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WBFO and AT&T to present Cyberbullying Facebook Live Event May 9 at 1 pm | Commentary

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WBFO and AT&T to present Cyberbullying Facebook Live Event May 9 at 1 pm
WBFO and AT&T to present Cyberbullying Facebook Live Event May 9 at 1 pm

WBFO-FM 88.7 and AT&T will present a Facebook Live panel event on cyberbullying on Tuesday, May 9 at 1:00 p.m.

Hosted by WBFO Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley, this online event is not simply to raise awareness of cyberbullying.  This program is about developing strategies that students, teachers and parents can use to minimize cyberbullying. The program will also provide online tools and resources to help facilitate conversations and make a cultural shift around this dangerous behavior.

The panel:

·       Tracy Rodemeyer, the mother of Jamey Rodemeyer, the Williamsville teen who was driven to suicide by cyberbullying in 2011.

·       Amanda Nickerson, Ph.d, Director of UB’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse prevention.

·       Daniela Wolfe, a social worker for the Amherst School District and serves as a Dignity Act Coordinator.

How can students deal with online bullying when they see it happening? How can they help the victim? What kind of proactive steps can parents and teachers take to make prevent online abuse?  Many adults recall being bullied as kids, but in this interconnected world, the taunts don’t stop when the school day ends.

This is a vital learning experience for an important issue, and a great way to use social media to educate and engage.  The material discussed may be most appropriate for middle and high school students, but educators may use their own discretion—all are welcome to join.

This is a busy time in the school year, but devoting some classroom time to this important issue will be worthwhile. The discussion will likely last about 40 minutes, but participants may join the conversation for a shorter period if there are time constraints. If you, your classroom or your school can join us, please register on the WBFO Facebook page.

Participants---classrooms, assemblies, individual students, parents—may join the discussion live on May 9 at 1:00 p.m. on the WBFO Facebook page – and will get a reminder by registering on our Facebook event page.

As middle and high school students spend more time online, a recent study conducted by Siena College Research Institute, AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation of Western New York area teenagers and parents finds cyberbullying is a prevalent issue that touches a majority of area children. Twenty-six percent of teens surveyed across Upstate New York have been cyberbullied. In Western New York, 19 percent of teens have been cyberbullied.   Fifty-five percent of teens and over half of parents in Western New York have witnessed cyberbullying, including insulting or threatening comments posted online, pictures meant to embarrass, revealing videos shared online, and posted rumors or allegations about sexual activity.  Nearly one-quarter of local teens say that their friends have been cyberbullied and 39 percent know other teens that have suffered online bullying.  Over a fifth of Western New York teens and 12 percent of local parents witness some form of cyberbullying at least a few times a month or more.  

This Facebook Live panel event is part of American Graduate – Let’s Make It Happen – a public media initiative to address the drop out crisis, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities keep more students on the path to graduation.


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