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Jackson School District Hosts Cyber Bullying Presentation

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(Photo Ilya Hemlin)

To help parents understand new legislation dealing with cyber bullying, the Jackson School Board is offering an informational session as part of their Parent University series.

The even it titled “What Parents Need to Know About Bullying and Cyber Bullying’’ it will take place Monday November 21st at 7pm in the auditorium of Jackson Liberty High School. It features a discussion about the various ways children can be exposed to bullying and the various types of bullying behaviors.

The speakers are Officer John Pejoski of the Jackson Township Police Department, Eileen Keegan, a licensed clinical social worker in the district and Andrea Mangini-Harold, a student assistance coordinator in the district.

Anyone who has any questions can contact Police Officer John Pejoski at (732) 928-1111 x2243 or jpejoski@jacksonsd.k12.nj.us.

Bullying may be an age old problem but cyber bullying is a dilemma that’s bringing it into the twenty first century. Jackson Assistant Superintendent Dr. Stephen Genco says the presentation will get parents and staff on the same page.

“If the parents see some of the things that we’re dealing with and can openly ask questions and have a frank conversation and discussion about proactive ways to address some of these things it makes for a much better school climate.”

Much of the spotlight on cyber bullying was brought on by the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. His death after having his intimate encounter with another man broadcast online without his knowledge opened many people’s eyes to the dangers of online intimidation.

Genco says, Monday’s presentation will not only educate parents on the subject, it will discuss what is being done by the schools and how they can help.

“In order to address bullying, you need to address it in a proactive manner and look at school climate. I mean when you improve school climate you’re not going to be so reactive when incidents occur.”

Especially with technology moving as quickly as it is, one of the biggest issues with cyber bullying is that parents often aren’t able to keep up.

It’s not all that surprising” notes Genco “that children know a heck of a lot more about the technology than the parents like texting, or instant messaging, or Facebook.”

The presentation will be free of charge to parents, however Genco says to leave kids at home for this one.

“We want this to be a forum where parents can have open and frank discussions. We don’t want to be worried or maybe can’t feel like they can’t talk about something because their child is sitting next to them.”

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