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Getting the message out: Cyberbullying forum held at Clinton Middle School

By ALLISON NORLIAN

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - Cyberbullying, a growing national and local problem, was addressed Thursday night by Clinton Middle School faculty.

The school hosted a "Cyberbullying: What you need to know to help your child," forum, inviting parents, students and faculty to learn more about preventing online bullying because of the alarming statistics researchers have found.

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center and the Education Development Center, nearly 43 percent of kids have been bullied online and 70 percent of students report seeing frequent bullying online. According to the Teen Assessment Project (TAP), a confidential survey administered to seventh, ninth and 11th grade students every four years in Herkimer and Oneida County school districts, 16 percent of Herkimer County teenagers and 20 percent of Oneida County teenagers reported being electronically harassed, threatened or bullied within the past year.

The forum was organized because of Clinton Middle Schools principal. He approached the Clinton School District Superintendent Matt Reilly, saying he sees cyberbullying affecting Clinton Middle School students too often.

"I think when you look at statistics on cyber bullying, we do have a crisis," Reilly said. "We have a crises that needs addressing and its forums like this that will help improve situation. Information is key it really is, to explain to parents the prevalence of the problem. Then to provide resources on what can be done to help the situation that's what were doing this evening."

Students attended the event in the hopes to spread awareness to others about standing up to bullies.

Libby Militello, an eighth grader at Clinton Middle School said it's important to get parents involved, "I think it will clear up bullying better and if  kids attend it too they know what to look out for."

The forum was held in conjunction with the Kirkland Police Department, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the YWCA Mohawk Valley.

Reilly hopes this is the first of many cyberbullying forums.

 

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