WWU professor to address cyberbullying in free Bellingham talk

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 7, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - The advent of the Internet and the rise of social media means bullying is no longer limited to the schoolyard.

Western Washington University psychology professor David Sattler will talk about how to keep children safe from cyberbullying in a free talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in Bellingham City Council chambers.

"In the last few years, there has been a rise of cyberbullying cases across the country, in part due to the incredible growth in social media websites," Sattler said. "We've seen story after story of teenagers being arrested for harassing fellow students and others. Urgent action is needed to help reduce these challenging behaviors."

While bullying in person may happen at school with a person the victim knows, cyberbullying could be done anonymously and can continue at home or wherever the victim has access to the Internet.

"Now not even home is a safe place to get away from it," Sattler said.

Sattler will discuss recent research about bullying, social media awareness, and the challenges of parental supervision in a world where every cellphone has access to the Internet and all of the risks that come with it.

"Now that we have cellphones that are essentially computers that are small, parental control or supervision is significantly less than when we had desktop computers that might be set up in the family room," he said. "A very real challenge is, how do we supervise our children and give them guidance when we might not be aware of what they're doing online?"

Reach Zoe Fraley at zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com or 360-756-2803.

IF YOU GO

David Sattler's talk, "Cyberbulling: What Parents and Teachers Should Know," will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in Bellingham City Council chambers, 210 Lottie St. Audience questions will be welcome and the talk will be recorded and aired on BTV 10.

Because of high interest in the topic, a second forum on bullying and cyberbullying will take place at 7 p.m. May 14 at Western Washington University, in room 204 of Academic Instructional West. The forum will include a five- or six-person panel of professors and the WWU police chief.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Reach ZOE FRALEY at zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com or call 756-2803.

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