On Tuesday educators from five school districts met in Sumner, Washington to learn about Cyberbullying. New Washington state laws directly impact how educators are being asked to deal with the overlap of cyberbullying off school grounds and child safety on school grounds.
Mike Donlin, Program Supervisor for the School Safety Center division of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, OSPI, opened up the session with an explanation of the 2002 law that has been recently updated and has new requirements that will be mandated beginning this next school year. He explained the updated definition of Cyberbullying and the educators requirements to deal with the issue in the school system.
After the first session, the educators broke into small groups where they chose from three sessions. Mike Donlin continued to dig into the new law and cyberbullying from the perspective of the OSPI, Mary Heston and Marjie Knudsen led a session talking about the importance of Peer to Peer programs in preventing cyberbullying particularly the Teenangel program sponsored by WiredSafety, and Sue Eastgard, MSW, Director of Youth Suicide Prevention Program talked about at risk youth.
The entire group took a break for pizza and then went into the evening program.
Mary Heston and Marjie Knudsen spent the evening with the educators presenting strategies for improved communications with our kids. Marjie brought the message of “Public and Permanent”. Think before you post.
Mary’s program titled “Parents Action Now! Internet Committee” or PANIC – stressed to parents and educators that we really do NOT need to PANIC. We need to remember that technology is a part of our children’s lives and we need to embrace it and work with our kids to learn how to make good choices while using these new technologies. Examples were given and discussed by a review of several recent news headlines that highlited these issues.
It was a great program that was coordinated by Sumner’s CTO, Sandy Maynard, and Marilee Hill-Anderson along with several other dedicated school district employees – Thanks Sunny – and the technology expert / Youth Minister at Sumner Presbyterian – Thanks Greg!
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