Borough President Vito Fossella Helps NYPD Launch 'Digital Age:' Cyberbullying Workshops For Schools
Borough President Vito Fossella announced the launch of the NYPD’s “Digital Age,” a boroughwide cyberbullying workshop designed for students and parent during an assembly at Totten (I.S. 34) Intermediate School.
“It used to be if there was an argument or a fistfight in the hallway, it was over in about six minutes,” said Borough President Fossella. “People made up, they forgot about it, and who knows, maybe they became good friends for the rest of their lives. But social media now can take that hallway incident and put it around the school and beyond in three minutes. It could lead to tragedy.”
“Digital Age” will bring specially-trained police officers into school classrooms and assemblies to educate students about the potential harmful effects of cyberbullying. There will be workshops for parents in the evenings to teach them how to recognize and react to the signs of cyberbullying, as well as the ways it can be prevented. Mental health resources will also be provided for students who are the victims of cyberbullying.
Students and parents will be educated about the serious criminal charges that can result from cyberbullying, as well as the false sense of security that deleting posts or profiles completely removes them from browser history.
“The continuing support of the Borough President is essential in helping our Too Good for Drugs program evolve as issues for young people do,” said Detective Derek Brown of Patrol Borough Staten Island. “Our youth are immersed in the digital world so it’s our team’s responsibility to make sure it is a safe space for them to grow as they step into the Digital Age.”
Borough President Fossella called on students to take action when they witness a case of bullying.
“For the life of me, I can’t fathom watching someone who is being hurt, abused, or pummeled and standing there and doing nothing,” he said. “I can’t imagine why you would want to videotape it and broadcast if for the world to see. If you’re ever in that situation, don’t be the one videotaping it -- step in and call for help instead of being a spectator. As much as technology has changed, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fundamental principle of treating somebody as you want to be treated yourself. If everybody does that in life, we wouldn’t have these issues of bullying and cyberbullying.”
Schools interested in setting up a workshop should contact Detective Brown or Police Officer Kevin Moore at 718-667-2200.
Watch the full press conference here.