FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and City Councilman Robert E. Cornegy Jr., Announce Safe Summer Cyberbullying Initiative
Launched by the Anti-Bullying Partnership to Prevent Violence and Suicide
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with City Councilman Robert E. Cornegy Jr., and other members of the Anti-Bullying Partnership to Prevent Violence and Suicide, today announced a street campaign to raise awareness of cyberbullying, its devastating effects and what we can all do to prevent it.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Bullies have stepped out of the schoolyard and into our children’s cyberspace. With this campaign, we’re reaching out to parents to make them aware of the tell-tale signs that may indicate if their child has fallen prey to cyberbullying. We’re hearing all too often about tragic outcomes for children who are bullied, often by anonymous online taunts, which can have devastating effects on a young person. We’ve got to put a stop to this all too real crisis.”
Councilman Cornegy said, “The perception that bullying only happens on school grounds is false. Creating a community where students feel safe is important. For years we recognized an uptick of cyberbullying through social media. This initiative is one step in the right direction for addressing cyberbullying. I’m extremely excited to collaborate with Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, community leaders, parents and students to make our dreams a reality.”
Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant President Lynette Lewis-Rogers said, “Our children are under attack and the Brownstoners will not stand for it. We spoke out against drugs and gangs and now we, together with the community members of the Partnership, are speaking out about the deadly danger of cyberbullying. We are proud to be the championing force behind the Partnership as we work together to ensure that our parents, educators, children and community are equipped to fight this battle…and we will win!”
Anti-Bullying Partnership to Prevent Violence and Suicide said, “We are in a fight for the safety of our children. It is just critical! By banding together in this partnership, we are sending the message that the entire community is ready for a sustained battle against the scourge of cyberbullying and other forms of harassment that have exploded over the past few years.”
The Anti-Bullying Partnership to Prevent Violence and Suicide, created earlier this year, is a coalition composed of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Councilman Cornegy Jr.’s Office, Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Interfaith Medical Center, All for One, Restoration Plaza, New York City Police Department’s 79th and 81st Precincts, Thrive NYC and First Lady Chirlane McCray’s Office, New York City Commission on Human Rights and Samaritans NYC.
The Partnership has taken a multi-pronged approach to fight cyberbullying that has included community workshops for parents to promote internet safety and heighten awareness of cyberbullying, a street campaign to get local businesses involved in spreading the word about the dangers of cyberbullying and a fall campaign throughout School District 16 that will directly reach out to children.
The goals of the campaign are to help parents recognize the signs of unhealthy internet use among young people, identify community resources that are available to help them combat these issues and prevent young people from using verbal and physical violence to solve social conflicts.
Among other things, parents should be on the lookout for changes in behavior that may signal a child is being bullied such as withdrawal from friends and family, unwillingness to attend school, increased hostility, and desensitization towards violence.
The coalition has also reached out to local businesses including bodegas, nail salons and barbershops for help in promoting the campaign through the display of posters offering valuable – and in fact startling – information about cyberbullying and identifying resources where help may be obtained.