Students present ’Net safety program

The School of Criminal Justice at Tiffin University and the students of Alpha Phi Sigma put together an anti-cyberbullying program for fourth-graders at Noble 4-5 Elementary School Thursday.

TU?professors Jeff Stockner and Steven Hurwitz organized the program and the students developed it to present to fourth-grade classes.

Students Mina Alewine, Katie Farrell, Paige Hanson, Colleen Higgins, Ivan Santiago and Elizabeth Venenga put together hands-on activities, including skits that point out types of bullying, how to prevent them and what to do if someone is being bullied.

“Bullying is becoming more and more of a problem,” Hurwitz said. “We wanted to come up with some kind of creative and interactive way to get the message across.”

The students split into teams of two to conduct the presentations. Two or three classes will be running simultaneously, Hurwitz said. The project’s impetus was Ohio’s mandated cyberbullying policies for fourth-graders.

“It is not too early to start,” Stockner said. “The students have come up with the program because we feel that the fourth-grade classes will react more to college kids.”

The fourth-graders were given tips on how to be safe online and “S.T.O.P. Bullying” bookmarks. Stop means:

Stand up for yourself.

Tell a trusted adult what happened.

Observe when others are being bullied.

Pride yourself in following internet protection rules.

“As a group, we wanted to reach out and address the issue from a college stand point,” Santiago said. “Many kids have social media to just fit in and be accepted by others. It is important that they have to be aware that the internet is not safe anymore.”

“It is important that the kids know how much power they do have,” Hanson said.