School Based Tackles Cyberbullying and Sexting



U.S. map shows the extent of state laws that deal with the growing problem of cyberbullying among children and teens. MCT 2012

With CYBERBULLYING, McClatchy Washington Bureau by Kaz Komolafe

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Sarah Hale, Staff Reporter

School Based counselors Terri Grenot and Kathy O’Brien gave a presentation in the library about the dangers of Cyberbullying and Sexting in late November.

They began the presentation by talking about the increased use of technology and social media and its effect on teenagers.

“There’s just a variety of ways that cyberbullying can take place,” said Grenot.

She used superheroes as a comparison to talk about responsibility.

“Technology gives us so much power, we need to be careful with it,” she said, “We all are superheroes in our own way and we have a way of preventing something from happening.”

They then showed the video of the story of Amanda Todd — a young woman who committed suicide after she was harassed and bullied incessantly on Facebook — which silenced the audience.

Grenot and O’Brien then talked about the case and Aiden Coven, the man who harassed her.

“He was a 38-year-old Dutch man,” Grenot said, “He had 34 other young women that he did this to.”

They then addressed the issue of bystanders and how to react when someone witnesses bullying.

Grenot shared that, “57% of the time, bullying stops within the first 10 seconds after being interrupted by a defender.”

The next focus of the showcase was sexting, of which the legal definitions and repercussions were reviewed. O’Brien then shared strategies on how to say no.

They wrapped up the showcase by talking about positivity in our school community. Grenot and O’Brien emphasized the importance of unity as a school and supporting each other.

“You can change a person’s life just by smiling,” Grenot told the audience.