Let’s Talk About It — Bullying over the Internet is easier than in person

May 27, 2014

Jacob Brunette Issaqauh         High School

Jacob Brunette
Issaqauh
High School

Students at Issaquah High School pride themselves on their kindness and the inclusive atmosphere of their school. Yet, in the few instances where IHS makes the national news, it always seems to be for something that totally contradicts that positive self-image: Racist tweets directed toward students at Garfield High School or the sexist “May Madness” competition are the two major examples that come to mind.

And while Issaquah certainly has the most prominent profile in that regard, neither Skyline, Liberty, nor Eastside Catholic is free of bullying either. The question is, how can schools that pride themselves on being friendly, welcoming places still be host to such negative behavior?

A major explanation comes in the rise of social media. While the stereotypical view of bullying is that of bullies beating up kids for lunch money, in reality, that hasn’t been accurate for a long time.

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Social media profiles

April 21, 2014

NEW — 4:55 p.m. April 21, 2014

For most of us, social media facilities are the holy grail of our entertainment. Pressing the refresh buttons on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest on our various smartphones, laptops and tablets is a concerning addiction that we are perfectly content to acknowledge and live with.

Sampurna Basu Skyline High School

Sampurna Basu Skyline High School

And most of the time, this characteristic of our generation is criticized by those who view us as young whippersnappers. However, are we really to blame for the antics of our peers on these social media that makes these facilities so engrossing in the first place? I would like to outline some basic profiles of the average social media users we all see every time we hit that refresh button.

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Students post racist messages regarding Garfield players

March 11, 2014

TACOMA — Issaquah and Garfield high school administrators worked together to ensure a safe environment when the schools faced each other in the Class 4A boys semifinal basketball game March 7.

The extra effort came after racially charged messages appeared on social media following the schools’ matchup Feb. 21.

Garfield’s school resource officer reached out to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to inform it of the situation. The WIAA decided additional security for the game was not necessary. Issaquah planned to have more school administrators on site than usual to provide extra security.

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Local teens take a technology timeout

February 4, 2014

Issaquah High School senior Robin Lustig wasn’t supposed to be on her phone, but she checked it anyway.

“I definitely had a slip-up,” she said. “I check my phone every five minutes, even if I know for a fact I don’t have any text messages or any missed calls. That’s what society is these days. You have to be updated constantly with what’s on Twitter, what’s on Instagram.”

Contributed Robin Lustig, Issaquah High School senior, sports a T-shirt displaying her commitment to going three days technology free.

Contributed
Robin Lustig, Issaquah High School senior, sports a T-shirt displaying her commitment to going three days technology free.

Lustig and nearly 600 other students at Issaquah High School stopped using technology for three days beginning Jan. 13, as part of a technology timeout hosted by a documentary filmmaker. That meant no computers, cellphones or social media.

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Tweeting up a storm

September 24, 2013

Issaquah resident shares his passion for weather

When rare thunderstorms pounded the area in early September, Issaquah resident Justin Shaw was not staring out the windows of his Talus home, marveling at the lightning strikes.

He was staring at a computer screen, tracking the storms’ paths and experiencing the extreme weather virtually with the more than 1,100 followers of his Seattle-weather themed Twitter account.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Justin Shaw displays his Weather Blog Twitter page, with more than 1,100 followers, on the laptop computer in his Issaquah home.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Justin Shaw displays his Weather Blog Twitter page, with more than 1,100 followers, on the laptop computer in his Issaquah home.

“It was almost more fun to be on Twitter talking about the storms than actually watching them,” he said. “It’s like this big party with all of these weather nerds uniting together.”

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City Council reviews applicants for open seat

January 29, 2013

The next City Council member comes from a roster rooted in civic participation — seven residents involved in city boards and commissioners, homeowners associations and community organizations.

The council expected to reach a decision Jan. 29 on a successor to former Councilman Mark Mullet.

The council interviewed applicants Michael Beard, Tim Flood, Joe Forkner, Mary Lou Pauly, Bill Ramos, Mark Rigos and Chantal Stevens in 10-minute segments Jan. 22.

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Off the Press

January 29, 2013

Relationships change due to social media

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

The Issaquah Press is not the largest Twitter presence in Issaquah.

The most-followed title goes to Issaquah-based medium Margaret McElroy. The getaway masterminds at Costco Travel rank near the top, too.

The newspaper, at more than 5,100 followers at last count, is not the largest Twitter presence in Issaquah, but it is quintessential to the conversation.

Behind the jumping salmon avatar, I answer questions, offer encouragement and, yes, respond to criticism amid the daily stream of information.

I am grateful to dedicated group of followers on Facebook and Twitter, and I am often humbled at the importance readers place on a personal relationship with the newspaper.

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Off the Press

January 15, 2013

Words aren’t always what they seam to be

Yes, the headline has the wrong word on purpose!

Greg FarrarPress photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

During one of my recent columns, the Twitter and Facebook revolution was under discussion and how it was shrinking our attention spans and thought processes to a maximum of 140 characters at a time.

There’s something else going on in this new way of communication that drives me crazy, not only in the social media universe but in the good old everyday world of newsprint and magazines.

Homonyms! Or in current smartphone texting lingo, autocorrect errors. Nowhere does the absence of good proofreading drive me as crazy than when it comes to them.

When there are a whole lot of people attacking a strategic position, they are a “horde.” When a storm is coming and we stock up on batteries, we are saving up a “hoard.”

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State planners offer tools to ease holiday travel headaches

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

The state Department of Transportation delivered gifts to holiday travelers — tips to avoid travel-related headaches.

The agency offers numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the Department of Transportation website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience holiday weekend delays, including U.S. 2, Interstate 90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.

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Skyline High School takes to Twitter to beat cyberbullying

December 4, 2012

Macey Knecht asked fellow students at Skyline to make a pledge to not be a cyberbully. By Lillian O’Rorke

Walking into Skyline High School last week, the message “Pause Before You Post” was painted in giant letters across the school’s front windows. Inside, streamers and posters hung above the commons. Signs like “Just Be Nice” were hard to miss.

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