Palisade High School takes on cyberbullies

Photo by Dean Humphrey—Cablevision executive Trent Anderson speaks during an assembly Wednesday at Palisade High School as it launched a campaign against cyberbullying. Cablevision, the company that owns area cable television provider Optimum, is sponsoring a poster contest with prizes as part of the campaign. U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., is at left.

Telecommunications provider Optimum donated $2,000 to Palisade High School and launched an anti-cyberbullying poster contest Wednesday afternoon at the school.

The money will benefit Palisade’s Live Above program, which encourages students to avoid bullying, drugs, alcohol and other negative behaviors. The poster contest will run through Feb. 10, and the Palisade High students who make the 10 best posters will each receive an iPod Touch donated by Optimum owner Cablevision.

Trent Anderson, vice president of education for Cablevision, presented a check and a lesson about cyberbullying Wednesday during a program in the high school’s auditorium. Anderson said his company speaks to schools about cyberbullying because it provides Internet service.

“As an Internet service provider, I’m the one who gets subpoenaed when things go bad” with cyberbullying, Anderson said.

He advised students to seek help, change and make passwords stronger, and support each other to combat cyberbullying, which is the act of harassing someone through digital means such as Facebook, email or text messages. Anderson outlined some of the consequences of cyber bullying, from jail time to losing college scholarships.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., attended Wednesday’s presentation and told students they should take seriously the responsibility of being the most technically savvy generation on the planet.

“When that technology is not used in a proper fashion, it hurts people,” Tipton said. “Once it’s on the map, it’s there literally forever.”

Palisade High Principal Matt Diers said students should think before they type.

“When you do that and you don’t look somebody in the eye, it’s so easy to ‘like’ things and text things and tweet things you would never say” in person, he said.


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