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Protecting Kids From Cyberbullies

By Lindsay Hood
|  Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  Updated 1:31 PM PDT
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Celebs in Cyber Trouble

NBCSanDiego

Students learn about cyberbullying during a conference put on by the Anti-Defamation League.

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Cyberbullying effects almost half of U.S. teens, according to the Anti-Defamation League, who held a seminar at University of San Diego on Tuesday.

The conference called, "Examining and Addressing Cyberbullying," was held to educate school administrators, counselors, educators, students, school resource officers, and parents to learn how to recognize cyberbullying and how to respond.

Tina Meier, whose daughter committed suicide after being cyberbullied, spoke to teachers and parents about her loss. Her daughter Megan was bullied online by the parents of one of her friends, but Tina didn't find out until a classmate of her daughter stepped forward after Megan committed suicide.

"There's not an amount of rage that I could explain to you of how angry I was," Meier said.

During the conference, students and educators also learned how to prevent cyberbullying.

The ADL provided the following prevention tips to help parents and educators prevent cyberbullying.

  • Set clear school guidelines for technology use and update policies accordingly
  • Educate youth about ethical standards for online activities
  • Increase awareness of Internet safety strategies among youth and their families
  • Institute supervision and monitoring practices that keep relevant staff informed about how technology is being used at your site
  • Establish safe and confidential reporting mechanisms.
  • Designated a cyberbullying “expert” at your institution who is responsible for keeping up with laws, policies, best practice and current trends.
  • Model appropriate technology use
  • Be vigilant and look for warning signs that a young person might be a target or perpetrator of activities

As part of the program, all educators who attended committed to having three educational activities to teach their students about cyberbullying.
 

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