Troy Police Officer Brings Cyber Bullying Presentation to Avondale School District

Fifth-graders at Woodland Elementary hear presentation designed to raise awareness

Officer Gail Jasak with 5th Grade Students at Avondale School District’s Woodland Elementary School

Officer Gail Jasak with 5th Grade Students at Avondale School District’s Woodland Elementary School

Avondale School District fifth-grader Kendall Cabot hasn’t been bullied at school but she knows that “things like that can happen and it’s a good idea to know what to do if it does happen.” Kendall was reflective after Troy Police Officer Gail Jasak visited Woodland Elementary to talk to the students about bullying – cyber bullying in particular. “The best things I learned today are that there are ways that kids can protect themselves again cyber bullying. You can block unwanted callers, you can change your password, you should not put any personal information in an email or in a text unless you are 100 percent sure of who you are talking to and you should tell an adult if you get any texts or emails that make you feel uncomfortable.”

In addition to the information about cyber bullying that Kendall picked up during the 30 minute presentation, Officer Jasak also led the students in a discussion of other types of bullying and suggested ways that they could help a classmate that is being bullied. “You can show your support by NOT joining in on the bullying, telling the bully to stop, and telling a parent or teacher or other adult about the incident. It’s also a good idea to encourage your friends to NOT respond to name calling, teasing or taunts from a bully. Sometimes a bully wants the attention or they want to know they’re bugging you – don’t give them the satisfaction. Still report that it happened but don’t get into it with the bully,” suggested Jasak.

In May, 2015 US News and World Report published survey results citing that school bullying is at its lowest rate since 2005, but with the increase of cell phone and internet usage by children of all ages, cyber bullying presents new challenges for parents, school staff and law enforcement officers wanting to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all kids. As a School Resource Officer, Jasak has opportunity to do just that. “Talking to the students is a chance to put an end to myths about social media and texting and present the facts,” she said.

“Cyber bullies think their actions are anonymous – it’s easier to be mean to someone if you are not face to face with them – but it isn’t really anonymous because police departments have tools to uncover who is behind the bullying,” Jasak explained to the students. In addition, she stressed to the students that they play a part in avoiding bullying and other situations that may damage their online reputation. “Don’t post pictures or send pictures that are inappropriate, don’t visit websites and take surveys or make purchases unless your parents are aware that you are doing that, don’t assume that what you are sharing online is private and know that the internet – emails, social media, texting – is forever out there.”


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