RENO, Nev. - It may look like a comedy on stage, but this morning at Reno High School, students were tackling a serious issue: cyberbullying. They were performing a play about the issue in order to educate their peers and parents about how more and more students are getting picked on.
"Cyberbullying is really taking social networking and being able to convey your message across time and sent to many many different audiences, so if you're going to engage in bullying and harrassment, instead of just having unkind or hurtful remarks one to one, you now have the ability to post it so that literally hundreds of thousands of people see it as well," says Dr. Heath Morrison, superintendent of the Washoe County School District.
"Well once it happens, there's no stopping it," says Brenna Taylor, a senior at Reed High School. She knows what she's talking about. She was a victim of cyberbullying when she was just a freshman. "Once something's on the Internet, it's there forever."
The experience she went through was so hurtful, she spoke about it in a video that's being shown in our community.
"I see cyberbulling all the time just on my Facebook," says Taylor. "And you know, it's something that's really sad and you know it happens all the time and no one talks about it so you know a lot of people just keep it to themselves."
That's exactly what school district officials don't want. That's why they're educating staff about how to recognize when it's happening and they're urging parents to report problems to the school or police. But as 18-year-old Brenna Taylor will tell you, victims have to tell someone first. And she's glad she talked with her mom when she was getting bullied online.
"It may never happen to your kid, but the problem is we may never know," says Cheryl Taylor-Dydo, Brenna's mother. "Know what's going on in their world. make sure you're checking their phones, make sure you have the talks with them. Speak to your kids.
Superintendent Heath Morrison says if you're a parent and you find out that your child has been a victim of cyberbullying, immediately contact your child's school. He says talk to a counselor or the principal and they will be receptive. He says the only way officials can help the problem is if they know about it.