Educating Parents on Cyberbullying

Posted at: 03/21/2013 9:40 PM
Updated at: 03/21/2013 10:42 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- One school is trying to put a stop to "cyberbullying", but Thursday’s event wasn't just for the students.

Dover-Eyota High School has been educating the students and the community all week on the topic, as part of their "Louder On Line" or “LOL” effort. Though the students have been signing pledges and participating in events all week, Thursday it was all about the parents.

High school is already a challenging time for many. Trying to fit in, make new friends, and deal with some not so friendly peers. Though students today, have a harder time getting away from all that. "I definitely think overtime with cyberbullying , it can definitely have dramatic affects," said junior Joey Young.

The bullying goes beyond the classroom with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. "It's the same thing as bullying and I think that they need to become aware that their words are hurtful and that when they send a message, it goes to more than just that one person," said school social worker Katie Johnson.

Something parents didn't have to put up with. "We're growing up in a different stage that they never had to deal with they don't really know what it’s all about," said senior Dan Rother.

Which is what Thursday nights event was all about. "I think it’s important that I’m here not only as a parent but as a teacher," said Lora Allen. She has a son at Dover-Eyota High School. She came so she'll know how to handle a situation like this. "Tell them that it’s ok to let them know if something is going on or hurting their feelings," she said.

She also came to encourage him to be above all that. “It's okay to be the good guy," said Allen.

"All too often it’s easy for students to create a message, write a message, send a message, and not really think about what they're saying online," said Johnson.

Would students really be as cruel in person? Not likely. "They can’t see the faces of the people so they don't know who much harm they're causing," said Rother.

Two detectives from Olmsted County were also guest speakers at the event talking about what's legal online.