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Nassau County Legislature

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· FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ·

Legislator Abrahams Hosts Internet Safety & Cyberbullying Forum

The lawmaker, along with special guest speakers, provided helpful information to parents and children about the fast-growing issue of cyberbullying

(MINEOLA, NY) – Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams, D-Freeport, hosted an internet safety and cyberbullying forum on Thursday, June 14, 2012. The program, “Are You Aware of What You Share?” focused on bringing greater awareness to a fast-growing problem amongst our youth.

Cyberbullying refers to the kind of teasing that goes on after school: it is the negatively-charged exchange of words or images over the Internet and through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), text messages or even video games. By hiding behind a cloak of anonymity – or “the Internet” – more and more young people are finding the courage to pick fights with others online. But what many children do not fully understand is that when hateful words and photos are exchanged over the computer and cell phone, it is out there permanently – which can be extremely detrimental to their emotional and mental health.

Forum attendees were given an in-depth look into the world of cyberbullying and learned helpful, preventative methods for both parents and children.

“These young people are hurting other young people, maybe not physically, but emotionally,” said Legislator Abrahams. “I’d rather get punched in the eye than go through what some of these young people have to go through today because the emotional impact sticks with you.”

Police Officer Sharon Galvin of the Nassau County Police Department gave a thorough presentation on the many different facets of cyberbullying and other kinds of online harassment. She suggested the following method to kids who feel they are being victimized online: “You need to stop it, block it, and tell somebody.”

Additionally, an attorney from the Nassau County Bar Association spoke about the legal implications of cyberbullying, and gave advice to parents. Representatives from the Long Island Crisis Center and Child Abuse Prevention Services were also in attendance to answer questions from the audience.

“We’ve got to try to put an end to cyberbullying,” said Officer Galvin. “Think before you post.”

For more information about the forum, please contact Legislator Abrahams’ office at (516) 571-6201 or e-mail: kabrahams@nassaucountyny.gov.

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