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Elk Grove Students Take to Social Media to #UnfollowBullying

A campaign from the Elk Grove Unified School District seeks to reduce cyberbullying.

Elk Grove middle and high school students have pledged to use their social media pages for good through the district's anti-cyberbullying #UnfollowBullying campaign.

"Just within the first few days of the campaign, hundreds of middle and high school students have signed a pledge in support of this important endeavor," the district said in a press release. "At Florin High School, they have a banner with student pledges.  On Friday, November 9, students will wear plain white t-shirts that represent their Facebook wall. Other students will use pens to write positive things on the t-shirts during a supervised activity."

Click here to watch Toby Johnson Middle School's weekly newscast on the topic of converting cyberbullies into "cyberbuddies," and scroll through the social media updates from local students above.

The full district press release follows:

EGUSD students pledge to Unfollow Bullying 

Elk Grove Unified School District students are pledging to take a stand against cyberbullying through a new student-created, student-led campaign -- #UnfollowBullying. 

Just within the first few days of the campaign, hundreds of middle and high school students have signed a pledge in support of this important endeavor. At Florin High School, they have a banner with student pledges.  On Friday, November 9, students will wear plain white t-shirts that represent their Facebook wall. Other students will use pens to write positive things on the t-shirts during a supervised activity. At Pleasant Grove High School students combined their campaign with a focus on Random Acts of Kindness.

Toby Johnson Middle School students have dedicated their weekly video newscast to the campaign. Each day students address significant issues on cyberbullying such as strategies for combating it and laws that address it. At Harriet Eddy Middle School, students greeted other students with visual compliments as they came to school such as posters, signs and high-fives. 

Today's students live in a digital world. #UnfolllowBullying is in recognition that students are the ones who will lead the charge in their online communities to ensure that all students are treated with respect and kindness. The initial idea for a student-led campaign came from the EGUSD Internet Safety Task force. This group of staff, law enforcement and parent representatives felt that the most effective way to reach students is through their peers. 

With that in mind, Superintendent Steven M. Ladd, Ed.D., asked his student advisory committee to select a digital citizenship campaign topic, create a name and design a campaign during their four meetings in the 2011-2012 and one in the 2012-2013 school years. Students selected cyberbullying as the topic of focus. They brainstormed a number of campaign names, before selecting #UnfollowBullying.

Various activities will continue through November and the remainder of the year. More information can be found at the EGUSD #UnfollowBullying website at http://blogs.egusd.net/ub/. The website includes tools for students and staff to create a successful campaign and to showcase examples from individual school sites.  

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JamesDiazPani November 14, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I wish they'd do this in Sacramento. My 10 yr old son in 5th grade in Ethel Phillips Elementary is being bullied b/c he's a new student in Mr Ricco's Class rm 18. The classmates of his call him "buro" an ass & kick him to trip him also on Facebook would call him names. I spoke to the Principal Mr. Hernandez and still the same stuff. The Principal wouldn't even reply to my emails also the PE teacher tells my son to sit down after my son told the PE Teacher of the name callings. Bad School unfortunately my son goes to. James jptwin1@yahoo.com
JamesDiazPani November 14, 2012 at 07:57 PM
The reason why I wrote the above comment is b/c i don't know what to do when the school is doing nothing and I don't want my son to become sucidal or hurt others like he's being hurt!!!!
Cody Kitaura (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 08:54 PM
James, sorry to hear about that. The Sacramento City Unified School District does have a bullying-prevention program: http://www.scusd.edu/overview/bullying-prevention Looks like the coordinator of that program is Sheila Shelf, Bullying Prevention Specialist, Sheila-Self@scusd.edu. I hope this helps.

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