Submitted by Jessica Spangler
Governor John Hickenlooper issued a proclamation declaring October 2018 Cyber-Bullying Prevention Month. With the proclamation, Troop 65659 hopes to raise awareness about cyber-bullying resources. As part of the multi-level “Think Like an Engineer” Journey, Troop 65659 defined a need: cyber-bullying is a problem.
They brainstormed ways to meet the need. They decided cyber-bullying is hard to detect and victims need access to counseling and safe spaces. They wondered if there was already a designated day, week, or month for prevention of cyber-bullying.
One solution they brainstormed was to present information on cyber-bullying to the governor to raise awareness. They went home to do more research and met again to build the presentation together. They found cyber-bullying is a problem in Colorado. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey reveals 20.7 percent of girls report they have been electronically bullied compared with 9.5 percent of boys. HB 15-1072 (“Kiana’s Law”), signed into law in 2015, makes cyber-bullying a misdemeanor form of harassment, punishable by a fine of up to $750 and/or up to six months in jail. The State of Colorado’s Internet Safety & Digital Responsibility page lists resources on cyber-bullying, but parents may not be aware of these resources.
The girls also learned October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Colorado has proclaimed October Safe Schools Month and Cyber-Security Awareness Month, but these proclamations do not address cyber-bullying.
The girls designed a presentation to give to the governor to support the need for more awareness. They put their research onto a poster board, but not all the research fit. They re-designed several times and left some of the research off until all the important pieces fit onto two poster boards, which were connected. The troop leader then shared this supporting information with the governor’s office by delivering the presentation. Gov. Hickenlooper then proclaimed October 2018 Cyber-Bullying Prevention Month! If you are in need of cyber-bullying resources, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cssrc/internet-safety-digital-responsibility.
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