Westside school warns parents of cyberbullying

Letter went out on first day of school
Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 19:04:07-04


Parents from the Westside Community School District received a letter this week that a student at one of its elementary schools may have bullied someone online.
Early Wednesday evening Cynthia Bailey, the Principal of Hillside Elementary at 76th and Western Ave., sent out a notification to parents of a possible cyber-bullying situation.  The email indicates that a fake social media profile was created and used in a hurtful way.  It was suspected to be created by a Hillside 6th grader.
The school district wouldn't elaborate farther on the incident but did say they're actively informing parents, students, and teachers about how cyber-bullying can start at a young age.
"So our challenge as educators is to educate students about how to make good choices when they're on social media and realize the lasting ramifications that can have both for the other person and for themselves," said Alan Bone, Westside Coordinator of School Services.
Some parents like Cortney Rooney, who has a 2nd grader at Hillside, couldn't believe what had happened and is glad there's programs in place.
"I'm really surprised that it's starting so young it's really sad I think it makes me feel for my 2nd grader who really doesn't know what social media is yet," Rooney explaine.
Bone says for students, social media is their world and they may think about bad interactions while in school.
He says parents can use these situations to teach their children responsibility instead of taking a computer away when they see something bad.
"One of the things we try to do is to teach students to tell someone if they know something's going on whether it's being done to them or done to a peer is to tell a teach, tell a parent," Bone concluded.
The Westside Community School District hopes to have a representative from the NE Attorney General's Office come to speak to the community about how to prevent and identify cyber-bullying.