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Teachers schooled at Cyber Bullying Seminar

Posted: Updated: Oct 8, 2012 06:57 PM

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Cyber bullying is the subject of Ouachita Parish School Systems latest teacher seminars.

Social media and text messaging are vital means of communication and entertainment for students, but it's a breeding ground for bullying.

"Social networking is the number one problem we have," says Keith Dunn, "and it's a great resource, but it's the number one reason people are getting bullied."

Dunn is a former police officer and now travels to world to warn against cyber bulling.

Superintendent Bob Webber says Ouachita Parish schools have suffered seven suicides in  two years. Webber thinks bullying may have played a role. In an effort to help prevent this from happening again, Dunn was called in to help.

"They have some policies set in place right now, but teachers first need to realize what cyber bullying is," says Dunn.

He says many people are confused about what is isn't considered online bullying.

"It can happen with best friends. It can happen by text. It can happen by email," says Dunn.

Although not always the case, Dunn says bullying is a key factor is teen suicides. Teachers at the seminar were stunned by the stories of suicide in young people and eager to learn ways of preventing it.

"Talk with their children openly, they need to interrogate the accusation and make sure that what's going on is cyber bullying and not just a once in a lifetime thing," Dunn says.

He says technology may be convenient and fun, but it's not always our friend. Dunn says that armed with new information about bullying, Ouachita teachers are a step closer to keeping students safe in the digital world.

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