On Thursday, June 24th, the House Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities, chaired by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), held a hearing on cyber bullying. The witness panel included popular television psychologist, Dr. Phil Mcgraw, and 14-year-old Girl Scout, Dominique Napolitano. Ms. Napolitano offered personal insight by describing a cyber bullying incident involving a school friend, and indicated that “cyber bullying poses serious consequences to the health and safety of all children.” As the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) approaches, the panel urged Congress to add language to this act regarding the prevention of cyber bullying.
In 2009, 3.2 million American children perpetrated or were victimized by cyber bullying. However, many parents remain unaware of the magnitude of problem.
Preventative measures include sites such as www.wiredsafety.com, which offer tools for cyber bullying prevention, as well as various media outreach campaigns. Ms. Napolitano and Dr. McGraw reinforced the importance of maintaining a dialogue with children regarding safe internet usage. Many schools have also implemented effective prevention programs that encourage children to anonymously report instances of cyber bullying. Congresswoman McCarthy stated that the committee would consider adding language to the ESEA regarding cyber bullying prevention programs.
For more information on the hearing: http://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/2010/06/ensuring-student-cyber-safety.shtml
For more information on cyber bullying: http://www.helpstartshere.org/kids-and-families/schools-andcommunities/cyberbullying.html
For more information on ESEA: http://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/education/esea/