse their social power and prestige by putting other kids down,” she said. “We found it works both ways for both ‘male-typed’ and ‘female-typed’ forms of aggression.”
The research is published online in the prominent Journal of Youth and Adolescence and will be appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal.
The study implies that anti-bullying programs have to be sophisticated and subtle to succeed.
“A simple message, such as ‘Bullying is not tolerated,’ is not likely to be very effective,” Juvonen said, when bullying often increases social status and respect.
Effective anti-bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders, who play a critical role and can either encourage or discourage bullying, said Juvonen, who has conducted research on bullying since the mid-1990s and serves as a consultant to schools on anti-bullying programs. Bystanders should be made aware of the consequences of spreading rumors and encouraging aggression and the damage bullying creates, she said.
Juvonen’s current research is federally supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Juvonen and her colleagues reported in 2003 that bullies are popular and respected and are considered the “cool” kids.
The rumors middle school students spread often involve sexuality (saying a student is gay or sexually promiscuous) and family insults, she said.
Like middle school students, Juvonen noted, non-human primates also use aggression to promote social rank (although gossiping is obviously limited to humans).
Co-authors of the new study are former UCLA psychology graduate student Yueyan Wang and UCLA psychology doctoral student Guadalupe Espinoza.
In previous research, Juvonen and her colleagues have reported that nearly three in four teenagers say they were bullied online at least once during a recent 12-month period, and only one in 10 reported such cyber-bullying to parents or other adults; that nearly half of the sixth graders at two Los Angeles–area public schools said they were bullied by classmates during a five-day period; that middle school students who are bullied in school are likely to feel depressed, lonely and miserable, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to further bullying incidents; and that bullying is pervasive.
“Bullying is a problem that large numbers of kids confront on a daily basis at school; it’s not just an issue for the few unfortunate ones,” Juvonen has said. “Students reported feeling humiliated, anxious or disliking school on days when they reported incidents, which shows there is no such thing as ‘harmless’ name-calling or an ‘innocent’ punch.'”




HuffPo: This Spirit Day, Take a Stand Against Bullying

17 10 2012

This is a great blog by a young man who wants to remind us of what many of our students are struggling with every day. Questions of identity, bullying, teasing, verbal and sometimes physical abuse. Feelings of being utterly alone.

October 19th is Spirit Day, a day to speak out against bullying, and to also show support gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender young people in our schools and communities. Many do this by wearing purple. These are issues that we can’t ignore any longer, and I hope that you’ll take the time to read Jordan Addison’s story if you don’t understand why.

– dEV

#     #     #

This Spirit Day, Take a Stand Against Bullying

Student, Radford University

Posted: 10/17/2012 1:15 pm

I am a 21-year-old college student at Radford University, in Radford, Va. I am from a place called Max Meadows, Va. Our community is itty-bitty and is mostly populated by individuals who have spent their entire lives in and around the area. It’s a small town in the South, so, naturally, the way of thinking there is several decades behind other places in our nation. It isn’t uncommon to encounter hate or discrimination; in fact, it can happen on a daily basis. As a gay male, I grew up in fear of how the community might react to my sexual orientation, so I kept everything all bottled up inside. However, I was perceived as being gay, and in high school that’s all the bullies need; they don’t care what the truth is. I went through elementary school, middle school and most of high school with very few friends. Many days I would make myself sick so that I could go home early.

I was called things like “fag” and “homo” every single day. I was shoved, punched, spit on, shunned and told frequently that I would be better off if I just killed myself. Sometimes I believed it. Once someone stole my backpack and urinated all over the inside of it. My locker was covered in shaving cream. I was hit with rocks and tripped, and my lunch and homework were stolen. There was nothing I could do to escape the torment of simply being what other people perceived me as being. My perfect grades began to slip downward. Even people who had claimed to be my friend turned their backs on me. Sleep became something that eluded me.

Books became my savior. Whenever I had free time, I read. Delving into a novel would transport me to another world, a world where I could forget about how much I was hurting. I learned to tune out the world around me and live in the worlds within the pages before me. Even now, you have to forcibly take my Kindle away from me to get to me pay attention to you. But there weren’t always times when words could carry me away from the pain.

In high school my family moved to a different part of the county. I’m happy to say that I endured little torment at Rural Retreat High School, but my parents separated, and my dad began to drink, something I had never seen before. He became distant, and my mom lived far away from where I was. The divorce was messy, brutal and horrifying. I bounced around between each parent so much that I felt dizzy. All the while, I was dealing with the fact that something was “wrong” with me, something that my family and my religion didn’t allow.

Why would the God that I had tried so hard to serve make me gay? Couldn’t he have given me something else to deal with? I prayed constantly for him to take it away from me. My life was a constant internal battle. My heart was split into so many pieces, and they were all at war with one another. What more could I do to escape? Pain was coming from all sides: parents, self-hatred, church, failing grades. I couldn’t take anymore.

The courts ordered counseling for my family. For months I would go to a lady named Heather, and she would try to get me to open up. I just lied, hiding behind the façade of my religion. But I’m sure she saw right through me. A balloon of emotion and truth was welling up inside me, and I wanted more than anything to burst it in that little room with Heather. But I never did. I wonder how different my life would have been if I had just confided my pain in her.

Finally, there was no more that I could endure. Suicide seemed to be my only way out, so that is the road that I decided to follow. Thankfully, I was not successful.

With nowhere else to turn, I moved far away and began to work. Being alone for a year forced me to be real with myself. Standing in the upstairs bathroom of my house in Beckley, W.Va., I forced myself to come to terms with who I was. Staring at my reflection in the mirror, I said, “I’m gay.” It felt so good that I laughed.

I came back to Virginia and tried to make things better with my family. My dad was dating a really sweet lady, and I became close with her daughter. I told her that I’m gay, and she told my entire family. I haven’t spoken to most of them, including my dad, since.

Homeless and alone, I showed up at my Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ronnie’s house. They took me in, fed me and gave me a place to sleep. I never left. They are my “parents” now. I’ve never been happier. These are the two kindest people I’ve ever met. Retirement was treating them well, but the two of them started working again to help put me through college. Whenever I need someone to talk to, home is the first place I call.

(Full Story)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-addison/this-spirit-day-take-a-stand-against-bullying_b_1974035.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education





NBCNews: Cyberbullying not as rampant as thought, study suggests

30 08 2012

I have mixed feelings about this study. I don’t doubt that there is some truth to it, and I’ve always felt that cyberbullying was a modern extension of the type of bullying that has always gone on. Rather than talking about someone behind their back in between classes, or spreading rumors over the phone, the same type of mischief is going on via text message and iChat. Rather than “slam books” being passed around, Facebook and Twitter are accomplishing the same goal. The tools are different, but the tactics are essentially the same.

The differences, though, are significant. It’s much easier to spread a nasty rumor than ever before. A wide audience can be reached nearly instantly, rather than the nastiness being spread through passed notes, hallway conversations, and after-school phone calls. There’s also that wonderful false perception of anonymity that goes with the virtual world. It enables people to be even more nasty, even more abusive, and even more vile that they would normally be because they think that it could never be traced back to them.

Maybe kids are finally figuring out that they are not defined by their online presence, and that the simple way to avoid harassment is to just unplug themselves. Maybe they’ve realized that internet anonymity is a false premise, and that they can be a target of retaliation when they take things too far. Maybe we’re just seeing some good come out of anti-bullying campaigns, and cyberbullying awareness. Or maybe, as the study suggests, it wasn’t that big of a problem to begin with.

I doubt it, though.

– dEV

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By Bill Briggs – NBC News
updated 8/10/2012 8:26:19 AM ET

A new study suggests cyberbullying among adolescents and pre-teens may not be the epidemic many believe.

In a presentation late last week to American Psychological Association, two nationally representative surveys totaling nearly 5,000 pre-teens and teens found that 15 percent said they’d been bullied on the Internet during the past year. (Updated: An earlier version of this story reported a cyberbullying rate of 17 percent. Based on a new analysis, Ybarra revised the estimate to 15 percent.)While that at first may seem high, past studies had pegged the cyberbullying victim rate anywhere from 30 percent to as lofty as 72 percent.

“We assume it’s this overwhelming thing, that everybody’s being bullied and that it’s inescapable — that’s not totally accurate,” says Michele Ybarra, research director at the nonprofit Center for Innovative Public Health Research in San Clemente, Calif.

Her analysis of the two surveys conducted by Harris Interactive of randomly selected, anonymous adolescents was focused on debunking assumptions of how young people are using the Internet and their experiences online. High-profile cases of youth suicides blamed on cyberbullying —  such as Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who committed suicide after his roommate used a webcam to spy on his encounter with another man, or 15-year-old Phoebe Prince from western Massachusetts who took her own life after being targeted by hateful online messages –have helped fuel the impression that cyberbullying affects most young people.

“Because we’re seeing stories that are really serious,” Ybarra says, “it does give this sort of sense that it is happening all over the place.”

One leading cyberbullying expert, Dr. Joel Haber, lauds Ybarra’s painstaking work to finally accurately gauge the problem.

“What she tries to do is look at the bullying definition and see if it applies to cyberbullying,” says Haber, a clinical psychologist and authorbased in White Plains, N.Y., who has reviewed Ybarra’s research.

Indeed, there’s debate over what cyberbullying actually is. Traditional bullying involves repetitive episodes of abuse carried out by one person who is viewed to have more power, usually physical, over the victim. Ybarra has simply applied that narrow definition to cyberbullying to hone the statistics. But in the online world, power is also judged by status and digital popularity, such as having a higher number of Facebook friends.

“She’s trying to get to the bottom of the cyberbullying problem, which I have to give her credit for,” Haber says.

One reason for the lower-than-expected number could be that Ybarra, unlike other researchers, purposely omits cyber-harassment from her definition of cyberbullying. Unlike cyberbullying, online harassment is defined more as a one-time event. Haber agrees with that approach.

“Whether it’s kids being exclusionary online or being mean online, harassment happens more frequently than real cyberbullying, where somebody has more power over you and hurts you,” Haber says. “We can’t lump in all this stuff together.”

In the new study, as many as 41 percent of adolescents reported experiencing cyber-harassment, meaning those cases were more isolated or that the mean-spirited verbiage was sent by someone who didn’t hold any inherent power over the recipient.

Despite the new research, New Jersey mom Victoria Marin believes the 15 percent finding is lower than the true rate.

Her 10-year-old son was the target of a swarm of stinging texts after the fifth-grader with dyslexia mistakenly typed “hay” instead of “hey.”

“You are an idiot who shouldn’t have a cell phone,” read one message. “You are a retard who shouldn’t text anymore,” read another.

The “cyber campaign,” as his mother calls it, dragged on secretly for two months last fall, a private bullying war waged by other boys against an increasingly withdrawn victim. As the text assaults looped in more students, he was shunned from kickball games and lunch gatherings. Soon, his grades plummeted, headaches emerged, and he stopped talking. That’s when his mother Victoria investigated her son’s phone and discovered a blitz of vicious, undeleted messages.

The New Jersey mom immediately blocked the bullies, withdrew her so from classes and began home-schooling him.

“He’s afraid to go back,” his mother says.. “I would be putting him back into the same school, with the same kids.”

Victoria is convinced, “there more kids out there – like my son – who are not reporting it, even in a survey.”

(Full Story)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48557050/ns/health-childrens_health/?__utma=14933801.1882577638.1342424052.1344581635.1344639921.82&__utmb=14933801.3.10.1344639921&__utmc=14933801&__utmx=-&__utmz=14933801.1342424052.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)%7Cutmccn=(direct)%7Cutmcmd=(none)&__utmv=14933801.%7C8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1%5E12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1%5E13=Landing%20Hostname=www.nbcnews.com=1%5E30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=154762680#.UD9yxY7BNh5





FAILBlog: Role reversal.

17 08 2012





CNN: Students who bullied N.Y. bus monitor are suspended for a year

1 07 2012
Updating a previous story
#     #     #
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:12 AM EDT, Sat June 30, 2012

(CNN) — Four middle school students caught on camera verbally abusing their bus monitor have been suspended for a year and will be required to complete 50 hours of community service, school district officials said Friday.

Recorded by a student with a cell phone camera on what was the second-to-last day of school, the brazen bullying went viral and spurred international outrage.

The incident occurred in Greece, New York, near Rochester.

“Following individual meetings this week with school and district administrators, each family waived their right to a hearing and agreed to one-year suspensions from school and regular bus transportation,” the Greece Central School District said in a statement.

The students will be transferred to the district Reengagement Center, it said. Each will also be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and must take part in a formal bullying prevention program.

In the video, the students taunt their bus monitor — Karen Klein, 68 — with a stream of profanity, insults, jeers and ridicule. Some boys demanded to know her address, saying they wanted to come to her house to perform sexual acts and steal from her.

One comment from a boy aboard the bus was especially painful, she said. He told her that she does not have family because “they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.”

Klein’s eldest son took his own life 10 years ago, according to CNN affiliate WHAM.

The bullying continued unabated for about 10 minutes in the video, as a giggling student jabbed Klein’s arm with a book and made fun of her weight.

Klein is a bus monitor for the Greece Central School District, and the harassers attended a district school, Athena Middle School. Each of the students admitted to wrongdoing, the school district said.

(Full Story with Video)

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/29/us/new-york-bus-monitor-suspensions/index.html





MSNBC: Bullying of teachers more damaging in online era

25 06 2012

Students are now equipped with cellphones with video cameras and a plethora of apps that allow them easily to share information among each other and post online

By CHRISTINE ARMARIO

updated 6/23/2012 10:30:48 AM ET

MIAMI — The bullying that bus monitor Karen Klein endured on a ride home from an upstate New York school was painful and egregious, but also shows how student harassment of teachers and administrators has become more spiteful and damaging in the online era.

Much attention has been paid to students who bully students in class, after school and on the Internet. Less has been given to equally disturbing behavior by students who harass instructors, principals and other adults.

It’s something that’s long existed; think ganging up on the substitute teacher. But it has become increasingly cruel and even dangerous as students get access to advanced technology at earlier ages.

In Maryland, students posed as their vice principal’s twin 9-year-old daughters on pedophile websites, saying they had been having sex with their father and were looking for a new partner. Elsewhere, students have logged on to neo-Nazi and white supremacist sites claiming to be a Jewish or minority teacher and inciting the groups’ anger. Others have stolen photographs from teachers’ cellphones and posted them online.

“The ways they provoke teachers are limited only by their imaginations,” said lawyer Parry Aftab, who described the above cases as just a few of the hundreds she’s handled.

Compared with those, what happened to Klein in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, was mild, Aftab said.

Students poked the bus monitor with a textbook, called her a barrage of obscenities and threatened to urinate on her front door, among other callous insults. One student taunted: “You don’t have a family because they all killed themselves because they don’t want to be near you.”

Klein’s oldest son killed himself 10 years ago.

Eventually, she appears to break down in tears. A cellphone video of the incident posted on YouTube went viral.

There is no data collected on how often students bully and harass teachers and other school authorities.

The most recent school safety report from the National Center for Education Statistics, the data branch of the U.S. Department of Education, found that 5 percent of public schools reported students verbally abused teachers on a daily or weekly basis. Also, 8 percent of secondary school teachers reported being threatened with injury by a student, as did 7 percent of elementary teachers.

“Is what we saw in this video occurring with many children every day with adults? No,” said Ken Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based consulting firm. “One incident is one too many, but we certainly have a problem where the authority of educators and school support personnel has been undermined.”

Certainly, students harassing teachers isn’t new.

John Ristow remembers an incident from his early days as a teacher’s assistant in Alpena, Mich. A student in the class was upset that he was singled out by the lead teacher for disrupting other students who were trying to study. When Ristow passed him in the hall later that day, the middle school student lashed out.

“It was very nasty swear words that were extremely demeaning to my character,” said Ristow, who now is head of communications for the Broward Teachers Union in Florida.

Ristow held out his hand and said, “Stop.”

A security officer came by and asked if Ristow wanted her to take the boy to the principal’s office. He said no, deciding to resolve the issue directly with the teacher and student instead. He brought both of them together, they discussed how inappropriate the behavior was and told the student he would face a suspension if it happened again.

“It never happened again,” Ristow said.

That was in the late 1980s.

Two decades later, students are equipped with cellphones with video cameras and a plethora of apps that allow them easily to share information among each other and post online.

One of the new ways that students are harassing teachers has become known as “cyberbaiting.” Students irritate a teacher to the point that the teacher breaks down; that reaction then is captured in photos or video to post online. A Norton Online Family Report published last year found that 21 percent of teachers had experienced or knew another teacher who had experienced “cyberbaiting.”

Then there are cases of students who have created websites and blogs against teachers and administrators.

In South Florida, one student created a Facebook group page called, “Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever met!” The student encouraged others to “express your feelings of hatred.”

The student, Katherine Evans, took the page down but was suspended for three days and removed from her Advanced Placement classes. She later was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit against the principal of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School, arguing that her right to freedom of speech had been violated. She settled for $15,000 to cover her legal fees and her suspension was wiped from her record.

(Full Story)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47931496/ns/technology_and_science-security/#.T-0fG44f9h5





MSNBC: What makes a troll tick? You can ask Dr. Troll

14 06 2012

By Nidhi Subbaraman, FastCompany.com

Whitney Phillips hunts trolls. For the past four years she’s watched them on forums and Facebook, studied patterns in their behavior, chatted online with a few, and even met a small handful.

It’s no small feat. These are tricksters prone to digital disruption and online hijinks for all kinds of reasons or none at all. And their dependence on anonymity makes them harder to track down than their Grimm namesakes. “You can’t just walk up to a troll and have a heart-to-heart,” Phillips says. But over the years, she’s built up relationships with trolls of all stripes and gotten as close as anyone to understanding what makes their tribe tick.

A troll once described a troll as “a normal person who does insane things on the Internet.” “Insane” could mean a whole range of different things — from mildly annoying behavior like Rickrolling to vicious attacks on Facebook memorial pages dedicated to dead children. So what, exactly, makes a troll a troll? That’s been the focus of the last few years of Phillips’s academic life, leading up to her newly earned Ph.D. She’s Dr. Troll now.

It takes one to know one
Trolling has been around in some form since the beginning of the Internet, but took on a very specific meaning by the mid-2000s. Phillips says there are four characteristics that distinguish trolls from other mischief-makers on the Internet (“I’m not responsible for assholes,” Phillips clarifies).

True trolls self-identify and think of themsleves as a troll. They mark their territory on forums with very specific references — a “trollish vernacular” — to let other trolls know that trolling is on. They seek “lulz,” “a particular sort of amoral laughter” at inappropriate jokes (think: disaster humor, racist humor or just plain cruel humor) once confined to private living rooms or clubs but now amplified by the web, Phillips says. “It’s sort of similar to schadenfreude except it’s much more pointed.” Schadenfreude would describe your glee if someone you didn’t like fell down, but with lulz, “You either participate in that misfortune or you’re living vicariously through the people who are. It’s much more active.”

And, although they’re willing to refer to themselves as trolls, they’re always anonymous, which is what makes trolls as a group hard to study — unless you’re Whitney Phillips.

4 Pillars Of Trolling Not all trolls are the same, but here are some calling cards, according to Whitney Phillips.

1. Self-ID. Trolls think of themselves as trolls and usually aren’t afraid to say it.

2. Vernacular. It’s always changing and often grammatically incorrect on purpose and has previously included terms such as “plox” (please), “fap” (masturbation), and “sauce” (asking for the source of an image).

3. Lulz. This pointed laughter is the troll reward, virtual troll food, an acknowledgement and reaction to a troll attack that is more participatory than regular laughter.

4. Anonymity. The center of a troll’s power, it’s the virtual cloak that lets a sane person acts a little insane online.

The spirit of trolling traces its roots to the beginning of the Internet, but organized itself in the online community 4Chan. “4Chan was the place where term ‘troll’ fixed itself,” Phillips says. Trolling lives on in the community today, most prolifically in the /b/ forums — a “trollspace” Phillips describes in a recent paper as “(A)n epicenter (arguably the epicenter) of online trolling activity, and consistently pumps out some of the Internet’s most recognizable, not to mention offensive, viral content.”

Of course, trolling’s come a long way since its early days on 4Chan. It’s become common enough now, though, that it’s often confused with other disruptive behavior on the Internet. In an age where laws are being crafted to define and punish behavior on the Internet, being able to understand and distinguish trolling from other behavior is all the more critical. “Knowing what you’re dealing with before you legislate is almost always a good rule,” Phillips says, and her four-pillar theory is a solid start. “It wouldn’t just be trolling speech that gets caught in that dragnet, it would be political speech, unpopular speech…. We’re going to start seeing more and more state laws that overreach.”

(Full Story)

http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/what-makes-troll-tick-you-can-ask-dr-troll-805476





MSNBC: Dad busted for fake porn profile of kid’s principal

29 05 2012

Our school recently had a parent meeting on the subject of CyberBullying. This article would’ve been a great discussion starter. It perfectly exemplifies how CyberBullying isn’t limited to teenagers, but is something that adults engage in as well. It also shows how something that was meant to be a joke can be terribly damaging to someone, even long after the attack. And it also demonstrates how something posted on the internet can hang around forever, and how something thought to be “anonymous” can be traced back to someone fairly easily by people who know what they’re doing. Many lessons can be learned from this guy’s mistake!

– dEV

#     #     #

By Helen A.S. Popkin – MSNBC.com

When he finally confessed to creating a fake porn profile for his son’s assistant principal, Robert Dale Esparza Jr. of Gilbert, Arizona, “sort of laughed,” says Dennis Ogorchock, a detective with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes Unit. But soon, Esparza may be laughing from a jail cell.

Last year, Esparza created the profile of Frank Hendricsen, assistant principal of Gateway Pointe Elementary School, where his son attended, using the faculty member’s full name and photos as a revenge prank, the detective told msnbc.com in a phone interview.  

Esparza, 34, believed his son’s story — that Hendricsen confiscated the boy’s iPod and wouldn’t give it back, so the father lashed out on the Internet. Sure, he was angry when he first built the profile, but Ogorchock says Esparza “thought (the porn profile) was going to be funny and everyone would get a kick out of it.”

When first confronted by the officer, Esparza even tried to claim his son made the porn profile. Given the sophisticated sexual content however — 13-year-old kids don’t talk about “swingers” — not to mention the complete lack of grammatical errors, the detective wasn’t buying it.

Now, a year after the May 2011 investigation into the fake porn profile and a recent week-long trial, a jury convicted Esparza of computer fraud and identity theft, two felonies for which he may face jail time when he’s sentenced June 5. (Msnbc.com has been unable to reach Esparza or Hendricsen for comment.)

“The victim is pretty shaken up about the whole deal,” Ogorchock said. “His reputation, everything he had worked for his whole career was on the line.” The detective said Hendricsen learned about the fake profile on porn website xHamster from a prospective employer who Googled Hendricsen’s name after a job interview for a principal position at another school. That’s when Hendricsen contacted the sheriff’s department.

The profile Esparza posted on xHamster — a video-sharing and online community porn hub — included Hendricsen’s full name, photos of both the assistant principal and his wife scraped, or copied,from the Gateway Pointe Elementary School website, and described the couple as “swingers” looking to play.

For further humiliation, Esparza included four photos of male genitals (scraped from Craiglist personal ads, but identified as Hendricsen’s), and more than a dozen “favorited” videos on the porn hub, all deliberately chosen by Esparza for their naughty school girl themes.

And to ensure the incriminating content would be among the first results for anyone who Googled Hendricsen’s name, Esparza accessed the profile at least 25 times, Ogorchock said, communicating with other xHamster members and using the profile in the casual connections section of Craigslist.

The reputation bomb worked so well, the detective quickly tracked down Esparza via the IP address provided by the happy-to-help xHamster webmasters, who also removed the fake profile after Hendricsen contacted the site.

The Internet trail led to a computer which belonged to Esparza’s employer — Safeguard, a locally owned, home-security company (where, the Arizona Repubic reports, Esparz no longer works). Ogorchock was able to connect Esparza via the police report the angry father filed against Hendricsen for allegedly taking his son’s iPod, an accusation that was never proven.

That led to a warrant and search on Esparza’s work laptop, which revealed visits to xHamster, Craigslist, the school website where he scraped the photos, and the Google Gmail account he created using Hendricsen’s name. Despite the evidence and the confession, Esparza turned down probation and went to trial, which Ogorchock thinks Esparza did, hoping the jury would be sympathetic to him. Now he’ll be lucky if he avoids jail time.

(Full Story with Video)

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