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Group will offer tips on handling bullies in cyberspace

As more kids use technology in their daily lives, more of them experience one of the downsides of being online — cyber bullying.

In a recent study, the Cyberbullying Research Center found 20 percent of students ages 12 to 18 in their study reported being bullied through electronic media.

Rochester's Southeast Service Cooperative will address the problem with a presentation Thursday on cyber bullying and Internet safety. The event will feature Kevin Honeycutt, a former teacher who has developed workshops and tools to prevent cyber bullying and to keep kids safe on the internet.

"He can bring that experience that not only is this happening and a concern in southeast Minnesota, it's happening everywhere," said Heidi Knepper, director of planning and general administration for SSC. "Even if you don't think that this might be relevant to you, it is."

Honeycutt focuses on communication between adults and kids, he said. Parents sometimes feel like they're invading their child's privacy by monitoring their online use, he said, but it's important to talk with the child.


"The stuff you know still works, just add the word online and get involved," said Honeycutt, who is a technology integration specialist at an education service center in Kansas.

Parents and teachers are never going to know everything about technology and everything children do online, but starting to learn and keeping dialogue open is a good start, Honeycutt said.

"A step is a step. You don't have to know it all," he said. "This is shifting ground, it's always changing ... It's important to get involved and start learning and keep learning."

SSC already has about 50 people signed up for Thursday's workshop. This is a higher turnout than for many of their events, Knepper said, partly because the topic affects so many people.

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