High Tech Bullying Must Stop
Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can hurt you.
That’s the message at the state Bullying and Suicide Prevention Conference held in Charleston Tuesday.
The West Virginia Council for the Prevention of Suicide sponsored the event.
Seven hundred educators, social workers and medical professionals from around the state attended to learn more about bullying and how it can result in suicide.
Bob Musick, the CEO of the council, says the term ‘bully’ has taken on a whole new meaning.
“When I was a kid, if you had a fight at the playground, it stayed there. Everybody went home. But now with cyber bullying going on, it’s 24/7.“
Musick says in this age of technology, bullying has gone high tech.
“Kids are bullied at night through Twitter, through Facebook, through their cell phones,” he said. “It doesn’t leave them.“
That’s why Musick says it’s so important to reach out to adults to teach them the signs of bullying before it goes too far.
“Today bullying leads to kids beating up other kids, shooting other kids or kids killing themselves.“
During the past two legislative sessions, the council has been lobbying for lawmakers to pass the Jason Flatt Act.
The Jason Flatt Act would require teachers to do two-hours of in-service training at home by watching a video about bullying, its effect and ways to prevent it. The videos would be paid for by the Jason Flatt Foundation at no cost to the state. But Musick says both times it’s come before the Senate Finance Committee it’s failed to move on.
“We’re not going to go away,” he said.”We’re going to bring the bill back year after year.“
Musick says the training would go a long way toward stopping bullying behavior before it starts. He hopes the conference is the first step in educating the public and getting the word out about the dangers of a push, shove or unkind text.
~~ WVMN ~~