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FAMU president's resignation effective immediately
Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons went into effect Monday, seven months after a hazed drum major died.
July 16th, 2012
01:59 PM ET

FAMU president's resignation effective immediately

By George Howell, CNN

(CNN) - The Florida A&M University president's resignation went into effect Monday after the school's board of trustees accepted his request to step down from the job immediately.

President James Ammons originally said in a resignation letter that he would retire in October.

His departure comes more than seven months after a drum major for the university band died following a hazing incident. Robert Champion, 26, died after being beaten during a hazing ritual on a band bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida.

Champion's family said last week that "the rampant culture of hazing found at FAMU would not and could not be eradicated without some major housecleaning of those who turned a blind eye to the problem."

Ammons waived a 90-day notice of resignation Monday that would have kept him on staff through October.

In June, the trustees passed a no-confidence motion in Ammons' performance by an 8-4 vote.

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It's probably not wise to be a jerk to Felicia Day
Felicia Day hosted Spike TV's Video Game Awards show last December.
July 3rd, 2012
03:24 PM ET

It's probably not wise to be a jerk to Felicia Day

By Ann Hoevel, CNN

There's an old adage that says, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Not everyone takes that to heart.

Early this weekend, Ryan Perez –a blogger who was a contributor to gaming hub Destructoid – decided to pick a bone with geek culture icon Felicia Day via Twitter. He questioned whether or not Day made any contribution to the gaming industry other than cultivating a geeky persona. He suggested she was a glorified "booth babe."

That was a mistake.

Aside from being a successful web content producer, a Forbes-recognized entrepreneur (they called her a mogul in the making) and an actress with a resume steeped in Joss Whedon productions, Day has some pretty influential buddies. Gaming podcaster Veronica Belmont saw Perez's tweet and quickly came to her friend's defense. Nerd celebrity, Day's costar on "The Guild" and "Eureka" and Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton also weighed in. The Twitterverse got fairly heated in response to Perez's posts.

Within a few hours of his tweets, Destructoid publicly cut ties with Perez. Perez apologized to Day, who accepted.

Read the full post on CNN's Geek Out! blog

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Filed under: Bullying • How we look • Women
Students who bullied N.Y. bus monitor are suspended for a year
Karen Klein, 68, told CNN's Anderson Cooper she doesn't believe her tormenters are bad kids "deep down".
June 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

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

By the CNN Wire Staff

(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.

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Filed under: Bullying • How we live
June 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Opinion: 'Stopping bullying means liberation'

Editor's note: Congressman Mike Honda represents Silicon Valley, California, in Congress. He is an educator of more than 30 years, the author of the landmark Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education now housed in the Department of Education and the Chair of the Congressional Anti-Bully Caucus.

By Mike Honda, Special to CNN

(CNN) - My experience with bullying began with a presidential order.

At the height of World War II, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, incarcerating more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. My family and I were imprisoned behind barbed wire at the Amache internment camp in southeast Colorado. I was less than a year old.

Sadly, the internment of Japanese Americans spread fear and intolerance far beyond the wire and towers of the camps. After the war, during my early years of public school, I was often confronted and insulted because of my appearance and ethnic origin. As a result, I struggled as a student. I was shy to speak up. I lacked self-esteem.

In the 70 years since internment, our nation has made great leaps in providing reparations for the internment and ostracizing of Japanese Americans. But the mistreatment of people thought of as "outsiders" or "different" is a problem that has not gone away.

Today the health, safety, competitiveness and moral fiber of America is threatened by an epidemic that affects more than 13 million children each year.

Read Congressman Mike Honda's full column

June 22nd, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Emotional, widespread reaction to harassment of 68-year-old bus monitor

By Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN) - Karen Klein is probably not the first face that comes to mind when you think of a poster child for bullying.

Yet there she was, sitting in the back of Bus 784 as it rolled through the streets of Greece, New York, on Monday afternoon. Four middle school boys barraged her with verbal abuse, jabbing her about her weight, attacking her family and chuckling as they made violent and graphic threats. Except for a few even-keeled retorts, the 68-year-old bus monitor brushed sweat from her brow and remained quiet, peering up front and out her window, seemingly waiting for her hellish ride to end.

Her suffering may have gone unnoticed had not one of the young teenagers posted a 10-minute video of the harassment on YouTube.

By Wednesday, police were interviewing Klein and her alleged verbal abusers. And by the next day, as the video began going viral, she had become a cause célèbre.

Her torment became a prism through which total strangers the world round characterized her experience as symbolic of everything wrong with modern-day parenting, children and more. Beyond anger, some expressed sadness for the seemingly defenseless older woman who, they felt, bravely suffered the slings and arrows flung at her for no good reason at all.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Age • Bullying • Social justice • Who we are • Women
May 21st, 2012
05:15 PM ET

Ex-Rutgers student gets 30 days for bullying gay roommate

By Ashley Hayes, CNN

(CNN) - A New Jersey judge on Monday sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail for spying on and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi, who then killed himself by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge in September 2010.

Ravi will serve three years of probation and must complete community service aimed at assisting victims of bias crimes, according to Superior Judge Glenn Berman. He also must pay more than $11,000 in restitution.

Berman stayed the jail sentence for 10 days in case of an appeal. If no appeal is filed, Ravi must report to the jail on May 31. However, both prosecutors and defense said they would appeal.

The September 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, and Ravi's trial this year, thrust the issue of cyberbullying and prejudices against homosexuals into the national spotlight.

Read the full story

Deportation, 10 years in jail possible for convicted ex-Rutgers student
Dharun Ravi was found guilty of all charges during his March trial. His sentencing is scheduled for Monday
May 21st, 2012
08:17 AM ET

Deportation, 10 years in jail possible for convicted ex-Rutgers student

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) –Dharun Ravi could face 10 years in prison and be deported to his native India when he is sentenced Monday for spying on and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, who then killed himself by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge.

The September 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, and Ravi's trial this year, thrust the issue of cyberbullying and prejudices against homosexuals into the national spotlight.

Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, plunged to his death in the Hudson River after learning that Ravi had secretly spied via a webcam as Clementi kissed another man.

In the months that followed, President Barack Obama released a videotaped message condemning bullying, while New Jersey legislators enacted stricter laws to protect against it in schools.

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Filed under: Age • Bullying • How we live • Immigration • Sexual orientation
May 3rd, 2012
05:01 AM ET

North Carolina pastor retracts sermon remarks about punching gay kids

By Stephen Walsh, CNN

(CNN) – A Fayetteville, North Carolina, pastor has retracted controversial language used during a weekend sermon in which he instructed parents to hit children who exhibited behavior associated with homosexuality.

“I apologize to anyone I have unintentionally offended,” Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church wrote in a statement on his church’s website. “I did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community.

“My intent was to communicate the truth of the Word of God concerning marriage,” the statement continued. “My words were not scripted. It is unfortunate I was not more careful and deliberate.”

Opinion: iReporter reacts to 'heartbreaking' sermon

Harris’s remarks at his church came a week before the state’s voters consider an amendment to North Carolina’s constitution limiting legal unions to marriage between a man and a woman.

Photos:  North Carolina same-sex couples prepare for marriage vote

"The second you see your son dropping that left wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist," Harris said in the Sunday sermon. "Man up. Give him a good punch."

Read the full post on CNN's Belief blog

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Filed under: Bullying • Discrimination • How we live • Politics • Religion • Sexual orientation
Florida charges 13 in death of FAMU drum major
Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion died in November after a hazing ritual on a band bus.
May 2nd, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Florida charges 13 in death of FAMU drum major

By Rich Phillips, CNN

(CNN)–Florida authorities have brought charges against 13 people in what they called the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, a prosecutor announced Wednesday.

"Robert Champion died as a result of being beaten," State Attorney Lawson Lamar told reporters. "His death is not linked to one sole strike, but is attributed to multiple blows."

Champion died after collapsing on a bus that was carrying members of FAMU's Marching 100 back from a football game. Medical examiners ruled his death a homicide, saying he died "within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body."

Opinion: What I learned from the FAMU marching band

Some university band members have said the 26-year-old died after taking part in an annual rite of passage called "Crossing Bus C," an initiation process in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle from the front door of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members.

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Filed under: Black in America • Bullying • Education • How we live
NHL player’s series-winning goal sparks racist tweets
Joyous teammates swarm Capitals right wing Joel Ward after his series-winning goal against the Bruins.
April 26th, 2012
03:27 PM ET

NHL player’s series-winning goal sparks racist tweets

By David Close and Jason Hanna, CNN

(CNN) –– As Joel Ward’s Washington Capitals teammates swarmed their new hero after his playoff series-winning goal against the NHL’s defending champions Wednesday night, more sinister emotions were swirling on social media.

A number of people took to Twitter with racist comments, calling Ward – one of about 20 black men currently on National Hockey League rosters – the N-word.

Perhaps to those tweeters’ surprise, someone collected 40 of those tweets and put them in one place: Chirpstory, a site where one can aggregate other people’s Twitter posts for posterity. (Read the collection – contains offensive language)

To what should be no one’s surprise, the post caught the attention of sports celebrities and media Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

“Despite a black president, things haven't changed,” sports columnist and ESPN “First Take” contributor Rob Parker tweeted Thursday morning.

Read the full post on CNN's This Just In blog

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Filed under: Black in America • Bullying • How we look • Language • Race • Sports
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