OCTOBER IS NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto partnered with Facebook to host an interactive discussion that attracted more than 100 parents, students, school administrators, and community members to discuss internet safety at Green Valley High School (GVHS) Oct. 17. VegasPBS supported the event by providing live streaming for those who could not attend in person.
“I am pleased to host this event with Facebook so that we could help raise awareness of cyberbullying and educate young people about online predators,” said AG Masto. “I am impressed by the young people who participated in the program and I am hopeful we were able to give them solutions to address some of the problems they face with cyberbullying.”
Facebook Associate Manager of Policy Communications, Brooke Oberwetter, who spoke at the event said, “Facebook continues to reach out to the community to address topics like privacy protections as it is critical to ensure the safety of our users. We appreciate AG Masto’s dedication to the cause and look forward to a continued partnership.”
Green Valley High School Assistant Principal, Jacqueline Carducci said, “Our students, faculty, and parents are better educated about online awareness as a result of AG Masto and Facebook. It is critical for GVHS to host events that combat issues like cyberbullying, which threaten our children and communities.”
According to the Nevada Department of Education’s “Safe and Respectful Learning Environment Implementation Report”, published on Sept. 28, 2012 report on the impact and outcome of NRS 388.121— NRS 388.139 harassment incidents decreased from 862 to 603 and intimidation decreased from 1243 to 1026. The report shows bullying and cyber bullying more than doubled, increasing from 368 to 782 (with 638 bulling reports and 144 cyberbulling reports).
During the event, AG Masto discussed reporting resources for those that are bullied. Among other requirements, Senate Bill 276 requires the board of trustees of each school district to appoint an anti-bullying school district coordinator and requires the principal of each public school to appoint an anti-bullying school specialist and a school safety team.
AG Masto is a staunch supporter of antibullying measures and has been proactive in cracking down on bullying statewide. With AG Masto’s guidance and support, Nevada has taken steps to combat these cyberbullies by passing Senate Bill 163 and Senate Bill 276. This new legislation ensures safe and respectful learning environments in public schools. The laws prohibit bullying and cyberbullying, mandate reporting of bullying activities in public schools, and give law enforcement the tools to deal with and go after cyberbullies.
Representatives from Nevada Child Seekers, an organization dedicated to advocating for and engaging in prevention, identification, and location efforts on behalf of missing and exploited children, had an informational booth at the event. The organization facilitates Netsmartz Workshops, an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline.
To ensure more people are reached with the critical information, VegasPBS live streamed the event. If you missed it, it is available for viewing at http://vegaspbs.org/internet-safety-town-hall .