On April 3, 2023, Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club partnered with Long Neck Elementary School to present a school assembly on cyberbullying to students in grades 3-5. The students were treated to a rousing presentation on cyberbullying by Guest Speaker, Dr. David J. Carter, Indian River High School Administration Team, and each was given a copy of The Technology Tail: Teaching Your Child How To Navigate Social Media, by Julia Cook, purchased by Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club.
In a talk that centered on “putting out kindness”, Dr. Clark discussed the digital footprint of students and what he sees in the schools in terms of the misuse of technology, including cyber bullying. He explained how anything done on social media is there forever and encouraged the students to only put out something they would be proud of. He stressed the importance of the power of forgiveness, and encouraged students who feel they have been wronged, to “choose to forgive, be kind and be mindful when on social apps.”
According to event organizer, Long Neck Sunrise Rotarian Sharon Marshall: “Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club was thrilled to partner with Long Neck Elementary Assistant Principal Stephen Lovellette to offer this educational session to the students of Long Neck Elementary. Anything we can do to help children avoid mis-steps in using technology will only serve to protect them now and in the future.”
Based on a 2020 study by the Cyber Bullying Research Center, cyber bullying is very much an issue with children aged 9-12. Key findings on cyber bullying among this tween group are as follows1:
- One in five tweens has been cyberbullied, cyberbulliedothers, or witnessed cyberbullying.
- Cyberbullying affects tweens in a variety of ways.
- Tweens use a variety of strategies to stop cyberbullying.
- Nine out of ten tweens use social media and gaming apps.
- Many tweens have also experienced bullying at school.
- Tweens are helpers.
Part of its annual Rotary Reads program with Long Neck Elementary, this year’s assembly and book donation served a growing educational need among elementary school students on the use of social media. Working with Browseabout Books, Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club purchased 685 copies of the book for every student at the school. Books were generously supplied at cost by Browseabout Books for a total of $4,822.40. Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club also presented Dr. Clark with a $250 donation in his name to the Crisis House Shelter, Georgetown.
1 Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., “Tween Cyberbullying in 2020,” Cyber Bullying Research Center in Partnership with Cartoon Network, pg.3.
Pictured at top: Student members of Long Neck Elementary Student Council showcase their new books. (Standing left to right): Dr. David Carter, Genevieve Geddio, Le’Andria Sunkett, Lillian Toms, Daniel Martin-Farrera, Adrian Santiago, and Sharon Marshall, Long Neck Sunrise Rotarian.
Pictured at right: Dr. Clark addresses the assembly.