Officers trained how to warn teens about cyberbullying

Police officers, prosecutors and others in law enforcement gathered in Sunnyvale last week to learn about cyberbullying.

More specifically, they learned how to give talks to kids–mostly middle and high school students–and parents about ways to deal with and fend off bullies who use the Internet to harass people.

It was part of a training course created nine years ago through a partnership between the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and Yahoo. The course was the brainchild of DPS officer Holly Lawrence.

DPS officers Eric Fujii and Amy Pistor spearheaded the Feb. 8 presentation to a room full of fellow officers as well as members of the District Attorney’s Office and police from throughout California at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale campus.

They said teens spend nine hours a day consuming online media, not including Internet time spent on school work. During their presentation, they advised attendees on how to teach children to protect their privacy online, how to manage their digital reputation and how to treat others online.

They said finding inappropriate pictures is akin to finding a knife on campus.

“How long can you keep a knife in your pocket before it becomes yours?” Santa Clara County probation officer Dave Pulido told the crowd. “Kids know that if they find a knife on campus and turn it into the office they won’t get in trouble. This is the same. If you’re not going to tell someone you have an inappropriate photo, you have to delete it or tell someone, but you have to do one or the other.”

Officers also were advised to engage in conversations with teens about their online habits and get them thinking about how they communicate with people online.

Kathleen Lefstad of Oath, a digital and mobile media company that now includes Yahoo, said she and Lawrence have had so many requests to do the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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