While schools focus on advising teachers and administrators how to minimize bullying, the Waterloo Community Action Committee has been focusing on getting parents involved by providing its second seminar at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Waterloo High School media center.
The seminar, a hands-on introduction to social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, will focus on introducing parents to cyberbullying. Experts define cyberbullying as mean-spirited messages exchanged through electronic technology that includes websites, social media sites, e-mail, chat and text messages.
"Because of technology, the bullying doesn't stop at the playground anymore," said Shawn Miller, secretary for the WCAC. "It continues with you twenty-four-seven and into the summer months."
The cyberbullying seminar is a follow-up to the WCAC's Jan. 7 meeting, which attracted about 50 people and focused on defining bullying and the district's procedures on preventing it. Andrew Hill, the district's superintendent, said that a lot of parents at the meeting wanted to be more pro-active about preventing bullying at home but didn't know how to do it.
"This was the next step to helping parents, teaching them to understand how to navigate social media sites so they can monitor what their kids do and understand first-hand what's out there for their kids to get into," she said.
While regulations on a child's privacy vary from parent to parent, Hill said that this seminar will at least give them the tools to help them monitor their children's behavior so they can feel in control of what their children are doing. After the social media tutorials, community members can participate in an open forum to get more information.
Miller doesn't have a third session planned, but said if the WCAC finds that there's a need for it, the committee will continue providing that service to the community.
Residents interested in attending the seminar need to bring their login information if they have accounts on social media sites and R.S.V.P. to the WCAC on their Facebook page or email Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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