Internet, texting lead to increase in bullying

caines | 7/12/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Changing the mindset

State Representative Dwight Bullard sponsored House Bill 213 in February 2011 an anti-bullying proposal that redefined the term bullying to include emotional hurt and prohibited bullying or harassment of s student or school employee by use of any computer, computer system, etc. that is physically located on school property, regardless of ownership. Bullard participated in the recent roundtable. Everyone needs to see this documentary as it brings to light and humanizes the issue of bullying, he said. The bill that we passed last year now allows us to go after those who participate in cyber-bullying. We have to help the kids who are being picked on as well as those who are doing the bullying. State Senator Oscar Braynon, another participant, said he thinks educators and parents must be more intentional about identifying and ending bullying. There are some children who are different due to physical abnormalities and birth defects and that often makes them easy targets, he said. But bullying has become meaner, more violent and with the social media, it can cast a much wider net. This is no longer just an example of kids being kids. We need all of our teachers to see this documentary, we need to talk more with our parents and we need to ensure that educators are being trained regularly so they can detect bullying before it gets out of hand. High school intern Calvins Jean-Son contributed to this story. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com