Council, New York Times, Facebook, MTV and the city’s District Attorneys convene summit on July 18th to discuss the growing online trend – and how to combat it
City Hall – As part of the effort to help parents and teachers combat bullying amongst kids in the digital space, Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced a Cyberbullying Summit via YouTube. Watch the announcement here: http://youtu.be/saH0oQWNqHs
Sponsored by The New York Times Company, this educational event will bring together the world’s renowned leaders in technology and internet safety. Facebook, Microsoft and MTV and others, will be on hand to educate parents on how to combat cyber-bullying, how they can better talk to their kids about responsible behavior online and the tools that are available to them.
Joining Speaker Quinn, on July 18th at TheTimesCenter in New York City, will be representatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Youth and Community Development, the New York City’s District Attorneys along with counselors and children advocates. Cyberbullying and cyber safety expert, Parry Aftab, founder of Wired Safety.com and creator of CyberBullying.org will also participate in the event.
“Bullying is no longer been confined to the classroom or the schoolyard. It has spread to a whole range of digital devices across the internet to cell phones,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. And while advances in technology have led to new opportunities for our children, it has also led to new threats for their safety and well- being. Government and families must keep up with these advances so we can better keep our kids safe and responsible-both off and online. I’m thrilled to bring together this group of experts from industry, government and advocacy so we can provide parents the tools and information they need to keep their children safe.”
“Bullying is unacceptable in all its forms and no matter where it occurs — whether in the hallways, the schoolyard, or online,” said Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “The Cyber-Bullying Summit is a great opportunity for the public and private-sector to come together to help educate students and parents about responsible online behavior and the resources available to help protect them from cyber-bullying.”
“Technology has opened a world of opportunity for our younger people, but it has also created new dangers,” said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “Cyber-bullying can be devastating to a young person, both when it is occurring and for years after. I am grateful to the Council and all of its partners for coming together and seeing what we can do to put an end to this problem once and for all.
“In the past decade, NYC has made tremendous progress when it comes to improving safety in our schools and classrooms,” said the Mayor’s Chief Policy Advisor John Feinblatt. “But as students increasingly turn to phones and social networking websites to communicate, we need to make sure they have the tools to avoid new kinds of harmful situations. Educating families about cyberbullying and other internet safety issues is a key step, and Speaker Quinn’s new group of technology and education experts will take the lead on helping families and kids make safer decisions.”
“Technology in the age of the Internet has brought our children many opportunities, but also subjected them to many avenues for abuse,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “As we have seen, the results of cyber bullying can be deadly. Last year, we formed the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau in the Manhattan DA’s Office to combat the real and growing threat of crimes committed online, including those against children. This summit will help parents take an active role in monitoring how their children are using the Internet, as we teach kids that what they type can be just as hurtful as what they say.”
“Cyberbullying effects every child every day,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. “Keeping them safe from that senseless pain is our job. Over the past four years assistant district attorneys from my sex crimes and school advocacy bureaus have spoken to more than 70,000 children, parents and educators about that hurtful, negative behavior and how to intercede to stop it. Our children deserve that and much more.”
“As the Internet becomes an integral part of our children’s social interaction it is our responsibility to teach them that the mutual respect expected of them in person is exactly the same as that which should be afforded online,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “The anonymity of the Internet is not an invitation to take part in online bullying no matter if ‘all the kids’ are doing it. Cyberbullying can have dire emotional and psychological and, at times, deadly consequences. I commend Speaker Quinn for putting together this summit to address this serious and growing problem. Awareness and education are key elements in preventing cyberbullying from rising to the level of criminality.”
“When a child constantly posts hurtful messages on another child’s Facebook page, or sends threatening emails to a classmate he or she doesn’t like, it’s not just “kids being kids” – it’s cyberbullying,” said Staten Island District Attorney, Dan Donovan. “I think this event will give us an opportunity to make people aware that cyberbullying is serious and sometimes criminal, and to try to understand the underlying dynamics of this growing problem so we can help parents and children prevent and combat it.”
“Dealing with bullies in the school yard is one thing and dealing with unseen, unidentified tormentors in cyberspace is quite another,” said Bronx District Attorney Robert T Johnson. We must work to change the culture of social media by enlisting the help of athletes, entertainers and those whom young people admire, in getting the message out that hiding behind a computer terminal to bully someone is cowardly, dangerous and not “cool”. Equally important is the responsibility of parents and guardians to become more knowledgeable about how this technology can influence a child’s behavior and sense of safety. Once we understand the reach of the technology, we can better tackle the issue of prevention.”
“The internet has made it possible for today’s young people to access a different identity at the touch of a button,” said Parry Aftab, Executive Director of WiredSafety.org. “But while the opportunity for learning has never been greater, neither has the risk. This summit is an excellent opportunity for parents, teachers and children to get on the same page when it comes to recognizing the signs of cyberbullying and learn how to spot it and stop it in its tracks in our ever-growing technological world.”
“As we’ve seen over the last several years, cyberbullying is a community challenge and can only really be addressed through active community involvement,” said Julie Inman-Grant, Global Safety and Privacy Director for Microsoft Corporation. “Microsoft is honored to be part of Speaker Quinn’s Cyber Summit which brings industry, government, educators, parents, and the advocacy community together to jointly tackle this issue and help ensure the safety of our children online.”
For more information and to RSVP for the event, please visit the Council website at council.nyc.gov.