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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cyberbullying talk at Freeport, Maine

On Monday, April 12th, I spoke to students at Freeport Middle School in Maine. Almost 300 students and boy, was it a good talk! When I got the part where my alter ego asked 50 students to be friends and they discovered 49 of them accepted, the auditorium got quiet. Two local news stations were there taping. One of them WCSH (Channel 6) in Portland, Maine had one of their anchors, Cindy Williams come to tape my talk.

I've seen her on TV and I've met a lot of media folk, but she was one of the nicest yet (up there with Montel Williams and Diane Sawyer - really!). She actually helped put chairs out while her camera guy set up and I was connecting my netbook to the projector. We talked for a bit, just chit chat, and she is very personable.

Her story didn't run until last night at 6 pm, but it was in-depth and I have to say, one of the best media coverage I've gotten regarding cyberbullying yet. Please view it at the WCSH web site today.

The other station, WGME (Channel 13), did a good job, although their story was far shorter.

When I did my talks for parents Monday night at Freeport High School, I got about 50 in the audience. I ended up taking question for an hour after my talk - the longest yet. Some of the parents had high schoolers and asked when I would be speaking to students at the high school. I told them they'd have to talk with the principal to book me. I hope they do.

I got one email and two phone calls this morning from concerned parents, one of them the mother of a girl who was bullied so much she had to put her in another school because the school denied there was a bullying problem and that it was just girls being girls. IT'S NOT. A bully is a bully and needs to be taken care of. Period.

I do not want to see another kid become the next Phoebe Prince (who killed herself in January in Massachusetts because of offline and online bullying).

Please spread the word - bullying and cyberbullying are wrong. If you see a fellow student being bullied, step up and tell the bully it's not cool. Don't hang back or walk away. YOU can make a difference.

If you know someone who is being cyberbullied, send them to my organization, WHOA-KTD and have them click on Need Help? and follow the steps there. We help anyone for free, anywhere in the world. Or they can report the cyberbully anonymously at School Tip Line.

Stop a cyberbully today!

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