WASHINGTON – If you see someone being bullied,speak up and stop it.
“We must continue to challenge the social media innovators to teach and encourage electronic bystanders on how to be empowered and provide opportunity to victims to seek proper remedy,” Kevin Jacobson,whose son committed suicide,said.
The retired New York police officer spoke in honor of his late son,Kameron Jacobson,14. In January,Kameron took his own life in his hometown of Monroe,N.Y. His parents said constant tormenting at school and on the social networking site Facebook,pushed him to suicide.
Bullies made fun of him for being small,made sexual comments and in a face-to-face incident,broke his jaw,Jacobson said.
The summit addressed one type of bullying that’s outside of America’s classrooms – cyber bullying.
“They encounter bullying even in the home,” Rep. Linda T. Sánchez,D-Calif.,said.
Sanchez supports anti-bullying and school safety legislation. She re-introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act,which would require schools receiving federal funds to improve anti-bullying and anti-harassment initiatives. The bill would also require states to report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education.
Sanchez said the bill would not add to federal spending.
In a recent partnership to expand anti-bullying efforts,Time Warner Inc. and Facebook targeted online harassment.
“At Facebook,we believe that there is no room for bullying in society,and we want to do our part to combat it,” Marne Levine,Facebook vice president for global policy,said.
The two companies launched the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Social Pledge App. Students and adults can join the interactive Facebook group to take a stand against bullying. It provides information about bullying prevention and advice for victims and bystanders.
The new application is named after Time Warner’s Cartoon Network original bullying prevention initiative.
“We want to give a voice to those who feel victimized but also to those who witness it,” Levine,said.
Facebook also announced it is increasing security measures,including a social reporting tool and a multimedia family safety center. The reporting tool allows users to report incidents to Facebook,to other users and non-Facebook users. The multimedia center provides educational content for parents,teachers,kids,and law enforcement.
Contact reporter Shannon McDonald at 202-326-9868 or [email protected]. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.