tv ABC7 News at 12A on KOFY KOFY November 7, 2012 12:00am-12:30am PST
♪ ♪ >> cheryl: welcome to "beyond the headlines." i'm cheryl jennings. today we're talking about the continuing problem of bullying. it's estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day because they are afraid of being attacked or intimidated by other students. 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school and 71% reported that bullying is a problem at their school. those are alarming numbers. bullying is one of the most disturbing issues that face children. recently 3,000 public school students took a pledge to stop bullying. they were inspired by a movie
called bully which is part of the campaign to bring awareness to this epidemic. >> 90 minute movie is sometimes hard to watch but these san francisco students had no problem relating to its contents. >> movie's director has been showing it to students as part of a national campaign to end bullying. >> we're hearing about it more. we are understanding about it more. people are feeling empowered to tell their story. >> at today's event, both san francisco's mayor and superintendent of schools pledged to create schools that are safe. mayor ed lee admitted once being a victim and aggressioner. >> it was turn out to find who was weaker than me and realized, put myself in that position. u.s. attorney for the northern district of california melinda
joined the campaign today saying changes are coming. >> it's capturing everyone's heart,. >> reporter: but it's the students that are most effected by the movie. >> there is no purpose watching someone get hurt over nothing. >> to be better person and be nice to each other. bullying is not right thing to do and it should be stopped. >> cheryl: that was lyanne melendez reporting. joining us is what is being done to combat bullying. jeanie saunders, safety manager for the alameda county office of education. i just want to start quickly. you were bullied yourself? >> i was. it goes back to that experience, i can still think of the words that the students used to bully me. i talk with other adults.
>> cheryl: so it lasts a long time? >> it does. >> cheryl: you are committed to this issue. what are school administrators doing? >> school administrators start by creating policies. having clear and consistent policies and procedures for bullying. it's really the best way to start the conversation. you have to have students understand what the school's stance is on bullying. to talk about bullying and students know what to do when they are bullied and they know how to report. >> cheryl: how do teachers identify bullying? how does that work? >> teachers need to be trained to identify bullying. i think sometimes people think bullying is just teasing go and rite of passage and it's okay to bully. we need to understand the convinces of bullying. it's beyond teasing, it is repeated and intentional and involves a balance of power.
we have teachers to identify the power and can see what has something that has moved them to bullying. >> cheryl: in september i got attend a bully seminar put out by the sheriff's department and agencies from around the state. i saw how a lot of students come together and galvanize themselves and made a promise to stop bullying or when they see it. i know in your county the movie is being shown to start the process. >> yes. there are students that have been bullied and i think students know so much about what is going on on their campus that adults don't see. when we are talking about bullying and thinking about solutions on campus. one of ways, we are professional development that the county office of education.
it's a bullying seminar coming up october 25th with students talking and what teachers can do. >> cheryl: so if students see something or they are victim, what is the first thing they do? >> first thing they should do is adult they trust. having those procedures in place helps them to know who to go to. there is no one in campus. they should talk to a parent and let them know what is going on so the parent can intervene. it's important that students understand that it's not tatt lichk or snitching. we can't help them if we don't understand. >> cheryl: do you have success stories? >> there are fabulous things going on in alameda county right now. unified started talking off the year and showed the movie of bully to students and right now students are developing posters that they are using all over the
district. they are developing their own anti-bully messages and using student language to talk about it. >> cheryl: is the idea to punish the perpetrator, the bully? how do you deal with the bully? >> the idea to prevent bullying as much as you can. we give students and people tools to help with the issue. i think when we find out that a student has been bullied it's important to work with the student that has been victimized but to work with them separately. the balance of power i talked about earlier can be played out and brings them together. i think working with them separately and getting to the root of issue is very helpful. >> cheryl: do you think school districts can do a better job on this? >> i think they can. i think schools have a tremendous amount of things they are trying to accomplish in a six hour day. i know that schools and teachers and administrators, they all
want students to feel safe on their campus. i think giving them the times to be able to do that is important. >> cheryl: thank you so much for your expertise and for what you are doing. we have to move on. it's new battleground where bullying happens. what is being done to prevent cyberbullying and sexting among young pe septic disasters are disgusting and costly, but avoidable. the rid-x septic subscriber program helps prevent backups by sending you monthly doses right to your door so you will never forget to maintain your system. sign up at rid-x.com.
department of is a safety have developed first ever course to deal with cyberbullying. i want to thank you for being here. you are also at the stop bully summit. i'm so impressed how to help with parents and kids. holly i want to start with you. this program you do, you actually train the trainer. tell me how it works. >> we started this program, they needed something to present to the kids in school and parents to help with online safety and to stop the bullying and sexting that kids have gotten involved with in technology today. yahoo partnered with us and we created a program where we sat down in our offices and wrote the curriculum for law enforcement so it can be presented in a straightforward and serious manner.
we started wit then it has grown into training law enforcement officers to go in and teach this program to the kids in the school. >> cheryl: i understand, lieutenant, there is no charge for this? >> absolutely not. we train all officers for free. >> cheryl: there is no program like this anywhere in the country? >> this is the first and only one that is approved by so it certifies all training that police officers do in the state as being good solid training. >> cheryl: i saw some video and you talk to the kids yourself? >> right. that is my favorite part is go in school and talk with the kids and try to help guide them making better decisions in life. >> cheryl: can you define the term cyberbullying. >> it's an adult term.
it's bullying whether it's mean harassing someone or dealing with technology and media it's cyberbullying. any person bullying and bullying to kids, it's just interwoven. >> have you heard some pretty horrible examples? >> there are some very horrible examples. it could be anywhere from being mean to each other and not feeling good. it's suicide and it's a very serious problem when it comes to bullying especially cyberbullying. >> you mentioned to me out there that you recently dealt with a new case of suicide? >> yes, unfortunately in santa clara county there was another recent case of young lady who committed suicide because there were some pictures of her that surfaced on the internet. >> cheryl: it's so sad you target a number of age groups? >> middle school and high school. middle school is where the focus
is, sixth, a seventh and eighth. sixth grade is a good learning experience and eighth grade but middle school is where you can target the students to really change the culture and how to be more respectful and responsible. >> cheryl: what happens to the bullies, should they be punished in some way? >> there are definitely law violations that can occur. our goal with this program is not necessarily for the prosecution of the bullies but more for education. we want it to stop. that is our main focus. we want the bullying to stop before it starts. so we don't have to prosecute anybody. >> cheryl: you mentioned that the course has gone national. how do people receive this? >> it's been overwhelmingly positive response. law enforcement community need the tools in crime prevention.
>> cheryl: welcome back. we are talking about bullying. in the studio, tracy hearn and holly lodge from the sunnyvale police department. did you know that there is coded lingo that young people are using. let me give you some examples. parents are watching. keeping parents clueless. let's meet. talk dirty to me. just on the list. take your pants off. and i wanted sex now. i'm looking at this, people are
seeing these little initials on computers and they don't know what is going on. is this part of the challenge? >> one of the biggest challenges is keeping up with technology. every time that we start finding a way to help combat the cyberbullying in the world, the kids find something to do. a different website or media site to change it. >> cheryl: what did you do? >> social media, playing catch up to see where we're going but on facebook, very popular for kids. >> cheryl: what can parents do if their child is being bullied or if their kid is the bully? maybe they are having problems at home? >> i think parents really need to help them out. if they see something on line that their kid is doing or another child is doing, that they need to communicate with
each other and be open to the discussion because it takes more monitoring to find out what is going on in their life. >> i want to ask you about this sexting. how big a problem is that? >> sexting is a term that adults use because there is really no way of the kid defining it. it's a huge problem. primarily sexting we're seeing is the pictures that are going back and forth, inappropriate pictures that are going back and forth between the kids. a lot of times they are illegal acts because it's considered child pornography. >> cheryl: and they can be prosecuted? >> absolutely. >> cheryl: holly, the differences between the sexes in cyberbullying and sexting? >> it's interesting. the pictures with maybe things and males typically do nudity without their face. it's very interesting between
looking at them. >> cheryl: the language we use as adults is different than the kids. they don't call it bullying or cyberbullying. they call it drama? >> that is correct. cyberbullying h such a negative connotation. they don't want to be labeled as cyber bully. they don't want to be bully. so they refer to it as drama, the drama that is going on with someone, it's all bullying. >> they are trying to minimize that behavior. >> cheryl: i wanted to get specifics. i want to start with three things that parents can do to try to prevent bullying or try to prevent their child of being bullied. i'll start with you? >> i think parents need that ongoing conversation with their kids. it's not a one time talk. its continuation of what is going in their life. i think they need to monitor their passwords and associate
sites and smart phone do they need a data plan. what are they using their phone for. check in with the phone at night. not let them have it in their bedrooms. get that phone with and keep up the discussion. >> cheryl: how about the kids? >> it's an open discussion. one of the things where the kids have to know. parents the guardians and adults in their life they only have their best interests in mind. most importantly, respect themselves. respect themselves and respect their peers. don't ask for the pictures. don't send the pictures. they are going to go somewhere. respect them and keep an open line with parents and sharing their password. >> cheryl: you have a phrase. don't be a bystander? >> be an upstander.
>> a bystander watches the bad things happening. an upstander is not afraid to stand up, that is wrong and we need to do something about it. >> cheryl: consequences are important. they need to abide by the rules. >> right. if there is something they even started at home that continues on at school. they are talking about it. kids can be disciplined at school for it. the school itself and then it rises to a certain level they can decide on it. >> cheryl: thank you very much. i hope we can continue this discussion to have kids and parents tackle this problem. coming up next on "beyond the headlines," we'll turn our attention to people that are putting an end of bullying lesbian and
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>> cheryl: welcome back. we have been talking about bullying. according to study done by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender network, 80% of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students reported being verbally harassed. 85%. 40% being physically harassed. 19% being physically assaulted in the school because of their sexual orientation. joining us is gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and questioning students. program director of the project and the president of napa high school gay straight alliance. >> thank you for having us. >> cheryl: in the napa project is very active in fighting bullying. what are some of the things your organization does? >> our organization is dedicated to helping how we can do this.
with the schools recently as of january we started connecting students, student leaders and adult supporters at campuses, high school and middle school campuses across the county to help make it more vibrant and consistent. >> cheryl: a lot of kids finding out? >> we just had our first conference a few weekends ago and we had 51 people attend. the overall program we started a year ago. but this work that we are doing in the county started recently. >> cheryl: that is amazing. and you are very involved in this program. you are only 17 and senior in high school. >> we have a lot of goals planned for gsa this year. it started this year. we've been organizing and getting our planning started. the things that we want to do
how specifically is we want to start a campaign to help teachers be actively to create their own spaces in classrooms. and another campaign for gender education. it's where we reach out to others in the county. >> cheryl: how big is the problem of bullying among students? >> you shared information and educators network which shows that it is pervasive. almost daily students that we talk about to in napa county are saying they hear anti-gay language, that is so gay or other worse terms. the general feeling is on campus they are not very safe for those students. >> cheryl: we have to change the whole culture. i know you told me privately, that it stays with you forever. there is a program in marin county that no one eats alone.
does that make a difference? >> i think that would make a huge difference. i know from personal experience i've never been attacked or outright harassed but i spent a lot of time feeling kind of an outsider. feeling alone i think that is big problem. so for all kinds of reasons, a program could do a lot to help. >> what are some of the other things that people can do to make students feel more included? >> a lot of research shows that a lot of having a club on campus and helping all students on campus but not just gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students but all students to be safe and involved in school. >> cheryl: what do you want people to know and young people about bullying and long term impacts of it? >> just that it's extremely
negative and it hurts people. be positive whether you are an adult or a student, when you are the bullying or whatever happens do what you can to be positive with students. try to make them feel good. there is no reason to make people feel bad. >> final thoughts. >> i think that our work visibility is increasing. napa county i grew up there and it was never talked about and very invisible. if people are just being themselves and teachers and administrators and anyone who cares about youth are helping youth feel safe that makes a difference. >> cheryl: thank you both for being here. that is all the time we have. we want to thank all of our special guests to talk about th very important issue. information about everything that we talked about today is