What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Online threats and mean, aggressive, or rude texts, tweets, posts, or messages all count. So does posting personal information, pictures, or videos designed to hurt or embarrass someone else.
Cyberbullying also includes photos, messages, or pages that don’t get taken down, even after the person has been asked to do so. In other words, it’s anything that gets posted online and is meant to hurt, harass, or upset someone else.
The Youth Advisory Committee of the Otsego Community Foundation is taking a stand on this issue. During the last Youth Needs Survey administered to all youth ages 12-19 in Otsego County, cyberbullying was noted as a social issue that negatively affected their lives. The survey also noted that 60% of those youth feel that social media has a negative impact on their lives. The committee feels this is a subject that needs immediate attention using a proactive grant.
The Youth Advisory Committee has been awarded a $5,000 grant from T-Mobile to offer education on this issue to students and parents. YAC, T-Mobile and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan are partnering, with support from schools in Otsego county to launch a county-wide cyberbullying outreach campaign.
What will be done:
- Cyberbullying interactive outreach talks at each school, starting with fourth grade
- Parent outreach seminar at Gornick Auditorium
- Posters in hallways with local students reenacting cyberbullying
- Social media campaign