Letter: Learn More About Cyber-Bullying

To the Editor:

I never imagined I would attend a talk at 7:30 in the morning, but it was well worth the effort to hear New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Marasco talk about cyberbullying and the frightening dangers our young people face every day. Marasco appeared as part of the Outside Speaker series for the criminal justice department at Lebanon College.

He spoke about how the cyberbullies’ technological savvy, anonymity, augmented reality and perception of living in a protected cocoon separate from adult supervision permits them to harass and prey on our young people. “We are losing kids due to technology and cybercrime,” he said.

Your children’s naivete, search for adventure or simple curiosity can put them at risk of receiving inappropriate materials, illegal invitations or vicious ego-shattering accusations. It is incumbent upon all of us to learn more about this subject, support our schools to establish bullying policies, and work with law enforcement as they find ways to control this abuse of the Internet. Much of it, said Marasco, occurs through social networking. Did you know that students can download inappropriate data to their smartphones and bring that material to school with them? Hopefully everyone knows that everything we do online is visible, and once posted on Facebook, it remains on Facebook. This was a frightening talk, but also encouraging to hear how law enforcement is addressing this important issue.

I’m looking forward to the next outside speaker, even if it is at 7:30 a.m.!

Karen Watson