Kalispell Community Members Help Prevent Cyber Bullying - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Kalispell Community Members Help Prevent Cyber Bullying

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KALISPELL - Community leaders, parents and school educators around the Flathead Valley are joining forces to combat cyber bullying.

Parents, school staff and other caring individuals play a role in preventing bullying.

"When someone posts something about someone else that's harassing, degrading, intimidating or just hurtful in a general sense, this individual may not have a Facebook account but that doesn't prevent them from still having the affects of cyber bullying," said Glacier High School Resource Officer Jason Parce.

Jason Parce is a dedicated Resource Officer at Glacier High School. Since the beginning of the school year, Parce has encountered several cyber bullying incidents amongst his students.

"Mostly they're upset and a lot of it has to do with the personal attack, that they're undergoing so their families get attack via cyber bullying so that really bothers them especially in a school environment,"  Parce said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use and suicide.

Glacier High School parent Anthony Robinson said he talked to his son and told him to stand up for the victims after witnessing cyber bullying.

"What I did tell my son is that you need to stick up for them, you need to be able to at least inject and say stop, this isn't right,"  Robinson said.

Throughout the semester, Parce has conducted several "Stop Cyber Bullying "presentations to inform students about harassment laws and other risk factors when bullying others.

"We just tell them the way it is and what's going to happen and the reason being is we want to try to prevent this behavior before it starts and we don't want to be investigating these kids, we don't want to be charging these kids in youth court for this type of behavior,"  Parce said.

Parce said getting the community, educators and parents involved in their students' and child's lives help reduce cyber bullying.

The Kalispell Education Foundation will hold a social media forum next Monday to educate parents on cyber bullying.

A panel of local experts will include Parce, Connie Cermak of Social Nectar, a marketing company that advocates for online safety, as well as parent and businessman Anthony Robinson. 

The forum will be held at 7 p.m. at Kalispell Middle School.

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